Hearty Quinoa Recipe for Breakfast

Unfortunately for our guests, it's been "winter" here. By that I mean, the weather is not cooperating, and it's been rainy and unseasonably cold here. The high yesterday was only 64°F. That's actually cold for Los Angeles! And while we welcome the respite from the hot summer weather we know is imminent, our company would prefer something a bit more balmy.

Since it's been so wintry, we made a hearty breakfast this morning. We tried a new version of a quinoa porridge we've been making on and off since we've been vegan... Warm and Nutty Cinnamon Quinoa, which we found at 101 Cookbooks (my picture isn't nearly as attractive as Heidi's, but I'm sure it tasted just as good!).

Actually the recipe is in John La Puma, MD,s new cookbook -- ChefMD's Big Book of Culinary Medicine. It's not a vegan cookbook, but it does provide a wealth of healthy eating information, including what foods to eat for specific medical conditions, and what to stock in your pantry. With only 60 of nearly 300 pages devoted to recipes, cookbook is probably a misnomer; the nutritional information is the real reason to pick it up. Again, La Puma writes for omnivores, but there is a lot of good information here for anyone.

But back to our breakfast... We've made a few different versions of Quinoa "porridge" for breakfast, and while they've been good, we've still been hoping for something a little more remarkable. This was it. We used the organic quinoa found at Trader Joe's, and of course, we subbed the cup of milk for a cup of almond milk. It was delicious. For sweeteners, we tried agave nectar, brown rice syrup, maple syrup, and honey*. The honey and brown rice syrup were the winners in this particular dish. We all thought the maple syrup a little too over-powering and the agave nectar just wasn't right.

Jane's thinking of making this again and refrigerating it overnight. It might make a good cold breakfast too, or a nutritious dessert.

* Honey is one of those things that divides the vegan community, this post touches on our philosophy on the subject of honey and sugar.


  1. That looks good! I wanna say I have a recipe that is similar but different. I tried to find it real quick but couldn’t. If I do, I’ll pass it along. I don’t remember what exactly went into it, but I remember it tasting good. 🙂 I love quinoa.

  2. Thanks for the shout-out!
    And I think it looks good too: I love the perspective of the pecans, somewhat surreal and huge under a waterfall of agave (vs. honey).

    This book is more of a way to blend the art of cooking with the science of medicine, plus 50 recipes, an 8 week plan and cooking tips. It’s about how food works in the body, and often has medicine-like effects…plus flavor,texture, color and aroma, like in your quinoa, above. 🙂

    http://www.ChefMD.com, http://www.drjohnlapuma.com
    We send free, healthy easy quick recipes (perhaps one third vegetarian, and one sixth vegan) every week to anyone who wants to join ChefMD, which I think of health-interested food lovers.

  3. Hi Everyone, Sorry I’m late in replying. Some weeks are tougher than others (just busy here). Anwyay…

    Kristen, yes weird weather. But they’re saying it’ll be an unusually warm summer here, so we’re enjoying the below average temperatures.

    Hi June, We’ve tried a few recipes with quinoa for breakfast, but this was really satisfying, and the first one we thought worthy of passing along. So by all means, share yours if you come across it again.

    Dr. La Puma, Sure – just point out that we only had whole pecans and were too lazy to chop them… 😉
    It’s scary how little education future physicians receive on nutrition. We wrote a post questioning the nutritional knowledge of physicians. It seems intuitive that this topic be part of an annual physical, and yet, it isn’t.
    I tend to look for medical information written by someone with a degree in medicine, so it was exciting to see a book focused on nutritional eating written by a physician!

    Hi Kara, It’s only a few minutes longer than steel-cut oatmeal. But oatmeal can get boring. This recipe was a welcome change. Also, we’re thinking it might be interesting cold, which means it could be prepared earlier and simply grabbed out of the refrigerator the next morning.

    Hi Savia, Nope, hadn’t seen it, but it reminds me of a fast food commercial: There’s a woman in a singles bar who puts a bacon burger in her purse to attract men and it works. Jane thinks it’s hysterical. But the best line in the article is: “Tofu is like fugu blowfish sushi: Prepared correctly, it’s delicious; prepared incorrectly, it’s lethal. ”

    Hi Dayna, Jane really loved it, and we both recommend it. As I’ve said previously, “Yum.”

  4. I just tried quinoa for the first time last week and I’m loving it for breakfast. I tried your above favorite recipe only with blueberries instead of blackberries. It was okay, but so far my favorite version has been – strawberries, maple syrup and toasted pecans. Thanks for sharing your ideas, this one will make it’s way back to our breakfast table frequently.

  5. Hi Nate,
    I never thought to try it with strawberries. Yum. Jane’s been having this regularly since she discovered it. I’m addicted to my morning shake though, so I don’t tend to have it nearly as often. But I’m thinking it would make a good dessert too!

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