breakfast quinoaI’m always telling my clients and members of my online challenge groups that it’s important to make sure you are getting protein with every meal.  And yes, this includes breakfast.  But too often people feel limited by their protein options during breakfast. Eggs and oatmeal are great, but maybe you don’t like eggs.  Maybe that’s what you’ve been having for breakfast every for the past few weeks and it’s getting boring.  Fat free Greek yogurt (without the added sugars) is a good option too.  But many people have digestive issues when it comes to dairy.  A meal replacement shake is another great option, but what if that’s your post workout meal for later in the day.  Chances are you don’t want to be replacing more than one meal per day with a shake.  So before you throw in the towel and just say that healthy eating is not for you, I have a potential solution to help add variety to your breakfast options.  And the answer is quinoa.

 Yes this is the same quinoa that maybe you’ve had on a salad or had as a side dish with lunch or dinner instead of rice or another starchy carbohydrate.  Quinoa is such a great food option that mixing up your routine by sometimes making some breakfast quinoa gives you more ways to add this grain to your diet.

If you are not familiar with all of the health benefits of quinoa, you are in for a surprise.  In fact it is so nutrient dense that many health experts consider it to be a “super food.”  First off quinoa is a good source of plant based protein yielding 8g of protein per 1 cup serving.  It’s also high in fiber with 5g per cup.  Quinoa is a great source for many minerals that most people are lacking such as magnesium, potassium, zinc, and iron.  It’s also a great source for vitamins that double as antioxidants, the chemicals that neutralize cancer causing free radicals.  There are many other benefits to quinoa, but by now I think you get the idea.

So how do turn quinoa into a breakfast dish?  It’s easy and below is a basic recipe to follow where you can make several servings and then simply reheat them as needed throughout the week.  In fact my weekly food prep almost always making a few cups of breakfast quinoa so I have it on hand and I never get bored of having the same foods every day.

Ingredients

1 cup of dry quinoa

2 cups of water

¼ cup unsweetened almond milk

1 pinch of sea salt

1 Tbsp of vanilla

1 Tbsp of Cinnamon

Directions:

  1. Place quinoa in a fine sieve and rise with cold water.  Once rinsed, add the quinoa to a medium sauce pan along with the 2 cups of water and bring to a boil.
  2. Reduce heat, cover, and let the quinoa simmer for 15 minutes (or until all of the liquid is absorbed).  Stir occasionally to make sure that the quinoa doesn’t stick to the bottom of the sauce pan.
  3. Add the almond milk, vanilla, and cinnamon to the pan and fluff the quinoa mixing all of the ingredients together.  Let it cool and absorb the liquid.
  4. Once cooled the quinoa can be eaten immediately or stored in the refrigerator and used throughout the week.