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Easy breakfast bowls: another reason to cook up quinoa

This Sept. 21, 2015, photo shows quinoa pumpkin breakfast bowl in Concord, N.H. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)

I apologize if you’ve heard this from me before, but I must once again urge you to cook up a huge batch of quinoa and keep it in your fridge (or freezer!) for recipes all week.

It’s just such a healthful and versatile ingredient, I find myself making it more and more. It’s packed with protein, full of fiber and vitamins, and — bonus! — it’s gluten-free. It also happens to pair splendidly with so many other ingredients. So trust me and take the few minutes needed to cook up a big batch you can dig into all week.

Your handy stock of quinoa can be used to boost nutrients in salads, be added smoothies, get topped with grilled veggies, tofu, fish or meat, be spooned into soups instead of noodles or rice, or get topped with sauces (think tomato or cheese sauces). Or you can just toss it with a little olive oil, coconut oil or (my new favourite) ghee and serve as a starchy side.

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READ MORE: Not really a grain, but who cares? Getting to know quinoa

With school back in session, I’m making a lot of quick breakfasts that will fill up my kids’ tummies for the whole morning. Enter the quinoa breakfast bowl, which can be easily customized according to your family’s preferences.

The basics: Mix together cooked quinoa with some milk, some flavouring (vanilla, orange zest, coconut or whatever), and heat in the microwave until warm. Top with fruit, nuts and maybe some yogurt, dried fruit or a drizzle of maple syrup. Done. Warm, filling, healthy breakfast bowls that everyone will love.

Today I’m sharing a personal favourite — the quinoa-pumpkin breakfast bowl. The spices and aroma make me feel positively autumnal, even if my San Diego weather disagrees.

QUINOA-PUMPKIN BREAKFAST BOWL

Start to finish: 10 minutes

Servings: 1

  • 3/4 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk (or other milk)
  • 2 tablespoons pumpkin puree
  • Dash of pumpkin spice (or cinnamon and nutmeg)
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup
  • 1/2 banana, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons low-fat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon chopped almonds (or other nut)

In a microwave-safe serving bowl, mix together the quinoa, almond milk, pumpkin puree, pumpkin spice and maple syrup. Heat in the microwave on high until very warm, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir, then top with banana, yogurt and nuts.

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Nutrition information per serving: 330 calories; 60 calories from fat (18 per cent of total calories); 7 g fat (1 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 0 mg cholesterol; 70 mg sodium; 57 g carbohydrate; 8 g fiber; 19 g sugar; 11 g protein.

Editor’s Note: Food Network star Melissa d’Arabian is an expert on healthy eating on a budget. She is the author of the cookbook, “Supermarket Healthy.” 

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