09 April 2012

healthy breakfast quinoa

Once upon a time, PoMoHostess used to have as many food/recipe posts as house posts. No joke. That's why there are so many food and party pics in the header up top. If you've started reading recently, you could not be blamed for thinking, "I wonder why a house blog has so many food pics in the header?"

But I'm going back to my roots.

After spending a full year renovating our condo and then close to another year planning to move, moving and decorating our mountain house, I've naturally focused more on home stuff, but it's time to find that balance once again. Because of course we eat every day, so it's not like there's any shortage of inspiration.

With that in mind, it seemed appropriate to share with you my current favorite healthy breakfast. This recipe is a great way to start the day, and a great way to kick-start my (re)focus on sharing easy-to-prepare, entertaining-appropriate recipes for you, your family and your guests.

Living in the mountains, where it's cold every morning of the year, I've been craving warm breakfasts, and a girl can only eat so much oatmeal. But I'm a h-u-g-e fan of quinoa, as in I could eat it every day, so I love experimenting with quinoa for lots of healthy breakfast combos. This one is my favorite. Feel free to sub just about anything, and it will still be delicious, filling and uber good for you. If you use the flaxseed oil, it's loaded with omega 3s. If you use the coconut oil or MCT oil, you're getting a dose of brain-boosting medium chain triglycerides. The cinnamon is great for regulating blood sugar (caveat: so say the experts, of which I am not one!). The bran brings extra fiber, and the quinoa provides complete, plant-based protein. And did I mention that it tastes really good, too? (Bonus: it's vegan and GF-friendly.)

(Big thanks to Madison for sharing how best to write a recipe! I'm sure this one still has too many words -- it is written by me, after all -- but I'm all about trying to make directions clearer and better.)

Healthy Breakfast Quinoa
Prep: 1 minute  Cook: 15 minutes on stovetop

Ingredients (Note: all ingredients can be doubled, with instructions staying the same)
*1/2 c. dried quinoa
*1/4 cup unsweetened dried coconut (flaked or shredded)
*2 T. chopped nuts (pistachios, almonds, hazelnuts, etc.)
*1 T. healthy oil (coconut, MCT, walnut, almond, etc.)
*1/2 t. cinnamon
*Pinch of salt
*1-1 1/2 c. water
*2 T. wheat or oat bran (optional)
*1/2 c. almond milk, coconut milk, soy milk, cow's milk, etc. (optional)
*1 t. chia seeds (optional)
*1 t. to 1 T. sugar, honey, agave or other sweetener, to taste (optional)
*1 T. flaxseed oil (optional)

*In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, add the quinoa, coconut, nuts, oil, cinnamon, salt and water, along with the bran and/or "milk," if using. Stir to combine, cover and bring to a boil.
*Once boiling, turn the heat to low to simmer, and cook covered for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the quinoa is tender to your liking. Add extra liquid (water and/or milk) along the way if the quinoa mixture gets too dry to simmer.
*Remove from heat and stir in sweetener and/or chia seeds, if using.
*After cooling 2-3 minutes, stir in flaxseed oil, if using, and serve at once.
Makes 1-3 servings, depending on appetite

In my version, I used pistachios, MCT oil, wheat bran, almond milk and coconut sugar (my current favorite sweetener), along with unfiltered, high lignan flaxseed oil. Jonny Bowden would be so proud.

If you're serving a crowd, you can double or triple the quantities, and make it exactly the same way. If you're making it for the health food phobic, just leave out the bran, and don't let them see you stir in the flaxseed oil. There's nothing else in it to make anyone accuse you of serving them rabbit food. Dried fruit would be welcome to the party, too. 

What's your favorite breakfast? Any secrets for sneaking nutrition into your meals?

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  1. This makes me happy! I actually found your blog from googling a recipe (I think it was Ina's roasted tomatoes) - the mountain house thing was a happy coincidence! I read food blogs obsessively. Like you, I'm in the midst of a big house project, but food is still my biggest love. I will try this recipe - I've finally gotten the hang of cooking quinoa and I've wanted to try it for breakfast. I happen to have shredded coconut, coconut milk and pistachios in my pantry. Thanks for the idea :)

    1. Hooray! Also, I just realized that 15 minutes is the cook time at altitude, so this should work perfectly for you in Denver. I'm going to revise the post so that it doesn't overcook or scorch at sea level! ;-)

  2. I'm emailing myself this permalink - would love to try this ;)

  3. I made this the other day and LOVED it! Thanks for posting!

  4. Finally made it yesterday, ate for breakfast this morning, also LOVED it! Many thanks ;)


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