Last year, I was honored to go to Atlanta for my best friend’s graduation. She had worked her tail off for 2 years to get her MBA while starting her business at the same time. Because of her amazing-ness, several of her best girl friends felt it necessary to celebrate her and her accomplishment.
While I was thrilled about the chance to be there, I had a teeny bit of apprehension about what I was going to eat. If you have a food sensitivity, you know that it’s not always easy to eat perfectly on plan when you travel. So, myself and another friend (who also has a food sensitivity) took it upon ourselves to be sure that we would have the food we needed, without imposing our needs on the rest of the group.
After the event, I wrote in my newsletter about what a wonderful weekend it was and how the food was absolutely amazing. Our planning had paid off and everyone felt satisfied and well fed by the delicious meals we all cooked up together. (Of course, it didn’t hurt that most of the group are food snobs and weren’t going to tolerate mediocre food! Ha!)
What I didn’t mention in that newsletter was about an amazing breakfast we had the day of the graduation! We picked the Egg Harbor Cafe because they have an extensive gluten-free section and lots of choices for those with dairy and/or egg sensitivities to also get a tasty breakfast.
I chose their Quinoa Breakfast Bowl and practically licked the bowl clean it was so delicious! It was essentially like oatmeal, but made with quinoa and almond milk. I mean, who ever thought to use quinoa in this way?!? Well, obviously, they did, but I hadn’t! The way the warm quinoa mixed with the fruit, nuts, spices, Greek yogurt and touch of honey was perfectly satisfying in every way.
Since then I have worked to recreate their awesome dish. Well, not so much “recreate it” as I still haven’t gotten down the balance of their ingredients, but to make a similar dish that I get as much enjoyment from and that contains lots of healthy nutrients to get me through the morning. This recipe is a result of that effort, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
Delicious Breakfast Quinoa
Total time: 20 minutes (includes 15 minutes of cooking)
- 1/2 cup almond milk (or coconut milk)
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup dry quinoa, rinsed and drained (I use tri-color quinoa for a variety of phytonutrients)
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- Pinch of salt
- Small handful of dried fruit (I typically use dried blueberries or cranberries, but you could use any fruit that sounds good to you)
- 1 Tablespoon of unsalted, grass-fed butter (optional, but I encourage it for the fat)
- Drizzle of unheated honey (optional)
- 2 Tablespoons of toasted nuts or seeds (optional; I usually use one tablespoon each of toasted almond slivers and pumpkin seeds, but the Egg Harbor Cafe used pistachios.)
- Bring almond milk and water to a gentle boil in a small saucepan.
- Stir the quinoa into the milk and reduce heat to a very low simmer.
- Allow to simmer for 10 minutes, uncovered. (You don’t want to cover the pot because the almond milk will boil over if you do. However, because it is uncovered, you want the heat as low as possible so all of the liquid doesn’t evaporate while still keeping a low simmer so the quinoa will cook.)
- Add the cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and dried fruit. Stir and allow to continue simmering for 5 more minutes. (Check the water level at this point, if it seems like it’s going to dry up before the quinoa is finished cooking add a couple of tablespoons of water.)
- When finished cooking, put the quinoa in a bowl along with the optional ingredients (butter, nuts and/or honey). Also, add anything else you think sounds good… like the mango I used one time.
- Stir all the ingredients together and enjoy!
By the way, I suspect there are many wonderful spice, fruit and nut combinations that would work in this recipe. If you experiment and find something that you think works really well, I’d love to hear about it! Mixing up the ingredients improves the variety of micro- and phytonutrients that we can get from this yummy breakfast.