Thursday, May 10, 2012

Breakfast Quinoa with Oats

 Lately you've probably noticed a bit more quinoa popping up on Espresso and Cream, yes? Well, get ready for even more recipes in the months to come! Curtis has kept our house well-stocked with quinoa, and in exchange for the free quinoa, I've been creating recipes that go both on this site and on his company's blog. It's a win-win if you ask me.

My relationship with quinoa took a while to heat up. I first started cooking with this amazing grain (er...seed) when I went vegetarian a little over two years ago. It wasn't the taste or texture that drew me to quinoa, but rather the stellar nutritional profile. Since quinoa is a complete protein (meaning it provides 100% of the essential amino acids), it's ideal for individuals who don't eat a lot of meat.

But over the last six months, quinoa has really started to grow on me and Joe. It's so much easier to prepare than rice and stores forever in the refrigerator. I make a large batch without any seasoning every week or week and a half, which does a lot to encourage my quinoa consumption, since it doesn't require much prep for lunch and dinner.

This past weekend, I made my first foray into eating quinoa at breakfast. Most mornings, okay every morning, I start off the day with a bowl of oats with banana and peanut butter or almond butter. But last weekend, I decided to put a twist on my breakfast stand-by with the addition of quinoa. Cutting my oats with a little cooked quinoa was the perfect breakfast duo. Since quinoa doesn't have the same gooey texture of cooked oats, adding a tablespoon of chia seeds is the real trick to having your mixture taste more like breakfast porridge rather than a bowl of grain, which I prefer.

In other news, Espresso and Cream is going to be getting a long-overdue redesign in the coming weeks. On top of a visual update, I'll also be switching E&C over to self-hosting. Although it won't mean many changes on your end, I wanted to give you a heads-up in case things get a little wonky for a while. Hopefully all goes smoothly and you don't even notice! But, if you have any suggestions on what you would like to see in the new site, feel free to leave a comment below.

Breakfast Quinoa with Oats
Makes 1 Serving 
*1/4 cup cooked quinoa
*1/4 cup uncooked rolled oats
*1/2 cup milk
*2/3 cup water
*1 tablespoon chia seeds
*1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
*1 packet Truvia or 1 tablespoon brown sugar
*Dash of vanilla extract
*1 medium banana, sliced 
*1/4 cup chopped pecans

*In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the cooked quinoa, rolled oats, milk, water and chia seeds. Cook for 5 to 6 minutes, until oats and chia seeds have absorbed most of the moisture and the mixture is thickened. Add in the cinnamon, Truvia or brown sugar and vanilla extract. Cook for 30 seconds more.
*Remove from heat and stir in the banana slices. Spoon into a bowl and top with the chopped pecans.

Happy Cooking!

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