breakfast oats and quinoa

January 21, 2013 § Leave a comment

quinoa

It’s days like today, when you wake up knowing that the temperature is well below zero, when your usually overworking radiators have failed to take the bite out of the air and you’d be willing to trade up any number of future children for a few more minutes tucked up under the comforter, that breakfast (and a warm breakfast, at that) seems like a particularly good idea.  Not only does it promise to help steel you against the frigid temps, but also helps to delay the inevitable trip outside (if only briefly) with its addition to the morning routine.

I spotted this recipe in this month’s Bon Appetit.  Given my mom’s positive reports regarding the overnight grain-soak method, the fact that I *already* had all of the ingredients in my house, and my fascination with the possibility of a legitimately quick homemade breakfast, I set about putting it all together last night.  Truth be told, this took approximately 3 minutes.  Cheers to laziness!

the stuff:

1/2 c. dried fruit (I had craisins on hand)
1/4 c. other dried fruit (yellow raisins)
1/2 c. steel-cut oats (left over from horse-treat making)
1/2 c. quinoa (well-rinsed)*
1t kosher salt
1/2t cinnamon
1/4t cardamom (I only had whole seeds on hand, so i broke 3 of the pods, discarded the shells and used the rest)
4c water
the how-to:
dump everything into a pot.  bring to a boil.  cover, shut off heat, and leave on the stovetop overnight.  this will give the grains time to soak up the water.  In the morning, reheat over low-medium heat, for approximately 5 minutes, stirring just occasionally enough to keep the bottom from burning.  (now you can see why this is my kind of breakfast)
serve with a splash of milk, a bit of honey or maple syrup if you’re feeling inclined toward sweetness, nuts for some extra protein, fresh fruit (bananas! apples!) or whatever else you fancy.
notes: this makes A LOT of breakfast.  breakfast for at least 4 hungry people.  Next time I will cut the recipe WAY down, since I’m not sure how well the grains will hold up for a day 2 or 3.  I will also consider swapping out the water for milk next time, as I suspect that will better fill out the flavor.
*protein! iron! calcium!  on the other hand, there’s this, which is not so good: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/20/world/americas/20bolivia.html?_r=0
also, even thought it is incredibly aggravating, do not skip the quinoa rinsing step.  you’re trying to get rid of the saponins which coat the exterior.  these saponins are great for the quinoa when it’s growing, because birds find it bitter and gross and will therefore leave it alone.  unfortunately, if you don’t rinse your quinoa, you will also find it bitter and gross and that’s not what we’re going for.
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