Last Updated on February 7, 2014 by Jennifer Pallian BSc, RD
Life is crazy right now. From the moment my feet hit the floor in the morning, I’m busier than a one-armed wallpaper hanger with an itch.
When 10 o’clock hits, my tummy rumbles angrily – I’ve forgotten to eat again! Me! Who spends 16 hours a day thinking about food (the rest of the time I’m sleeping). Lately it’s been slice of whole grain toast and another cup of coffee.
Luxurious breakfasts of freshly baked muffins or scones, poached eggs or homemade granola haven’t happened in a while. Methinks it’s time to break out of the morning rut and once again invest at least few minutes at the stove.
I typically do a lot of oatmeal and whole grain oatmeal blends (Rogers Porridge Oats line, if you’re in Canada – the Ancient Grains and Steel Cut blends are my faves).
But I like to mix it up with other grains that aren’t traditionally eaten at breakfast. Whenever I’m cooking a grain for dinner, I always always always make extra – whether for a salad, quick fried rice, or to tuck into a wrap with veggies the next day, I am glad to have leftovers.
I especially love to make a creamy breakfast cereal by simmering the grain in milk with a bit of sweetener (maple syrup, usually). As it reheats, I stir often, breaking down the starches a bit.
The porridge bubbles and thickens into rich comfort food that quivers on the precipice between breakfast and rice pudding.
Here, I used quinoa – but feel free to use whatever you have on hand: brown or basmati rice, wheat or spelt berries, buckwheat, barley – even teeny little amaranth or millet. Top as you desire with toasted nuts, dried or fresh fruits, depending on the season.
Toast nuts quickly in the microwave, see instructions here.
- 2 cups cooked quinoa (leftover, or from 2/3 cup dry)
- 3/4 cup milk
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tsp butter
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- pinch of salt
- 2 tbsp sliced almonds, toasted
- fresh or dried fruit or berries
- Combine quinoa, milk, maple syrup, butter, cinnamon and salt in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until bubbling hot and quinoa has absorbed some of the milk, about 7 minutes. Serve topped with toasted almonds and fresh fruit, plus more maple syrup, if desired.
Alternative method: To start with dry quinoa, bring 3/4 cup milk, 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp water with 2/3 cup dry quinoa to a boil together in a saucepan with butter, cinnamon and salt, reduce heat to low and cook, covered, for 15-20 minutes. Stir in maple syrup, then top with almonds and fruit.