Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Quinoa Oatmeal

The first time I cooked with quinoa I was shocked that something so tiny, with the consistency of sand and the tendency to find its way into every nook and cranny of the kitchen could be so tasty. It's an interesting little grain well suited in both sweet and savory dishes. For people cutting back on carbs its also a great whole grain substitute for in recipes that call for things like white rice or couscous. And I'd be lying if I didn't mention that half the reason I've been so keen in it lately is that it's really fun to say.

Quinoa has also helped me solve one of my biggest complaints on this diet: boring breakfast. I can only do the whole grain cereal or whole grain bread with low fat yogurt and fruit so many times before I'm tempted to trade meals with the dog. Enter quinoa oatmeal. Fulling and versatile. I make a big batch at the beginning of the week and eat off it whenever I'm in the mood. It's good hot or cold. Sweetened with fruit and agave nectar or salty and crunchy with cashews.

Technically this recipe only works for the maintenance stage of the diet but it would be just as good without the dried fruit, perhaps adding in some other spices to give it a kick instead. I've also started making it with half milk and half water for the liquids as the full milk makes it a little too porridge like for me in the summer. You can do whatever you want to the quinoa to make it suit your tastes but you'll want a little sweetness and some flavor added in or it can be a bit too bitter.

Quinoa Oatmeal

1 cup quinoa
2 cups milk

1/3 cup dried fruit
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon agave nectar

Place quinoa in a sieve and rinse well under cold water. Tip the quinoa into a saucepan and add the milk. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer for 5 minutes.

Add fruit and cinnamon then simmer for 8-10 or until all liquid is absorbed.

Stir in agave nectar. Serve topped with fruit or cashews and milk.

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