SWEET BREAKFAST QUINOA has been on my AM to-do list since February 2011 when published in the glossy pages of Food & Wine magazine. I was attracted to the earthy, rich flavor combination of ingredients, as well as the idea of having a stick-to-the-ribs breakfast (other than oatmeal) that would fuel me well through the early working hours.
With a pantry looking like Mother Hubbard’s, my eyes fell upon an unopened box of red quinoa this morning…purchased, of course, back in February 2011. As fate would have it, all other ingredients were at arm’s reach. And, after a mere half hour of intermittent preparation, the resulting breakfast hit the spot as I had hoped.
Sweet Breakfast Quinoa is incredibly simple to make. Boil water, cook and fluff the quinoa, toast some nuts, add dried fruits, then toss the whole thing together. The dollop of ricotta cheese on top was a nice touch…adding a creaminess to the dish that well-complimented the otherwise hearty textures.
While fully aware that quinoa acts as a whole protein, little did I know that it is closely related to the beet and spinach species – how fantastic! What we purchase at the grocer are the edible seeds of a grain-like plant. Heh. Quinoa is also gluten-free, high in fiber, magnesium, iron and amino acids. One might call it…a super-food?
From what I can tell (and having read further on the matter) red quinoa does not differ from white. So, either variety may be used within this recipe, though, the red does make for a more brilliant color. Quinoa, in general, can be used in a number of dishes where you may otherwise use pasta, rice or couscous. And, dishes like this will keep well for days. Give it a try!
Sweet Breakfast Quinoa
From Food & Wine, Published in February 2011
1 cup red quinoa, rinsed
2 cups water
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup slivered almonds
1/2 cup dried apricots, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup fresh ricotta
1. In a small saucepan, cover the quinoa with the water and bring to a boil. Cover and cook over low heat until the water has been absorbed and the quinoa is tender, about 15 minutes. Lightly fluff the quinoa with a fork and cover it again.
2. In a medium skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the almonds and cook over moderate heat, stirring a few times, until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Add the apricots, maple syrup, orange zest and cinnamon and stir well until heated through.
3. Add the quinoa to the skillet and stir gently to incorporate the almonds and apricots. Top each portion of quinoa with a tablespoon of ricotta and serve.
Make Ahead: The recipe can be made through Step 1 and refrigerated for up to 5 days. Reheat as needed or serve cold.
Notes: One Serving 311 cal, 44 gm carb, 11 gm fat, 2 gm sat fat, 10 gm protein, 4 gm fiber.