Breakfast: Quinoa and Oatmeal

In an attempt to expand our diet to include more “real food” and less useless food we’ve been trying new breakfast items (after all, breakfast should be the most nutritionally dense meal of the day).  I’ve been making stovetop oatmeal (instead of instant) for a few months now but I discovered that quinoa can be used as a hot breakfast cereal too!  We mix ours and it’s DELICIOUS!

If you’re not familiar with quinoa here’s a quick overview.  It’s a small seed that can be used like a grain (often people think it’s a grain) in recipes.  It’s a complete protein and doesn’t have the carbs that grains come with.  It’s awesome.

So here’s our delicious meal!

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For me!

Stovetop Oatmeal:

1 cup milk

1 cup water

1 cup old-fashioned oats

1 tsp cinnamon (or to taste)

1/4 tsp vanilla  (optional)

Mix all ingredients together in a pot.  Heat just to bubbling and reduce to a simmer.  Cook until thick (it’ll cool a little thicker so leave it a little “runnier” than you want to eat it).  I usually make 3 cups (triple the recipe) and it takes about 15 minutes to cook.  Stir regularly.

Stovetop Quinoa:

1 1/2 cup milk

1 cup rinsed quinoa (more on rinsing below)

1/4 tsp vanilla (optional)

Mix all ingredients together in a pot.  Heat just to bubbling and reduce to a simmer.  Stir OFTEN, the quinoa always wants to bubble over.  I usually make 2 cups of quinoa to last us the week.  It takes at least double the time the oatmeal does.  You can turn off the heat when the liquid is mostly absorbed and the quinoa will continue to soak it up (I’m usually too impatient so I eat it a little runny).

Very prone to bubbling over, watch it carefully!

Very prone to bubbling over, watch it carefully!

The Final Product:

I like quinoa but the consistency is a little different and because I really wanted my kids to eat it 😉 so I mixed it with oatmeal.   I put a scoop (yep, like ice cream!) of oatmeal and then top it with a smaller scoop of quinoa.  I add a splash of creamer (or milk) to help cool it and to loosen up the oatmeal.  Then I drizzle maple syrup over the top.  I give the kids raisins or bananas mixed in but for the adults I roast some nuts and seeds (pecans, walnuts, almonds, pumpkin and sesame seeds) and toss them on top.  SO YUMMY!!!  Good for you, high in fiber and protein–a fabulous way to start the day!

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For the girls

I discovered that along with my love for quinoa is a dislike for rinsing it.  The rinsing itself isn’t hard at all but because it’s so small you need to use a towel of some sort to rinse it in a colander.  I use a small weave cloth that I use as a strainer.

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I swish it around to make sure all the seeds get wet.

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Here’s the problem!  Quinoa is very sticky.  I patiently brush off the seeds with my fingers.  I’ve read that other people use a metal mesh strainer or even a fish net!  For now this works well enough for me and a little added incentive to make enough for the week all at once!

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4 responses to “Breakfast: Quinoa and Oatmeal

  1. Nice! I use a fine mesh strainer (that I bought specifically for the quinoa problem!) and it works well. I also use it for juicing citrus (because I do it by hand) so it catches the seeds. 🙂 Oh, and the strainer was just a couple bucks – you should get one!

  2. Pingback: Real Food Challenge: Week 5 (F— week 4) | Living in the Shoe·

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