Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Quinoa for breakfast and lunch!

You may be asking "What is Quinoa?"  Quinoa is a grain-like crop grown primarily for its edible seeds. Quinoa looks like couscous and is as versatile as rice, but tastes richer than either of them. It's also healthy and can be enjoyed at any meal time.  I actually have both breakfast and lunch/dinner recipes for it today!  Quinoa is not hard to find, or hard to cook.  We buy it at Target, or Whole Foods and it comes in a resealable bag (if you get it at Whole Foods you can also find it in the self service bins, and that may be ideal for your first try it purchase).  Its cooked very much like rice.  One cup of water and one cup of Quinoa.  Bring to a boil and let simmer till its tender.  This morning I had it for breakfast, like a hot cereal (picture on the left).  I'm also having it for lunch in a Quinoa chicken salad (Picture on the right).  Both recipes are super yummy, easy, and quick.  Recipes below Ü


Breakfast Qinoa:                                                                                          1 serving

2/3 a cup cooked quinoa
1/8 Cup chopped walnuts (use any nut you like)
1/8 cup golden raisins
1/2 tsp brown sugar (I use homemade brown sugar, and I'll give instructions for that at the end)
Milk to taste


Mix all the ingredients in a bowl and enjoy.  I like enough milk on mine to have it a little bit of milk over the top when its sitting, but my husband likes it with quite a bit less. If you're not a fan of raisins you can use any dried fruit, like cherries, cranberries, apricots, figs, or whatever you like!

Making your own brown sugar is super easy, and I love how it tastes.  Much better then store bought in my opinion.  All you do is add 1tbs of molasses to 1 cup of sugar.  You blend the two together with a fork until all the sugary molasses chunks are gone.  The fresh brown sugar adds an earthiness the store bought is very much lacking. 

Chicken Quinoa Salad:                                                                          6 Servings

2 Chicken breasts boiled (add season salt to water chicken is boiled in) and roughly chopped
3/4 Orange Bell pepper roughly chopped (any color will do, I used orange for this batch)
1/8 cup chopped onion
3/4 cup roughly chopped dill pickles
1 cup cooked quinoa
2 cubed avocados


Mix all the ingredients in a bowl and enjoy.  It can be eaten on toast, crackers, or just with a spoon.  Everything can be added to taste.  If you don't like the amounts of onion, bell pepper pickles, or avocado please feel free to adjust the amounts to your taste.  You can also add celery for a nice crunch, or add grapes or raisins to make it a little sweeter.  I did not use any mayo in this salad. The avocado is my mayo substitute. It adds the creamy binder you look for from mayo, but the avocado tastes better, and is so much healthier. 

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