Monday, January 16, 2012

Quinoa for breakfast...move over oatmeal!

Quinoa has become the food to have in your pantry.  Its health benefits are fantastic.  Loaded with protein and fiber, the super-grain has a great nutty flavor that is a wonderful served with almost anything.  What I've come to learn is that quinoa isn't only for the savory meal.  Ellie Krieger's So Easy cookbook has a great recipe for quinoa for breakfast with apples and dried cranberries.  I've made this recipe a few times now and have also substituted different nuts and dried fruits for flavor combinations.

Honey Harvest Quinoa
1 1/3 cups Quinoa
2 2/3 cups water
1 small Golden Delicious apple, cored and cut into chunks
1/4 cup cranberries
1/2 cup peacans
1/2 cup low-fat (1%) milk, plus more for serving
2 tablespoons honey, plus more for serving
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 teaspoons unsalted butter, optional

Put the quinoa in fine-mesh strainer and rinse under the tap.  Put the rinsed quinoa in a saucepan with the water.  Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer, cover and cook for 5 minutes.  Add the apple chunks and cranberries and continue to cook,  covered over low heat, until the water is absorbed, about 10 minutes more.
In the meantime, toast the pecans in a dry skillet over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 2 minutes.  Allow to cool, then coarsely chop.
When the quinoa is cooked, stir in 1/2 cup of milk, 2 tablespoons of honey, and the cinnamon, and cook until the milk is heated through, about 1 more minute.
Spoon the cereal into serving bowls and top with the toasted pecans and butter.  Serve with additional honey and milk to taste.