Sunday, November 23, 2008

Warm Cinnamon Orange Quinoa

On my quest for a filling and nutritious breakfast that would a) keep me warm and b) keep me full from 6:00 am to 12:00 pm, I fell upon Heidi's interpretation of Dr. John La Puma's quinoa breakfast bowl. Food TV Canada has a good rundown of why quinoa (keen-wah) is so great:

  • It was the main food staple of the Incan civilization; it has been cultivated for more than 5,000 years and is known as the "Mother Grain"
  • It has been classified as a super-crop by the United Nations
  • It contains more protein than any other grain
  • It's a good source of fibre, phosphorus, calcium, vitamin E and several B vitamins
  • It's high in magnesium, potassium, and iron
  • It's gluten-free and easy to digest
  • It's a complete protein
How can you go wrong? Now, me being me, I of course couldn't follow Heidi's recipe exactly, so mine turned out something like this:

  • 1.5 cups of rinsed and toasted organic white quinoa (To rinse quinoa, run it under cold water in a strainer until the water runs clear. It has a bitter saponin coating on it to keep predators away that you don't want to eat. To toast it, heat it in a dry skillet over medium-high heat until some of the grains begin to pop, it smells nutty, and you can see it getting darkly golden in places.)
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 cup of low-fat milk
  • 2/3 cup orange juice
  • Zest of a large orange
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 bag frozen mixed berries
  • Honey
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Walnuts
  • Chia seeds
  • In a large pot, combine the quinoa, the three first liquids, the orange zest, and the cinnamon. It seems like a lot of cinnamon, but this makes a big batch.
  • Bring the pot to a boil; once it is boiling, cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until the quinoa is tender, you can see its little spiral showing, and the liquid is absorbed.
  • In another pot, combine the berries, a drizzle of orange juice, and another of honey over medium heat. Simmer until it has reached the consistency of runny jam. Remove from heat, pour into a jug, and stir in the lemon juice.
  • When the quinoa is cooked, fluff with a fork. Spoon into a bowl, then top with a good glug of the berries, and a sprinkling of walnuts and chia. Serve hot.
  • Store the extra quinoa and berries in the fridge so that you've got an easy, hot breakfast ready for the week.
Makes 6-8 servings.


Mariecel said...

Yummy photo! I will have to try that recipe sometime.

I'm already cringing at how I will have to pronounce it at the store, so that a German would understand it. It'll probably be something along the lines of kveen-oh-a. I could try saying keen-wah, but they'll just "correct" me. LOL

John La Puma MD said...

Thanks so much for the shout-out!
My Breakfast Quinoa recipe is perfect for improvising...enjoy.
n.b. We'll send my free, healthy, easy quick recipes like this one to anyone who wants one, every week, at

Melissa said...

Thanks for the comments! It was absolutely delicious, and I have a feeling that is going to become a breakfast staple. I'm now contemplating adapting it for a rice cooker, so that I can put it on the evening before I want to make it.

According to Babelfish, this is the German world for quinoa: Reismelde. Sound right? I have NO idea.

Margo said...

I am SO trying this recipe. Quinoa is a staple of my diet but I never thought of making it for breakfast! YAY MELISSA! I heart you.

Melissa said...

Margo, I'd love some savoury quinoa ideas, if you've got some. Next time I'm at Noah's (probably tomorrow!), I'm going to get some of the red kind as well.
I'm so excited that you want to try it. I heart you too. :)

Anonymous said...

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