Cinnamon Quinoa Breakfast Bake

Usually around this time of year my diet feels a little boring and stale, and I start picking on foods that aren’t quite the best. For a more clean and wholesome meal, I gravitate towards whole grains like brown rice, israeli couscous, and quinoa. One of my favorites is quinoa because it’s full of so many great nutrients: protein, fiber, iron, and magnesium are just some of the benefits found in these little guys. Also, quinoa cooks a bit faster than brown rice so it’s nice to have on hand when you are short on time. Personally, I don’t love the taste of quinoa all by itself – but made into a delicious dish, it’s excellent. I was recently at Wegmans and saw a four pound bag of quinoa, so of course I had to buy it. This week, to get out of my frump, I’m seeing how many dishes I can come up with to incorporate the grain. Yesterday it showed up in a minestrone soup that I made for lunch, and in little patties with some vegetables for dinner. But my best creation of the day was for breakfast:

Cinnamon Quinoa Breakfast Bake
Adapted from: Gabby’s Gluten Free

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups of quinoa, cooked and cooled slightly (regular, red, or try a mix of both!)
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten (vegan substitutes/suggestions to follow)
  • 1/3 cup of unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1/3 cup of 100% maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon of cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt
  • Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

Optional additions

  • Walnuts, pecans, almonds, rasins, shredded coconut, etc.

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375ΒΊF and place the quinoa in a large mixing bowl. Line an 8-by-8-inch baking pan with lightly greased parchment.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together eggs, almond milk, maple syrup, vanilla extract, cinnamon and nutmeg until thoroughly combined. Add maple syrup and whisk.
  3. Add egg mixture to cooked and cooled quinoa. Add any (or all!) of the optional additions. Stir with a large spoon to combine. Pour into the parchment-lined baking dish and spread it around to ensure that it’s even.
  4. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until set and golden.
  5. Using parchment, remove bake from pan as soon as possible so that it doesn’t steam.
  6. Cool completely and cut into squares. Serve with a dollop of nut butter. Yields 6-9 bars

I’m not vegan, or even a vegetarian. I love to eat and don’t really put a label on my diet. However, I don’t eat a lot of meat and I usually try to avoid dairy products. I enjoy things like cheese and meat (even red meat) so I just try to keep it to a minimum. In this recipe, I used eggs but you can make it vegan by substituting with ingredients like unsweetened applesauce, tofu, mashed bananas, or pumpkin puree. Some great substitutes and their conversions are posted here: Vegan Egg Substitutes.

Enjoy!

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