While riding home on my bike this afternoon, I was thinking about breakfast options. I’m on a break from oatmeal, now that the weather is warm-ish (summer has yet to truly arrive in Chicago). I always have homeade granola bars on hand, but when I’m riding 11 miles in to the office in the morning, but if I eat a granola bar I’m hungry by 10 a.m. I need something just a bit heartier to keep my energy up and creative juices flowing.
My friend Betsey always eats a bowl of quinoa cooked with a bit of ghee in the morning, and so I decided I’d try a slightly sweet quinoa with my favorite oatmeal flavors – cinnamon and vanilla. I cooked the quinoa in my rice cooker as usual, and added a bit of butter to the spices to add just a little richness. The finished quinoa is light, fluffy, and perfectly spiced with a hint of sweetness, and a nutty backnote from the butter. I think I’ll be making many more batches of spiced quinoa for breakfast this summer.
1 1/2 cups quinoa (2 rice cooker cups)
2 T butter, cut into a few pieces
1 T cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
a few grates of fresh nutmeg
3 T brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
Rinse the quinoa well in a fine mesh sieve for a minute or two, then drain. Dump the quinoa in the rice cooker bowl. Add cinnamon, vanilla, nutmeg, salt, brown sugar and then fill the rice cooker bowl to the 2 cup line. Cook on the “quick steam” mode, if you have one. When the quinoa is done, fluff and let cool on the counter before serving, or stashing in storage containers for the week ahead. The quinoa can be eaten room temperature or warmed.