RECIPE: Creamy Quinoa with Apples and Almonds
Quinoa is often a grain that is thought of for pilafs and salads. But I wondered if you could also use it as a cereal grain for breakfast. I have been on the 17 day diet, moving into phase 2 where you can introduce specific grains back in your diet in small amounts on certain days. Quinoa is a grain that is packed with protein and low in carbs, and on the "approved" grain list. So I whipped up this breakfast dish, being so sick of eggs every morning! It turned out yummy, and even my 9 year old ate it with pleasure. If I were to throw "diet caution" to the wind, I would sub milk for the water amount. I would also add honey or brown sugar and more butter. I would also saute the apples in the butter first before adding the grains and milk. But as healthy as this was, it had great flavor and the quinoa (often bitter) was creamy and delicate. We're keeping this in the meal rotation even after I am off this diet!
Creamy Quinoa with Apples and Almonds
1 tart apple, cored and chopped
1 cup quinoa
1 cup low fat milk
1 cup water
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla
1 Tbsp. butter
2-3 Tbsp. sugar substitute or real sugar
1-2 Tbsp. toasted sliced almond (I used the pretoasted salad topping ones to save time)
Extra milk, honey or sugar on top for garnish
In a mesh strainer, rinse the quinoa very well over cold water, tossing and draining as you go. I do this for quite a few minutes. It helps to take the bitterness down from the grain by rinsing very well.
Add the quinoa to a saucepan and add the milk, water, cinnamon, salt and vanilla. Cook on medium heat until it begins to boil. Lower the heat to a simmer, and add the chopped apples, sugar and butter. Mix every few minutes. Cook for 5-10 minutes, or until the liquid is absorbed and grains and apples are tender. Take off heat and let sit a few minutes. Serve with a generous sprinkle of almonds on top, and a small drizzle of extra milk. If you wish, drizzle with honey as well.