Cranberry & Apple Cinnamon Breakfast Quinoa

Life on the Vedge: Cranberry & Apple Cinnamon Breakfast QuinoaThe most important meal of the day is also my most boring, meaning I have eggs almost every single day. (I’m really banking that the recent research showing eggs don’t raise cholesterol is true! I can’t get enough of them.) So, I am trying to switch it up at least once a week, and this breakfast quinoa is a good way to get protein – plus, you can make a big batch and save it for future breakfasts. When you warm it up again, add a bit of extra milk and you’re good to go.

Ingredients (Makes 3-4 servings):Trader Joe's Tricolor Quinoa
1 cup quinoa, rinsed (I used Trader Joe’s tri color quinoa, because it’s pretty!)

1 cup coconut almond milk (or any milk)

3 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp sugar

1 apple, chopped into small pieces and covered in a bit of lemon juice to prevent browning

1/4 cup dried cranberries

Instructions:

Life on the Vedge: Cranberry & Apple Cinnamon Breakfast Quinoa

  1. Combine quinoa and coconut almond milk in saucepan and bring to a boil.
  2. Turn down to a simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. Add the cinnamon and sugar and combine. Simmer until almost all of the liquid is absorbed.
  4. Add the apple pieces and dried cranberries and combine. Life on the Vedge: Cranberry & Apple Cinnamon Breakfast Cereal
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Southwestern Quinoa – Vegetarian and Gluten-free

I love, love Mexican food. Beans? Good. Peppers? Yum. Avocados? Pile ’em on! Rice? …Eh… can kinda take it or leave it. Today I decided to leave it behind by substituting quinoa for the rice in the typical burrito bowl. Deliciosa! 

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Southwestern Quinoa
Makes 4 servings 

1 cup pre-rinsed quinoa
2 cups vegetable broth
2 red peppers, washed and chopped into bite-size pieces
2 small onions, washed and chopped into bite-size pieces
2 ripe avocados, sliced into bite-size pieces
1 can of black beans, mostly drained (leave a small amount of liquid for flavor)
1 tbsp. olive oil  
Optional: salsa, shredded cheese, sour cream, cayenne, chili powder.

 

  1. Combine quinoa and vegetable broth in saucepan. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down to low and simmer for about 15 minutes, or until the liquid is absorbed.
  2. While quinoa cooks, heat the olive oil for 1-2 minutes in large frying pan. 
  3. Add peppers and onions to frying pan. Stir consistently, and cook until the vegetables reach your desired consistency and begin to brown.  
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  4. Add beans to quinoa and mix; cook for 1-2 minutes until heated through. (If you like a bit of heat to your food, add some cayenne or chili powder at this point.)
  5. Combine vegetables, quinoa & beans and avocado pieces.
  6. Top with desired garnishes – I definitely recommend the cheese! 

Food for Thought: Benefits of Quinoa

 

The nutritious superfood Quinoa (pronounced Keen-wah) is a relatively new food item in the United States – first cultivated here in the 1980s – but it has been a staple for more than 5,000 years for the Incas of the Andes mountains. There are several benefits to eating quinoa, aside from its delicious nutty flavor and crunchy texture:

It’s a complete protein: A complete protein is one that contains all nine amino acids, which humans need for a healthy lifestyle. It is rare to find a vegetarian source of a complete protein, because plants are typically incomplete sources of protein. Quinoa has about eight grams of protein per cup.

It’s a nutritional powerhouse: Aside from protein, quinoa has several other nutritional benefits – it is high in iron (15% daily value), manganese (58%), magnesium (30%), phosphorus (28%), riboflavin (12%) and fiber (5g/cup).

It’s gluten-free: Though quinoa is often prepared and used as a replacement for other grains, it is actually a seed, closely related to spinach and beets. It is completely gluten-free. Quinoa flour is also available for baking and cooking, and there are “pastas” made out of quinoa.

It’s low in fat: Quinoa has very little fat and no saturated fat, so it is a friend to healthy-eaters everywhere.

It’s a complex carbohydrate: Quinoa won’t spike your blood sugar like refined grains will.

Creamy Quinoa Primavera

Quinoa is my latest obsession – it’s a delicious grain-like seed with a slightly nutty flavor and satisfying, crunchy texture. It’s also ideal for vegetarians since quinoa is high in protein compared to other grains.

Quinoa can be used to make an assortment of salads and dishes, but tonight I was craving something creamy and hearty. This recipe cooks the quinoa in vegetable broth instead of water, which adds creaminess without adding many calories or any fat. The cream cheese and parmesan together make this a satisfying quinoa alternative to fettucine alfredo.

Buon appetito!

Creamy Quinoa Primavera
Makes 3-4 servings

Ingredients:
1 cup pre-washed quinoa (if it’s not pre-washed, rinse it before use)
2 cups vegetable broth
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 red bell pepper
1 green bell pepper
3 caprese tomatoes (seeded)
half head of broccoli
1 tsp. minced garlic
3 oz. cream cheese
1/4 cup shaved or grated parmesan cheese

Instructions
1: Clean vegetables and chop into bite-size pieces.

2a: Combine quinoa and vegetable broth in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for 12 minutes, or until nearly all of the liquid has been absorbed. Stir periodically.

2b: While the quinoa is cooking, heat olive oil in medium frying pan.

3: When oil is hot, add garlic, broccoli and peppers. Cook, stirring occasionally, until just tender (about 10 minutes). The vegetables will be a more vibrant color than when you first added them, and the garlic will be fragrant.

4: Add tomatoes to vegetable combo. Cook another 4 minutes.

5: When quinoa is done, add cream cheese and parmesan. Melt using a low flame and stirring constantly, until your quinoa looks like this:

6: Now, combine quinoa and vegetable mixtures.

7: Serve and enjoy!

**Adding some extra parmesan on top can only make it more delicious**