Forgive me food lords for I have sinned. I have a confession to make.
I've always viewed this little berry grain to be boring, a bit bland, and far too expensive.
We used to sell it as a salad at my work but I always thought you needed a hell of a lot of quinoa to make even a dent in your bowl, so I never really saw the point. And I was under the impression a truckload of herbs, spices and dressing would be required to make it taste even a bit appealing. Basically, I've never really known how to cook with it. Or what to eat it with. I was confused. Baffled.
However, I've since learnt you can teach an old dog (that's me) new tricks. For the past .... lifetime...I have been a muesli and porridge addict. This year, I decided I needed to change my breakfast routine up for fear of turning into one giant baked and crispy ball of oats. I found that exploring with ways to cook new grains and cereals was a good way to create different patterns of behaviour - and keep my mornings interesting and healthy.
After seeing a few recipes of this kind floating around, the quinoa, yoghurt and chia seed 'breakfast pudding' was born.
The quinoa and chia seeds seem to soak up the yoghurt over night, which means a little goes a long way and the simple flavours mesh well with the lovely vanilla and cinnamon. The addition of some delicious, sweet berries and crunchy walnuts means you've got yourself a good little dessert for breakfast.
So, start your day backwards like me, and give it a go. Use any fruit or nuts or combo of flavours you'd like and experiment with different grains - think pearl barley, brown rice, or rolled rye with stewed pears or rhubarb or fresh banana with any seeds or nuts.
Fun times ahead!
Quinoa and Chia seed 'breakfast pudding'
1 cup cooked quinoa
1 cup natural, plain unsweetened yoghurt
1/2 a cup chia seeds
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
1/2 a cup berries
A handful of walnuts
Combine quinoa, chia, yoghurt, cinnamon and vanilla bean. Cover and leave in the fridge overnight. Serve with berries and walnuts and a drizzle of honey, if you'd like.
Oh, but what's in store tomorrow, you ask? Nutritious ideas for quick mid-week breakfasts...