Friday, September 4, 2015

Tasty Baked Quinoa- It's Healthy, You Know!

I don't know if you know this, but I'm a busy gal. You too? Well, then you understand the challenge of getting the chores done, yourself put together, and getting a healthy breakfast before you leave every morning- don't you. Thus the quinoa.
My fall back, go-to, make ahead breakfast dish is baked oatmeal. It's simple, filling, economical, healthy and rather easy to stir together. Having the oven preheating, I started stirring ingredients before actually gathering all of them when I realized- no oats. Yep. What do you do when you have already started and- no oats? Improvise.
Being one to never give up I scanned the shelves for a worthy substitute; sadly I haven't shopped in a couple weeks (hubby has been stalking the shelves for BlueBell, but that's another story entirely). I ended up with a bag of quinoa. Hm- challenging, to say the least.
 My first attempts at quinoa were rather flat and unflavorful disasters which caused my family members to write it off completely. Yes, I touted the amazing healthy benefits of this 'ancient grain'- the iron, magnesium, potassium- the Vitamin E and fiber. It wasn't until I decided to dump it in home made bone broth that we actually started liking it. 
So, with that said, the thought of putting this rather tasteless 'nutritional powerhouse' into my delicious baked oatmeal recipe seemed, well, sacrilegious.Not to be dissuaded, I picked up my bag of tasteless grains and set off on a quest to make them stinking delicious.

Cinnamon Baked Quinoa

You need:
3 cups cooked quinoa (see note)*
4 eggs, beaten
1/3 cup milk of choice (I used coconut)
1/3 cup liquid sweetener (I used agave)
   1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons oil of choice (I used coconut)
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees; grease your 9"x13" pan with the coconut oil. 
Stir everything together in a bowl. Pour into the prepared pan.
Bake 25-30 minutes or until center is set and top has nicely browned.
*Note: 1 cup of dry quinoa cooked in 2 cups of water at a simmer for 15 minutes yields 3 cups cooked quinoa (red, white or multi-colored).
Variations I like:
Use maple for the sweetener.
Add in dried berries.
Stir in chia seed or flax seed or both (I used 2 tablespoons)
Serve with fruit on top!

I really liked it- my family was slower to come around; still scarred from their first devastating encounter, I guess. Never the less, it is a great recipe that freezes well, reheats nicely, and is quite portable if you have to eat at the office (or in the car in a parking lot- don't ask). 
Maybe next time I can try oats with quinoa, or baked barley- even some psyllium husks. Okay, maybe that was too far!
Anyway, if you try it let me know what you think!

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