PPS: Breakfast Quinoa

This dish is featured as part of my Passover Prep Series – a collection of recipes to enjoy whether you celebrate Passover or not! If this is your first time visiting Cara’s Cravings during the PPS, click here to read more about it.

Wheat, barley, oats, spelt, and rye. And if you’re Ashkenazic, add to that list: legumes, corn, rice… and that list can go on and on depending on how strict you are! These are the things we can’t eat during Passover. But I try to be optimistic and think about what I can eat.

A few years ago, I discovered a new-to-me food that Jews can eat during Passover: quinoa. Quinoa is actually considered a grass, not a grain, which is why it is kosher for Passover. But since it resembles a grain and cooks like a grain, it can be used like rice, couscous, bulgur, etc. That is, you can simply cook it and add whatever vegetables, cheese, spices, and herbs your heart (or tummy) desires. And you know what else? It’s really darn good for you. Quinoa is packed with more fiber and protein than most grains, and it’s gluten-free so you can share it with all your gluten-free-eatin’ friends.

I started eating quinoa one Passover a few years back, and since it’s so healthy and tasty, I haven’t stopped. But only recently I discovered another delicious way to enjoy quinoa: as a hot breakfast cereal. A warm bowl of quinoa can be spiffed up any which way, just like oatmeal. And, it will keep you full for a long time, I promise. So if you always find yourself mourning your beloved bowl of warm oats during Passover, why not try quinoa instead?

I’ve made my breakfast quinoa two ways. The first is very simple (actually, so is the second.) Simply cook your quinoa in the normal 2:1 liquid:dry quinoa ratio using your favorite milk as the liquid, and add whatever you like in terms of sweetener, fruit, nuts, etc (and you oat lovers know that’s a big “etc.”) Now, remember the other day when I told you something new I learned. That was from this bowl of quinoa you see here. I learned that cooking quinoa in almond milk (my new love!) makes this awesome maple-like flavor. And I didn’t even sweeten it, unless you count the chopped dates and walnuts I added to the mix. Seriously, delish.
But this is not my favorite method for making breakfast quinoa, and that’s a good thing, because I think the second is even simpler on a busy morning. It just requires a little planning ahead. The night before, throw a serving of quinoa on the stove to cook in water while you go about your other business. When it’s done, let it cool and stick it in a bowl in the fridge. In the morning, put it back in the pot along with a 1/2 cup of your favorite milk (again, almond milk is so delicious here!), bring to a boil and cook for a few minutes until it’s thick and most of the milk as been absorbed. Then go ahead and add whatever you like – sliced strawberries are another favorite of mine. If you think the bowl of quinoa pictured looks a little measly, don’t worry. So do I. I like my food to be of low density: high volume, low calories. And I find that this cooking and re-cooking method produces a bulkier bowl. So not only is it easier, but I get to feel like I’m eating more. That gets two points in my book!
Do you eat quinoa for breakfast? If so, share your favorite way to make it! I will love you for it, and I’m sure someone else will too!
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19 Responses to “PPS: Breakfast Quinoa”

  1. 1

    GF Gidget — March 21, 2010 @ 1:11 pm Reply

    I have never had quinoa for breakfast. Hm… I might try it one day…

  2. 2

    GF Gidget — March 21, 2010 @ 1:23 pm Reply

    I've been browsing your recipes this morning. They are wonderful! I need to explore your blog more often when looking for recipe ideas!

  3. 3

    yumventures — March 22, 2010 @ 1:36 am Reply

    I love almond milk too! And I love that this is gluten free :) Great recipe, never thought of making quinoa sweet!

  4. 4

    Burp and Slurp~! — March 22, 2010 @ 2:59 am Reply

    I've never had quinoa in this version, though I've always been intrigued. I once tried cooking quinoa and it turned out so bitter, it kind of turned me off. I'm willing to try again!

  5. 5

    Núria — March 22, 2010 @ 11:14 am Reply

    Mmm, please hand me a spoon; never tasted quinoa before but I'm sure it could be one of my favourites :D

  6. 6

    marla {Family Fresh Cooking} — March 22, 2010 @ 12:14 pm Reply

    Looks like we are both on the same page with the quinoa! In order to bulk it up you can stir in some ground flax seed and/or chia seeds. I always like my meal to appear way bigger than it really is! Love the almond milk suggestion.

  7. 7

    Dawn — March 22, 2010 @ 1:32 pm Reply

    Quinoa is definitely now on the list to try for breakfast!

  8. 8

    Elina — March 22, 2010 @ 6:19 pm Reply

    I've had quinoa for breakfast before and loved it. 101 cookbooks has a great recipe!

  9. 9

    sTyliSH1 — March 22, 2010 @ 7:39 pm Reply

    Hmm I heard that the best way to make Quinoa for breakfast is to soak overnight. I wonder if that's true, your recipe looks delish though

  10. 10

    Julie — March 23, 2010 @ 1:03 am Reply

    I've never even had quinoa! I definitely need to give it a try, looks great :)

  11. 11

    ChubbyNewlywed — March 23, 2010 @ 7:27 pm Reply

    I love quinoa for lunch/dinner but I've only had it for breakfast once and I made it in the microwave and it was, well… bleck. I may just have to try this, maybe this weekend. Thanks!

  12. 12

    grace — March 24, 2010 @ 10:24 am Reply

    like a lot of folks, i haven't tried quinoa in this way, and i'm baffled as to why–it sounds amazing! forget oatmeal and grits–no, i can't forget grits–i'll be trying quinoa the next time i'm craving a warm breakfast!

  13. 13

    Michele | aka Raw Juice Girl — March 24, 2010 @ 2:40 pm Reply

    I heart quinoa. But I have never had it for breakfast – I always have it as a savory dish. I'll have to try it for breakfast some time. ;-)

  14. 14

    amber — March 24, 2010 @ 4:47 pm Reply

    I'm so happy to have found this blog! I'm on a specific eating plan right now which severely limits my grain intake, but there are so many recipes here that will work for me. You are awesome! :)

  15. 15

    JackieA31509 — March 25, 2010 @ 11:58 am Reply

    Quinoa is great- and this recipe is too! Cara, one thing I just want to mention for those who are strictly observant during Passover; in order to eat Quinoa for Passover, it truly needs to be processed in a facility that ONLY processes Quinoa (or other Pesach friendly foods). The reason is it really can't have any traces of wheat or barley, and a lot of companies do this. So just a warning! Here's some info for you: http://www.kashrut.com/Passover/Quinoa/

  16. 16

    Cara — March 25, 2010 @ 12:20 pm Reply

    Thanks Jackie! The good news from the article is that Ancient Harvest and Trader Joe's brand quinoa are suitable for Passover, for anyone who is interested. I would also think that any quinoa that is certified as being gluten-free must be free from any cross-contamination by wheat or barley, so for some people a gluten-free certification might be sufficient (based on personal preference of how strict you want to be, of course.)

  17. 17

    JackieA31509 — April 5, 2011 @ 1:19 am Reply

    Quinoa is great- and this recipe is too! Cara, one thing I just want to mention for those who are strictly observant during Passover; in order to eat Quinoa for Passover, it truly needs to be processed in a facility that ONLY processes Quinoa (or other Pesach friendly foods). The reason is it really can't have any traces of wheat or barley, and a lot of companies do this. So just a warning! Here's some info for you: http://www.kashrut.com/Passover/Quinoa/

  18. 18

    Trazey34 — May 18, 2011 @ 6:46 pm Reply

    I make this a lot (i prefer the breafasty type as opposed to the savoury, haven't quite perfected it as a meal side dish yet!) but the first round of cooking it, I cook it in APPLE JUICE!  then in the morning i cover it in unsweetened almond milk and bring to a boil with some teeny tiny chopped apple, walnuts and dried cranberry.  Whatever is left over, i put some more almond milk on it, and leave it covered in the fridge – easy to nuke the next morning! score! 

  19. 19

    Cara — May 18, 2011 @ 6:47 pm Reply

    That sounds incredible!

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