Quinoa (keen-wah) is a grain packed with protein that can be substituted for couscous or rice. It’s definitely a strange word to pronounce because it sounds nothing like how it’s spelled. In fact, my coworkers and I were just discussing the proper pronunciation of it last Friday during lunch. However way you like to say it though, quinoa is a power grain that has a light, fluffy texture like couscous, but also has a bit of crunch to it. I usually only see quinoa in savory dishes, so when I saw this recipe for a sweet quinoa in Food and Wine magazine, I knew I had to try it. I made a few changes to the recipe like adding figs and coconut and substituting pecans for almonds. This cereal is not only delicious, but it’s packed with protein, so it will keep you full for hours. 1 cup of quinoa doesn’t seem like much, but it cooks up to about 4 large servings. I made mine on Sunday, so I’d have it for breakfast throughout the week. Adding a dollop of ricotta cheese along with some fresh orange zest and cinnamon is the perfect way to start your morning off right!
If you really want to start your morning off right, then stop by Steph’s Bite By Bite for her online bake sale. Steph is running a marathon to help raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Online bidding for a vast array of delicious goodies (including my Nutella & Raspberry Swirl Pound Cake) is happening today and only today (Monday), so be sure to stop by!!!
- 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
- 2 cups water
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup pecans, roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup dried apricots, cut into small pieces
- 1/4 cup dried figs, cut into small pieces
- 1/4 cup shredded coconut
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 1/2 tsp orange zest and more for sprinkling
- Cinnamon for sprinkling
- 1/4 cup fresh ricotta
- In a small saucepan, cover the quinoa with the water and bring to a boil. Cover and cook over low heat until the water has been absorbed and the quinoa is tender, about 15 minutes. Lightly fluff the quinoa with a fork and cover it again.
- In a medium skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the pecans and cinnamon stick and cook over moderate heat, stirring a few times, until golden brown, about 2 minutes.
- Add the apricots, figs, coconut, maple syrup, orange zest and and stir well until heated through.
- Add the quinoa to the skillet and stir gently to incorporate the pecans and dried fruit.
- Top each portion of quinoa with a tablespoon of ricotta and a sprinkling of cinnamon and orange zest.