Browsing Tag:

quinoa

Brunch/ RECIPES

Quinoa for Breakfast | 3 Ways

Cinnamon Chia Quinoa Breakfast

 Why Quinoa for Breakfast?

Eating a quinoa breakfast gives a great nutritional start to your day. It will keep you full for hours thanks to the 8 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber in just one cup! Quinoa is technically a seed, not a grain, and packs all nine essential amino acids your body needs. It contains iron, vitamin B, and my fav–the calming mineral, magnesium! This is just a few of the nutrients in quinoa, there are much more!

2 Staple Quinoa Breakfast Toppings: Chia & Hemp

If you top your quinoa breakfast bowls with chia and hemp seeds, you add even more health benefits. It ups the protein, fiber, and those good omega’s.

Chia seeds have 5 grams of fiber per tablespoon, which is a big deal, as most people are not getting enough fiber in their diet.

Hemp seeds contain all essential amino acids, just like quinoa, which is unusual for plant protein sources, so they are a great addition for people on a vegetarian or vegan diet.  I like to think that the good fats (omega-3 alpha-linolenic acids) in hemp (and chia, and quinoa!) help keep my skin looking as fresh and smooth as possible.

Strawberry Chia Hemp Quinoa Breakfast Bowl

How to make Quinoa

Making quinoa is very similar to making rice, but with the extra step of rinsing the quinoa. Rinsing is no big deal, just measure into a fine mesh strainer, rinse and strain.

I prefer making quinoa in my Instant Pot pressure cooker, but you can make it on the stovetop or in a rice cooker.

Here are instructions for all 3 methods:

 

Stove Top Instructions

4-6 servings

Ingredients:

1 cup quinoa (any variety–white, golden, red, black or a mixture)

2 cups water

1/2 teaspoon salt

 

Tools:

Fine-Mesh Strainer

2-quart saucepan with lid

Spoon

 

Instructions:

Rinse the quinoa –this is important. Quinoa has a natural coating, called saponin, that can make the cooked grain taste bitter or soapy. Luckily, it’s easy to get rid of this coating just by rinsing the quinoa just before cooking. Boxed quinoa is often pre-rinsed, but it doesn’t hurt to give the seeds an additional rinse at home.

Measure 1 cups of quinoa and place into a fine-mesh strainer. Rinse thoroughly with cool water. Rub and swish the quinoa with your hand while rinsing. Drain.

Add rinsed quinoa to the pan. Add liquid and salt and bring to a rolling boil.

Turn heat down to the lowest setting. Cover and cook for 15 minutes.

Remove the pot from the heat and let stand for 5 more minutes, covered. Don’t peek!

Remove the lid. Fluff the quinoa gently with a fork, and serve. If any liquid remains in the bottom of the pan or if the quinoa is still a bit crunchy, return the pot to low heat and cook, covered for another 5 minutes. until all the water has been absorbed.

 

Rice Cooker Instructions:

Use 2:1 liquid-to-quinoa ratio and cook according to rice cooker instructions.

 

Instant Pot Instructions:

1 1/2 c water | 1 c rinsed quinoa| 1/2 t salt | 1 min | HP | NR
Combine one cup rinsed quinoa, 1 1/2 cups water, and 1/2 t. salt in the Instant Pot. Seal and set it to cook on high pressure (HP) for 1 minute. Use natural release (NR).

Cinnamon Chia Quinoa Breakfast Bowl

Quinoa Breakfast–3 ways:

Maple Cinnamon Breakfast Quinoa

1/2 cup cold cooked quinoa

1 tbsp hemp seeds

1 tbsp chia seeds

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp maple syrup

Splash almond milk

Add quinoa to a jar, bowl or glass. Sprinkle with seed & cinnamon. Drizzle with maple syrup. Add almond milk to your taste.

Strawberries & Cream Chia Hemp Quinoa Breakfast Bowl

Strawberries & Cream Breakfast Quinoa

1/2 cup cold cooked quinoa

1 tbsp hemp seeds

1 tbsp chia seeds

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp maple syrup

3-5 fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced

Splash almond milk

Add quinoa to a jar, bowl or glass. Top with strawberry slices. Sprinkle with seed & cinnamon. Drizzle with maple syrup. Add almond milk to your taste.

Peaches and Cream Quinoa Breakfast

Peaches and Cream Breakfast Quinoa

1/2 cup cold cooked quinoa

1 T hemp seeds

1 T chia seeds

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp maple syrup

1/2 peach, cubed

Splash almond milk

Add quinoa to a jar, bowl or glass. Top with peaches. Sprinkle with seed & cinnamon. Drizzle with maple syrup. Add almond milk to your taste.

Top your breakfast bowl with hearty crunch toasted quinoa!

Tips & Tricks for Easy Breakfast Quinoa

~want to top your breakfast quinoa with crunchy quinoa? Click here for the recipe.

~make a large batch of quinoa at the beginning of the week.

~store in quart mason jars for easy to see and grab from the refrigerator

~keep seeds and toppings together in the cabinet to easily grab for easy morning breakfast prep

~heat quinoa for those chilly mornings

~one cup of dry quinoa yields about 3 cups of cooked quinoa

~to cook one cup of quinoa, you need 2 cups of liquid


I will be sharing some more of my favorite quinoa breakfast bowls and toppings, like Chocolate Cherry Coconut and Pumpkin Spice for fall! Make sure you are subscribed to our email list so you don’t miss a post!

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Brunch/ HEALTH/ Nutrition/ RECIPES/ Sweets

Quinoa Cinnamon Cracker Crumble Topping

QUINOA-CRACKER-CRUMBLE-TOPPING

SUMMER ENTERTAINING

It is almost July and I’m loving every bit of this summer. Comparing it to last, it is a breath of fresh air and full of moments I’m trying hard to hold on to, as my 3 teen girls are growing up so quickly. Every time I blink I feel they change, morphing by the moment!

In this season of life, summer entertaining at our house more often than not involves teenagers! They have sleepovers, watch movies, and literally ‘hang’ out in our backyard in their hammocks. Did you know portable hammocks are a ‘thing’ with teens right now? They are a super fun way to get your teen outdoors with friends, to hang together & socialize with each other and the whole world on their phones.

Smoothie-Breakfast-bowl-Breton

 SMOOTHIE BOWLS

Whenever my teens ask to have a friend sleepover, one of the first thoughts I have is “hmm..what do I have for snacks and breakfast?” We all know food is a very important part of entertaining teens.

My oldest is a cross-country runner and cares about nutrition and health. She wants a healthy breakfast and snacks. My younger two just want tasty and don’t care much about the health status of their snacks, but I’m noticing some of their friends do, so hopefully it will wear off on them!

I have found the perfect healthy solution for both summer sleepover breakfasts & snacks whether the girls have a healthy palate or not…THE SMOOTHIE BOWL!

There is a huge smoothie bowl movement going on and I love it! Just search #smoothiebowl on instagram or twitter and you will see all kinds of beautiful examples.

A smoothie bowl is basically a thick smoothie that you can eat with a spoon, with all kinds of fun toppings. The toppings are a great way to add nutrition to the bowl, and the extra texture makes it feel like a luxurious treat for breakfast.

This is great summer entertainment food for my girls. I can blend up the smoothie in seconds and set out a variety of toppings, from chia seeds to chocolate chips– something to please everyone!

It’s also the perfect food to eat while hammocking outside in the summer sun!

Breton-Cracker-crumbles

Cracker-crumble-baked

QUINOA CINNAMON CRACKER CRUMBLE TOPPING

I made the PERFECT topping for our smoothie bowls. I wanted to add a nice hearty crunch, something like granola but more decadent. Something that tastes like a cinnamon roll but with crunch and a bit of health to go along with it.

Enter my Quinoa Cinnamon Cracker Crumble Topping.

That is so fun to type. It is also so fun to create a recipe, because then I get to name it whatever I want!

Breton-Cracker-Ingredients

This Quinoa Cinnamon Cracker Crumble Topping is amazing and good enough to be eaten alone, straight from the jar. It has cinnamon, maple syrup, butter and just a touch of brown sugar. The crunch comes from raw quinoa and delicious chunks of cracker.

Breton-Cracker-Product

CRACKERS

I used and love Dare Breton Crackers. They are super versatile, great for an extravagant party, an impromptu gathering, or a teenage sleepover. They are loaded with crunch and packed with flavor.

Breton-Cracker-Crumble-1

I coated the cracker chunks with the maple/cinnamon/butter mixture and baked. The quinoa is tasteless but adds amazing crunch factor. Other than the crunch, the best thing about adding quinoa is the protein it adds to the top of your smoothie bowl, which is extra filling and makes my ‘runner girl’ and her friends very happy.

The cracker topping stays nice and crunchy even mixed into a smoothie bowl, down to the very last bite! This cracker topping would also be great on top of yogurt, ice cream, or oatmeal. 

Smoothie-breakfast-bowl-toppings

Breakfast-bowl-toppings

MORE TOPPING IDEAS

I made the smoothie bowls inside, and set my topping bar outside, for guests to help themselves to. I kept the toppings on the healthy side, but really, the sky is the limit when it comes to smoothie bowl toppings. The one topping I will always want now that I’ve tasted it, is the quinoa cracker crunch topping. You guys, I’m telling ya, this recipe is GOOOOD!

 

Here are a few other topping ideas:

chia seeds

chocolate chips

shredded coconut

berries

nuts

hemp seeds

banana

gogi berries

raisins

dried cherries

You could even add some gummy worms when serving teens, although, if I did this I would make the base a green smoothie by adding spinach, to make myself feel better about the worms!

Breton-Cracker-Crumble-2

QUINOA CINNAMON CRACKER CRUMBLE TOPPING

INGREDIENTS:

1/2 sleeve Dare Original Crackers, crumbled (about 1 1/2 – 2 cups crumbled)

1/4 cup melted butter

1/3 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/3 cup maple syrup

1 tablespoon brown sugar

sprinkle of salt

 

INSTRUCTIONS:

Crumble the crackers into a bowl, keeping some nice big chunks. In a separate bowl, melt butter. Add cinnamon, maple syrup and quinoa to the butter and stir well. Pour over crackers and toss to coat.

Spread into a buttered baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes. Be careful not to over-brown.

Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon brown sugar & some salt to taste while still hot. Let cool then toss and store in an airtight container. I love using a mason jar.

smoothie-breakfast-bowl-2

SMOOTHIE BOWL RECIPE

INGREDIENTS:

1/3 cup yogurt (can use smashed avocado to keep it vegan)

1 frozen banana

1 cup frozen strawberries

1-2 tablespoons maple syrup

1/2 – 1 cup milk of choice (I used almond)

INSTRUCTIONS:

Put all ingredients in a blender. Start with 1/2 cup of milk and add more until vortex forms in the middle and ingredients can blend freely. Don’t add too much milk.  The key to the smoothie bowls is keeping it thick enough to eat with a spoon.

Pour into a bowl and add Quinoa Cinnamon Cracker Crumble & your choice of toppings.

QUINOA-CRACKER-CRUMBLE-PIN-MAIN

{PIN ME PLEASE?}

WHAT ABOUT YOU?

Have you done much summer entertaining this year?

What are your favorite cracker recipes?

Want more ideas for using crackers in creative ways to entertain? Check out Dare Breton Cracker for a ton of great recipe ideas!

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Brunch/ GF, Vegan & Raw/ Healthy Eating/ RECIPES

Crunchy Toasted Quinoa Topping

 CRUNCHY QUINOA TOPPING

{“This shop is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and Pure Via®, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #PureViaSweethttp://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV”}

Crunchy Toasted Quinoa Topping!  You are going to love this. It is an amazing way to add a healthy protein crunch to the top of your daily oatmeal or a berry yogurt snack.  It would even be great on top of ice cream.

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I have been thinking about this recipe for about 2 years now. Yep, it is about time I allowed my taste buds the privilege of tasting crunchy, roasted, toasted quinoa again.

The first time I had toasted quinoa, I didn’t even know what it was! We were enjoying an amazing family trip at Disney, and were at Boma, a restaurant in the Animal Kingdom Lodge. Boma is known for their breakfast buffet, and I’m a huge breakfast fan, so I was pretty excited to wake up that morning and EAT!

Continue Reading…

Meals/ RECIPES/ Sides

White Bean, Quinoa & Kale Soup

Bowl of white bean quinoa and kale soup
This soup is easy to make, and full of so much nutritious goodness!  Great plant protein from both the beans and the quinoa.  Fiber and tons of nutrients from all the beautiful plant food–onions, carrots, celery, garlic, kale, tomatoes!  All of that goodness creates great flavor.  This soup is hearty and warming.  I serve it with some sourdough bread for dipping.
Making soup and eating it for lunch or dinner is a GREAT way to get those servings of vegetables in. Add a green leafy salad and you could get up to 5 servings of vegetables in one meal!  Now that is what I’m talking about! 

White Bean, Quinoa & Kale Soup
via Enlightened Cooking
Makes 6 big servings

1 tbsp olive oil
1-1/4 cups chopped onion (about 1 medium-large onion)
1-1/4 cups chopped carrots (about 2 medium carrots—no need to peel)
1 cup chopped celery (about 2 large stalks)
4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
8 cups prewashed and cut kale
1 14.5-oz can diced tomatoes, undrained
2/3 cup quinoa (rinsed)
8 cups reduced-sodium vegetable broth
1-1/2 tbsp Italian herb seasoning
1 19-oz can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained

1. Heat oil in a large heavy pot over medium-high heat until hot. Add onion, carrots, celery and garlic. Cook and stir 5 minutes. Add kale and cook and stir 1 minute.
2. Add the tomatoes with juice, quinoa, broth, and herbs and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until quinoa is cooked, about 20 minutes.
3. Place half of beans in a small bowl and coarsely mash with a fork. Stir mashed and whole beans into soup and simmer, stirring occasionally, until soup is slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

GF, Vegan & Raw/ RECIPES/ Sides

Quinoa & Black Bean Salad

I love it when I find a recipe that after tasting it, I immediately know it will be a recipe that I will be making and enjoying often.  This is one of those recipes.  A staple.

It uses quinoa, a grain (a seed, actually) that is gluten free and high in protein.  Quinoa contains all 9 essential amino acids making it a complete protein. The addition of beans in this recipe makes it super healthful and full of protein.  It is a great example of how plant foods can be filling and make a full meal.

Quinoa is super easy to prepare.  It is very much like making rice, 2 parts liquid to one part quinoa.  The only difference is that you need to rinse quinoa to avoid a slight bitter taste.

Quinoa is super mild in flavor, and ends up taking on whatever flavor you add to it, again, much like rice.

Quinoa & Black Bean Salad
Yield: 10 servings
1 teaspoon vegetable oil {I used coconut oil}
1 onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, diced
3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
3/4 cup uncooked quinoa {I used red quinoa}
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup frozen corn kernels
1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro {I skipped this}
Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Add the onion and pepper, and saute until lightly browned.  Mix in the garlic and heat until fragrant, about 30 seconds.  Stir in the quinoa, then pour in the vegetable broth.  Season with cumin, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper.  Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 20 minutes.
Stir in the frozen corn and continue to simmer about 5 more minutes, until heated through.  Remove from the heat and stir in the black beans and cilantro.  Serve warm or cold.

This recipe can be eaten warm, at room temperature, or cold.  It makes the perfect pot luck dish, and a great grain salad to keep in the refrigerator for a quick and filling lunch.

I like to take it to go in a small mason jar, and eat it outside, sitting in the springtime sun while writing.

Try it!  Let me know what you think.

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