When I woke up this morning, the windchill was -36 degrees F (tomorrow’s forecast calls for the coldest day in Minnesota in 20 years. I’ll be hitching a ride to work – no bus). Weather like that, even if you don’t plan on going outside, calls for a hearty breakfast. Most people would think biscuits and gravy or vats of oatmeal, but I wanted to go a little more creative of a route. A few days ago I pinned a recipe for breakfast quinoa (see the original post and recipe here) and, along with a couple of tweaks, decided to give it a try this morning.
My love of quinoa is pretty obvious. I love using the complete protein grain as a pasta replacement to ease the guilt, like I did with my quinoa spaghetti. In the past, I have used quinoa as the base for my weekly lunches, adding sautéed vegetables and spaghetti sauce or italian dressing to it and storing it in the fridge throughout the week. But, I’ve never used it as a breakfast ingredient before, so I was intrigued at how this would turn out.
Usually, I cook quinoa just like rice – water, medium-high heat. This recipe had me cooking in milk, with low heat and longer times. For one cup of quinoa, bring two cups of milk to a boil. Add one cup quinoa, return to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 15 minutes.
After 15 minutes, about 3/4 of the milk should be absorbed. Add in cinnamon, nutmeg and brown sugar, stir in and cook for another 5-10 minutes.
Biggest difference between cooking quinoa low and slow instead of high and fast is the consistency. Usually when I cook quinoa, it’s almost like couscous in that it is individual grains. This morning, the quinoa had a more oatmeal or cream of wheat consistency, which was different, but still yummy. Once the quinoa was done cooking, I topped it with a little more brown sugar and cinnamon, as well as some walnuts. Hearty indeed.
The original recipe called for one cup of dry quinoa – this made a TON. I had leftovers, and as with oatmeal, it doesn’t look so appetizing anymore. If you’re only making breakfast for one person, definitely play with cutting the recipe in half, though there are bound to be some intricacies associated with that. Full recipe below:
1 cup quinoa, rinsed
2 cups milk
3 tbsp brown sugar, plus extra for topping
1/4 tbsp ground cinnamon, plus extra for topping
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
Bring two cups milk to a boil. Add quinoa and return to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 15 minutes, or until 3/4 of the milk has been absorbed. Add in brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Recover, and cook for another 5-8 minutes, until consistency is similar to oatmeal or cream of wheat. Serve in a bowl and top with brown sugar, cinnamon and chopped walnuts. Enjoy!