It is cold in my house in the morning recently. Winter is creeping in. I love hot cereal, but (especially in winter) try to avoid too many carbs, and especially first thing in the morning which just makes me crave them all day. Last winter I was making a very simple hot cereal by mixing quinoa and a handful of trail mix with a splash of milk or half and half. I don't actually know where quinoa falls on the glycemic index, but I know it is high in protein and so I've convinced myself this is an improvement over the Cream of Wheat and oatmeal that I crave on cold mornings. And it tastes good.
When I looked up the instructions for cooking quinoa in my mom's whole grains cookbook, I found a recipe for a quinoa-based hot cereal that looked good (OK, it is a pudding, not a cereal, but close enough). YUM. Definitely an improvement over my down and dirty cereal, and it only takes a few extra minutes to make. And it keeps well, so I can make up a week's worth of servings at once and just reheat one in the microwave in the morning. Thanks, Mom!
(makes 2 generous bowls)
1 cup cooked quinoa
1 cup low-fat milk
1/4 cup honey
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 c each raisins and chopped nuts (optional)
Combine cooked quinoa, milk, and honey in a medium-sized saucepan. Stirring gently, bring to a boil over low heat. Reduce heat, add cinnamon and beaten egg, stirring quickly. Add vanilla. This may be served immediately, or poured into a covered casserole and served later, when it will be slightly thicker. Also good cold.
- To make basic cooked quinoa, simmer 1 cup quinoa grains (rinsed well) in 2 cups of water, covered, until all the water is absorbed - about 15 minutes. This will give you almost 3 cups of grains, so you can increase the proportions of the pudding above accordingly if you are putting servings away for later or cooking for a crowd.
- I've been using a dark local honey that I had around, and it is lovely and rich in this cereal. You could also use agave nectar or molasses to shift the flavor lighter or darker.
- Because I don't follow directions very well, I made this the first time by beating the spices and vanilla into the egg while the milk was heating. This is more efficient than the instructions in the book, and I don't think it effects the final flavor. I also added some nutmeg. It is pretty as garnish, but if you aren't planning to photograph your breakfast, just mix it in to the egg with the cinnamon. :)