7 Powerful Quinoa Breakfast Bowls

Many cold breakfast cereals are quick and easy but offer little nutritional value. It’s full of refined grains, stripped of their natural nutrients, with added sugars and preservatives. Sure, it’s easy, but there are better options out there.

Breakfast doesn’t have to be complicated. Enter, quinoa.

 

Quinoa

Quinoa was singled out by the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations in 2013 as being a food with high nutritional value. Quinoa has antioxidant phytonutriants and flavanoids. Studies continue to expand on our knowledge of quinoa’s anti-inflammatory properties. It also contains heart-healthy fats and small amounts of omega-3 fatty acid and alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). Quinoa is viewed as a complete protein source, as it contains all 9 essential amino acids.

Quinoa is especially popular among people with wheat allergies. Not only is it gluten-free, it’s in the same family as beets, chard, and spinach.

Just remember, quinoa triples in volume when it cooks, so 1/3 cup will turn into 1 cup by the time you’re done. You generally want one part grain to two parts liquid. It’s quick to cook, with one cup generally taking 15-20 minutes. If it tastes a little bitter, that means it needed to be rinsed better before cooking. The Kitchn has a great guide to mastering quinoa.

Should you worry that increased Western demand for this superfood is hurting farmers in Peru? Recent research has suggested there’s nothing to worry about, as farmers are benefitting from the quinoa craze.

 

If you have leftover quinoa…

Savory Pesto Quinoa Breakfast Bowls
Serves 2
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
5 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
5 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 large eggs
  2. 2 cups cooked quinoa
  3. 1/2 an avocado
  4. 1/4 cup homemade pesto
  5. 2 tablespoons hemp seeds
  6. 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  7. 2 cups fresh basil leaves
  8. 1 cup fresh kale leaves
  9. 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  10. 1/4 cup pine nuts
  11. 1 large garlic clove
  12. 3 – 4 tablespoons olive oil
  13. 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  14. Salt + pepper to taste
Add ingredients to shopping list
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Instructions
  1. Start by adding the eggs to a small saucepan with 1 inch of water in the bottom. Bring the water to a boil, cover the pot and reduce to simmer for 5 – 6 minutes.
  2. While the eggs are cooking, add all the pesto ingredients to a food processor. Process until almost smooth (no large chunks wanted here!).
  3. When eggs are done cooking, rinse them under cold water to stop the cooking process. Let stand in a bowl of cold water for 5 minutes.
  4. Prepare your breakfast bowls: add 1 cup quinoa, half of the avocado thinly sliced and half the pesto.
  5. When eggs have cooled, peel them and slice in half. Add to the bowl and sprinkle with half the hemp and chia seeds.
Notes
  1. Enjoy as is, season with a touch more salt and pepper, or mix it all together (that’s what I did and yum!).
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Adapted from Simply Quinoa
Adapted from Simply Quinoa
Savor Health http://savorhealth.com/
Roasted Tomatoes with Eggs and Quinoa
Serves 1
Ingredients
  1. 6 cherry tomatoes, halved
  2. 1 tsp olive oil
  3. ½ C cooked quinoa
  4. 1 tbsp grated parmesan cheese, divided
  5. Pinch of sea salt
  6. 2 large eggs
  7. 1 tsp fresh chopped oregano
  8. Pinch of ground black pepper
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Instructions
  1. Turn your broiler onto high. Place the tomatoes in an oven safe dish. Drizzle with olive oil. Broil for 5 minutes or until slightly charred.
  2. Toss the quinoa with ½ tbsp of the parmesan cheese and a pinch of sea salt. Place in a shallow bowl or on a plate.
  3. In a skillet, cook the eggs to your preference. I cooked mine sunny side up.
  4. Place the eggs over the quinoa and then spoon the tomatoes over top. Sprinkle with the remaining parmesan cheese, oregano and black pepper.
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Adapted from This Gal Cooks
Adapted from This Gal Cooks
Savor Health http://savorhealth.com/
Quinoa Brunch Bowl
Serves 2
Quinoa
  1. 1 – 2 eggs
  2. 1 1/2 – 2 cups cooked quinoa
  3. 1 ripe avocado, sliced
  4. 8-12 tofu puffs
  5. miso mustard dressing
  6. sliced green onions, as desired
  7. roasted seaweed squares, if desired
Miso Mustard Dressing
  1. 1 tablespoon white miso
  2. 1 tablespoon dijon or whole grain
  3. 2 tablespoons neutral oil
  4. 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  5. squeeze of lemon
  6. pepper to taste
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Instructions
  1. Set up for boiling the eggs by preparing a large bowl of cold water and ice. Set aside for when the eggs are done. Bring a pot of water with 3 inches of water up to to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat until the water is barely simmering. Using a slotted spoon, gently add your eggs and set a timer for 6 minutes for super soft and 6 minutes and 30 seconds for a yolk that’s just a tiny bit more set. When the time is up, use the slotted spoon to remove the eggs and immediately plunge into the ice water bath. Peel carefully.
  2. Make the dressing: Whisk all the ingredients together. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.
  3. Divide the quinoa amongst two bowls and top with eggs cut in half, avocado, tofu puffs, green onions and seaweed. Dress to taste with the miso mustard dressing.
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Adapted from I Am a Food Blog
Adapted from I Am a Food Blog
Savor Health http://savorhealth.com/
Spiced Chai Breakfast Quinoa
Serves 2
Ingredients
  1. 1 cup quinoa
  2. 2 cups 1% milk
  3. 1 large egg white
  4. 1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar, unpacked
  5. 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  6. 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  7. 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  8. 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  9. 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  10. 2 dashes ground cloves
  11. Unsweetened coconut flakes and/or nuts for topping (optional)
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Instructions
  1. Bring milk to a full simmer in a small saucepan. Add quinoa, return to a simmer and reduce heat to the lowest setting. Cover, leaving a tiny crack for steam to escape, and simmer until about two-thirds of the milk has been absorbed, about 15 minutes.
  2. Remove from heat and stir in egg white, brown sugar, vanilla and spices. Return pan to stove, covering again with a tiny crack for steam to escape, and continue to cook on low until almost all the milk has been absorbed, about 5 minutes.
  3. If desired, serve with additional milk and garnish with coconut flakes, nuts and/or additional brown sugar.
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Adapted from According to Elle
Adapted from According to Elle
Savor Health http://savorhealth.com/
Milk and Honey Quinoa Bowl
Serves 1
Ingredients
  1. 1 cup cooked quinoa
  2. 1 cup milk
  3. 1 tablespoon raisin
  4. 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  5. 1 teaspoon liquid honey
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Adapted from Canadian Living
Adapted from Canadian Living
Savor Health http://savorhealth.com/
Cinnamon Quinoa Breakfast Bowl
Ingredients
  1. ½ cup uncooked quinoa
  2. 1 cup Almond Breeze Almondmilk, Original or Vanilla
  3. 1-2 cinnamon sticks
  4. pinch of salt
  5. piece of a vanilla bean, optional (don’t use vanilla extract)
toppings
  1. toasted sliced almonds
  2. toasted coconut flakes
  3. peaches
  4. raspberries
  5. maple syrup, optional
  6. extra splashes of almond milk, optional
  7. more spices, to taste (cinnamon, nutmeg, etc.), optional
Add ingredients to shopping list
If you don’t have Buy Me a Pie! app installed you’ll see the list with ingredients right after downloading it
Instructions
  1. Rinse and drain the quinoa.
  2. Place it in a small saucepan and add the almond milk, 1-2 cinnamon sticks, and a pinch of salt. Bring to a high simmer, cover and reduce heat to a low simmer for 15 minutes. (Tip: don't walk away, if it starts bubbling, turn the heat off, give it one stir mid-cook if you need to, and resume).
  3. After 15 minutes, remove the pan from the heat and let the quinoa sit for 5 more minutes or until the almond milk is absorbed and the quinoa is cooked. Taste and add additional spices to your liking.
  4. Scoop the quinoa into two bowls and top with toasted almonds, toasted coconut, and fruit. Serve with maple syrup if you like. Enjoy as a fluffy pilaf, or as more a porridge with warm almond milk poured on top.
Notes
  1. cooked quinoa can be stored in the fridge for 4-5 days. Serve at room temp or heat it as you're ready to serve. If it's dry, add a few more splashes of almond milk.
  2. sub in whatever seasonal fruit you like, dried fruits are also delicious here.
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Adapted from Love and Lemons
Adapted from Love and Lemons
Savor Health http://savorhealth.com/
 

Once you move beyond breakfast bowls, the possibilities are basically endless. And we haven’t even started talking about chia pudding, breakfast polenta, overnight oats, acai, or yogurt.

Angela Hummel

Angela is a registered dietitian and certified specialist in oncology nutrition (CSO). She studied nutrition at Central Michigan University, where she completed her bachelor’s degree, dietetic internship, and master’s degree. Angela has worked in the inpatient, outpatient, and community oncology settings since 2005 and currently works part time at the Reading Health System. Angela’s passion to help oncology patients has developed from learning the nutritional demands of cancer and seeing the improvement that nutritional modification can provide. Angela is part of the clinical team at Savor Health where she counsels patients on oncology nutrition issues and contributes to clinical website and other Savor Health content.

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