One of my favorite commercials of all time aired during the superbowl a few years ago. Its a bud light commercial and in it, a superstitious Eagles fan grills up a quinoa burger at a tailgate because even though they didn’t taste good, the Eagles won their last game when he ate one by accident. You can hear his inner struggle to pronounce quinoa correctly and I think it’s some of bud light’s best work. Anytime I eat quinoa, I think of this guy saying “queen-o” and laugh.
This quinoa breakfast bowl however, is no laughing matter… and definitely doesn’t taste like dirty tree branches like that guy’s quinoa burger. No way. This bowl is subtly sweet, warm, nutty, and absolutely delicious! I spotted it over on Recipe Runner’s blog and loved the idea of an oatmeal type bowl, but with quinoa instead. I usually buy quinoa for a recipe, but never use the whole bag, so uncooked quinoa is often just sitting in my pantry for eons begging to be used. No more!
In this recipe quinoa gets a sweet upgrade with some cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and just a touch of maple syrup. Quinoa definitely has a more noticeable flavor than my normal mild oats. I don’t love adding sweeteners to things, but a little in this recipe does wonders for the flavor. Once you have your perfect quinoa base, you top your bowl with a tangy dollop of greek yogurt, a healthy serving of warm tender cooked apples, and then a sprinkling of chopped pecans & shredded coconut. It’s like a super mature and swanky version of those apple cinnamon oatmeal packets I used to eat as a kid. Can you say adulthood?
I made this all at once and ate it on a slow Sunday morning, but if your mornings are crazy hectic I think the flavors here might be even better if they have time to intensify in the fridge overnight. I’d make the quinoa and apples the night before or on the weekend when I have some time and let them sit in the fridge together. Then in the morning I’d add in my dollop of greek yogurt, chopped nuts, & coconut. Quick, easy, and so so yummy. I think it’s nice to switch things up from my usual oatmeal bowl, but if you’re a diehard oats fan or can’t get into the whole quinoa for breakfast thing, this would be equally tasty with oatmeal.
Apple Cinnamon Breakfast Quinoa (Makes 2 Servings)
1/2 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed & drained) (I used tricolored because that’s what I had, but you can use any kind of quinoa)
1 cup water
pinch of salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
light drizzle of maple syrup
2 tablespoons milk
For the Apples:
1 apple, peeled & chopped
1 tsp kerrygold butter or coconut oil
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
dollop of greek yogurt
shredded coconut/coconut flakes
Bring your uncooked quinoa, water, and pinch of salt to a boil in a small pot. Reduce to a simmer and let cook for about 15 minutes or until quinoa is tender and the water is absorbed.
Stir in the cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, a drizzle of maple syrup, and milk. Remove from the heat and let sit covered for 5-10 minutes to let all those flavors come together.
For the apples, melt the butter or coconut oil over medium high heat. Stir in the apples and cinnamon and let cook until the apples start to soften and get all cinnamon-y & delicious (about 7 minutes).
To assemble, split quinoa into two bowls. Dollop greek yogurt on top and sprinkle with a little additional cinnamon. Then divide the cooked apples evenly over the two bowls and top with chopped pecans and coconut if desired.
Recipe adapted from Recipe Runner.