The blog I was assigned to and had the pleasure of pursuing this month was The Avid Appetite, a blog written by fellow foodie Rachel, a working wife and mom who has shared a love and passion for food with her husband Shaun for 14 years. They've been able to do some globe trotting, and now have a pretty little daughter named Penelope they are raising in New Jersey.
Since I follow an 80/20 diet (80 percent fruits and vegetables, 20 percent lean meats), my monthly recipe search can be a little difficult. But as I browsed Rachel's blog, quite a few of her recipes caught my eye, Fresh Fruit Salsa + Cinnamon Sugar Chips, Caramel Apple Cider Shake, and Fish Tacos with Mexican Crema to name just a few. With my special diet, breakfast seems to be the hardest meal for me to deal with, which used to include cereal, oatmeal or muffins. Since I've become gluten and grain intolerant though, these have become a big no-no for me. So when I seen that Rachel had a recipe for something that closely resembled oatmeal, but was grain free, I was intrigued and couldn't wait to try it.
I was fascinated when I saw that Rachel had taken quinoa and turned it into an oatmeal type dish called Vanilla Cinnamon Quinoa. Quinoa has become a staple in my pantry and used as a side dish often since learning how nutritious it is, how exciting to discover I could enjoy it for breakfast too!
- Super Nutritious - Quinoa contains more vitamins, antioxidants and fiber than any grain.
- High in Protein - If you're following a Vegetarian or Vegan diet, getting enough protein can be challenging. Quinoa is one of the only plant-based foods that is a “complete protein” which means it contains all nine essential amino acids.
- Gluten Free - Quinoa is technically a seed (from the Goosefoot plant) So if you have gluten sensitivities or Celiacs, quinoa is the perfect substitute.
Now that I've found out you can use quinoa as a breakfast meal too, I've made it a weekly menu item, and enjoy it at least once a week in the mornings, if not more. I made two slight changes to Rachel's recipe to adapt it to my health issues. Instead of using almond milk (I have a nut allergy) I used canned coconut milk and water, and used coconut sugar instead of brown sugar, so as to make it refined sugar free. This healthy dairy, grain & nut free recipe is so easy to make and versatile too, just add whatever fruits you're craving, from apples to berries.
1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained well
1/3 cup canned coconut milk
3/4 cup water
1 to 2 tablespoons coconut sugar, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Small pinch of salt
Cinnamon and fruit of your choice for toppings
Place quinoa, coconut milk, water, sugar, vanilla and salt in a medium saucepan.
Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and cook, covered, for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit for 5 minutes.
Spoon into serving bowls and top with a sprinkling of cinnamon and fruit.
Thank you for the delicious recipe Rachel. I had fun browsing your blog this month, and learning more about you!