I so loved my breakfast this morning I wanted to share. I had pseudocereal. At least, that’s an official unofficial term for the crop-like grain known to us as quinoa (pronounced keen-wa).

I first started eating quinoa back in 2005 when I was a cook at Plantation Farm Camp in Cazadero, California. There we would serve it to the kids for lunch, at room temperature, usually with some chopped nuts and dried cranberries. The grain itself has a hearty, nutty flavor, and takes on whatever tastes you add to it, much like rice.

I picked up some red quinoa at the Park Slope Food Co-op this past Friday after my shift and decided to make it this morning for breaky rather than microwave cold cereal as I reported doing recently. It’s as easy to make as oatmeal. You can basically use a 2:1 ratio of water to quinoa; you bring the water to a boil, with the quinoa already in the pot, reduce heat to simmer, cook for 10-15 minutes on low, low heat, then turn the heat off and let it sit for 5 minutes before fluffing and eating.

Breakfast can get so redundant and boring I’m trying to spice things up a little. I’m usually quite hungry when I wake up so like to eat something that’s gonna fill me up and tide me over til lunch. Whole grains are our best friend in the morning, and quinoa is no exception. It’s packed with protein, manganese, magnesium, folate, and phosphorus.

You can add anything at all to it that you’d like: dried fruit (during or after cooking), chopped nuts, sea salt, butter, soy sauce, olive oil, milk. I bet some bonito flakes with a little soy sauce would be delicious. Or for something a little sweeter, maple syrup and almond milk. Go crazy. Have fun. This is breakfast after all.

Side note: What’s funny about all this is just this weekend I was telling a friend I’d never start photographing something so banal as my breakfast and start posting it on my blog. But breakfast just got too good. Happy Monday!

Monday Morning Quinoa

Serves 2

1/2 c quinoa
1 c water
2 tbsp chopped apricots (or other dried fruit)
1 tbsp flax oil (or olive oil)
sea salt

Combine the quinoa, water, and dried fruit in a medium-sized pot with a tight-fitting lid. Bring to a boil, then turn down to a simmer, leaving the lid on. Go take a shower while it cooks for 10-15 minutes. Turn the heat off and let sit for 5-10 minutes with the lid on while you get dressed, then fluff with a fork before serving. Drizzle the oil and add a pinch of sea salt.