Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Breakfast Edition - Hot Apple Quinoa

I love breakfast. If I had to choose one meal to eat all day everyday, it would be breakfast. It can be sweet. It can be savory. It is just delicious. The rule in my house is that you have have breakfast for dinner at least once a week. If you try it, I bet it will become your rule too. Seriously, who doesn't love breakfast?!

As much as I love breakfast, my only problem is that during the week, I don't have time for something other than a protein bar for breakfast. In fact, I eat at least two (sometime three) throughout the day. Although it's loaded with protein and keeps me fueled through the day and my post work workout, it's still probably not good to eat that many (Ryan says it's all about balance. I should probably start listening to him. He's a smart cookie!). Plus, they are a little high in sugar. Thus, here were are - what else can I have for breakfast that is low in sugar, but has a decent protein level and will keep my stomach from growling like a freight train until lunch time? Quinoa! Are you wondering how to say it? Say it with me - keen wah! I promise it's just as fun to eat as it is to say. If you have not tried this magic grain, you need to. Just as breakfast can be savory or sweet, so can quinoa. I've used quinoa before (these cakes were fabulous - http://nutmegnotebook.com/2011/02/cheesy-quinoa-burgers-weight-watchers-pointsplus-3/), but never for breakfast. Let me tell you, it was delicious (more so then I thought it would be!) and it kept me full until lunchtime. Just what I needed and a great switch up from my normal protein bar or oatmeal morning routine. If you try it, you'll like it too. Guaranteed!

It was too early and forgot to pull the nutmeg out of the pantry. Just close your eyes and imagine it's here too.

Everybody into the pool!

Fluffy and cinnamony quinoa! This made the house smell like Christmas!

Packed up and ready to take to work!

Hot Apple Quinoa Breakfast Bowl (slightly varied from nutmegnotebook.com)
Yield: 2  Servings

1/2 cup Quinoa (rinse with water if not pre-washed)
1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk (you may substitute your choice of milk, fat free, soy etc.)
1/2 cup water
1 apple, cored and diced (leave the peel on)
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon (or to taste, I like a lot of cinnamon)
freshly ground nutmeg (a dash or two)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 
Optional Toppings: brown sugar, nuts, coconut, nut butter, pumpkin butter, apple butter, honey, Agave, or maple syrup (I used 1 tablespoon pecans and 1 teaspoon honey!)

If your quinoa is not pre washed, place it in a fine mesh sieve and run cold water through it until the water runs clear.

In a medium size sauce pan combine the quinoa, almond milk,water, apple, cinnamon and nutmeg, bring it to a boil, turn down heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until quinoa is cooked and tender. Remove from heat, divide into two serving dishes. Top with your favorite toppings such as brown sugar, nuts, coconut, nut butter, pumpkin butter, apple butter, honey or maple syrup

Best news of all - this breakfast treat come in just shy of 300 calories, score! It makes two 1 cup servings, but you can always double it up if you'd like to make a large batch for your family or if you're like me, several days worth of breakfast made and ready to grab as you head out the door. And if you have not checked out nutmegnotebook.com, you definitely need to. There are some great recipes and all the recipes have a calorie count and weight watcher points too, double score! 

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