Quinoa Breakfast Porridge

A few months ago when I found out my cholesterol was a whopping 256, I decided to try to eat a vegan breakfast, vegetarian lunch, and omnivorous dinner. It only lasted a few weeks, but one thing stuck...quinoa. I love it! And while most people I know eat it as a savory side dish, I (of course) went straight for a sweet dish for breakfast. When it comes to hot breakfast cereals, I cannot stand the pasty texture of oatmeal, but this dish makes a nice substitute.

Quinoa has a texture more like rice or cous-cous (cue The Man saying "food so nice they named it twice"), and for me, this is much more tolerable. Quinoa's mild, nutty flavor lends itself to a multitude of dishes, and it's considerably healthier than other packaged hot cereals: it's a complete protein and very high in fiber, magnesium, iron, and calcium. Vegetarians and vegans rejoice!

Every weekend, I make a pot of this wonderful hot breakfast and reheat a portion of it each morning. (It's a great dish for reheating!) It's simple, relatively quick-cooking, and it's a delightfully cozy dish as the weather gets colder. It's become a staple for me, and now that I'm eliminating gluten from my diet, this is a welcome mainstay in my diet.

Quinoa Breakfast Porridge
(serves 4)

1 c quinoa, rinsed
1 c water
1 c milk (use a dairy-free milk if it suits you)
2 T flax seed meal
1-2 T raw honey, to taste
cinnamon and nutmeg to taste
dried fruit pieces
nuts, chopped

In a medium saucepan, combine quinoa, water, milk, flax seed meal, honey, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Bring to a boil for 5 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent sticking. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook for another 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and keep covered until the liquid is completely absorbed, about 10 more minutes. Fluff with a fork.

Serve topped with your choice of chopped fruit and nuts (and I add another tablespoon or two more of milk for extra creaminess).


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