Breakfast is my absolute favorite. On weekends, Kyle and I typically indulge in stacks of pancakes, piles of hash browns, and gourmet omelets. Because it’s usually so heavy, we almost always need a nap by noon. Lately, I’ve been taking a lighter approach to weekend breakfasts and trying new things that are equally healthy and delicious. Here are two of my favorites:
- Blueberry Maple Quinoa: I mix cooked quinoa with a little almond milk (or soy, if you prefer), add a few generous swirls of maple syrup, and top with fresh blueberries (original recipe found here). First of all, I love quinoa in any shape or form but adding maple syrup to it is kind of amazing. It’s a new take on cereal and has become one of my favorite go-to’s in the morning.
- Avocado Toast: I’ve been really mad at avocados lately because they’ve been so darn expensive. But this past week, they went on sale for the first time in AGES!! I got so excited, I loaded up big time. Now I can have avocado toast anytime I like! My favorite thing to do is toast whole wheat english muffin and spread a thick layer of ripe avocado on it. I sprinkle a little salt and cracked black pepper for added flavor. I eat it just like that! Or, if I’m a little hungrier (which is pretty often), then I add a fried egg on top. Breakfast perfection, I swear!
Apologies for being absent all week but it was simply too hot to blog. Am I right?? How can I think about fall wardrobes and new seasonal recipes when the only thing on my mind is watermelon popsicles and the possible threat of a broken air-conditioning system? No but seriously, the temperature soared to about 115 degrees on Monday and leveled off to about 95 degrees the rest of the week.
Enough excuses though, it’s time to discuss quinoa (keen-wah). Quinoa is one of those foods that I’ve eaten in restaurants, like Veggie Grill and La Pain Quotidien, but never attempted to make at home. Yesterday, I decided it was about time to test it out, so I bought a box of red quinoa at Trader Joe’s without a recipe or any sort of plan (story of my life).
I prepared it on the stove in the same way you make rice or couscous. 1 cup quinoa and 2 cups of water. Though it was shockingly easy to make, I didn’t know what to do with it when all was said and done. I decided to search my favorite food blogs for quinoa recipes and found a simple, yet delicious-looking one on Lovely Morning. She has great recipes, by the way.
I adapted her recipe and added some flair of my own. Here is what I mixed in:
- roasted carrots and shallots: I diced the carrots and shallots; mixed them with extra virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper; spread them evenly on a baking sheet; and roasted them in a 375 degree oven until they were slightly browned on the edges and cooked all the way through.
- half bag of frozen peas
- 1 can of chickpeas/garbanzo beans
- fresh basil
- lemon vinaigrette: This is a super easy, no-fuss vinaigrette that I often pair with simple salads or use as a marinade for chicken and fish. Squeeze the juice of 1-2 lemons into a bowl, whisk in equal parts (maybe a slightly larger amount) of extra-virgin olive oil, and toss in salt and pepper to taste.
As soon as you pair the quinoa with any sort of flavor component (in this case, the lemon vinaigrette and yummy goodness from the roasted veggies), it completely absorbs and takes on that flavor. The salad as a whole was so clean and simple, yet full of flavor and substance. And because of the high levels of protein in both the quinoa itself (super healthy, by the way) and the garbanzo beans, it felt like a full and complete meal on it’s own.
I will definitely experiment with quinoa again, infusing it with as many different flavor combos as possible. Maybe an avocado-lime theme next?