After a few month sabbatical from my gym routine, yesterday marked my return with a morning of treadmills and lifting. The light "getting back into it" workout felt great and today I have that wonderful "I did something good" feeling in my arms and abs. Definitely not wanting to "over do it", though (insert husband eye roll here!), I decided to take today off instead choosing to walk the pups along the beach. With a nice breakfast of chicken and scrambled egg along with the usual dog kibble providing a good dose of protein for the pups I turned to Ellie Krieger to keep myself on track.
Quinoa made its appearance in our home a number of years ago with our family enjoying the somewhat distinctive delicate flavors and slightly grainy texture. Frequently described as a grain, quinoa is actually the seed to a leafy plant distantly related to spinach. With a protein quality equivalent to that of milk and a good dose of manganese, magnesium, iron, copper and phosphorus, the seed packs a healthy punch in addition to providing a pleasing delicate, nutty flavor. Easily substitutable for most any other grain, this seed has earned a high place in my kitchen and has made its way to our table in the form of fresh summer salads, casseroles and soups. However, before this morning I had not thought of it for breakfast.
Ellie's Honey Harvest Quinoa brings some of our favorite breakfast ingredients to the table providing a somewhat sweet yet protein rich start to your day. Filled with nuts and fruits, honey and a touch of cinnamon this ancient seed fills my protein requirement in a very pleasing way. Versatility is the key to this breakfast dish with nearly any variation of the fruits, nuts and honey making it a new dish each time you serve it!
Honey Harvest Quinoa
adapted from Ellie Krieger's So Easy: Luscious, Healthy Recipes for Every Meal of the Week
2/3 cup quinoa, rinsed (see note below)
1 1/3 cup water
1/3 cup dried apricots, chopped
1/4 cup golden raisins
1/4 cup walnuts
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1-2 Tbs honey
Rinse the quinoa in a fine mesh strainer (see note below!).
Place the rinsed quinoa in a saucepan with the water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover and cook for about 6 minutes. Add the apricots and raisins and continue to cook covered over low heat until the water is absorbed, about 8 - 10 minutes more.
Remove from heat and stir in the honey and cinnamon (adding more or less to your taste). Spoon into serving bowls, top with milk, walnuts and any additional topping you desire!
Note: Quinoa's survival through the millennia may be attributed to the resinous, bitter coating that protects its seeds from birds and insects--and also shields them from the intense high-altitude sunlight. This coating, called saponin, is soapy and must be removed in a strong alkaline solution to make the grain palatable. Most quinoa sold in this country has already been cleansed of its saponin. But quinoa should be rinsed thoroughly before cooking to remove any powdery residue of saponin. Place the grain in a fine strainer and hold it under cold running water until the water runs clear; drain well.Source: Whole Health MD