Meatless Monday: Sweet Breakfast Quinoa with Apricots and Almonds

I’m not sure which is more important in terms of breaking new — my love for a quinoa dish…or Ron Zook being fired as the University of Illinois’ head football coach. Either way, the Illini and I are heading towards bigger and better things.

For the Illini, maybe a winning next season (or at least not finishing out the season 0-6…), and for me, a protein and fiber-rich breakfast…that’s super low in sodium. A hungry Nicole come 10am is not a pretty sight.

I need some staying power as my already long Monday is going to be all the more torturous thanks to my undeserved ticket that I’m going to fight this morning in court. I have proof of my innocence, darn it! (No, seriously, I’m innocent.) And I don’t know about anyone else, but my days are all sorts of off. All day Saturday, I thought it was Sunday…and yet, today should totally not be Monday.

I even whipped this recipe up yesterday to reheat throughout the week. Good thinking, self. I love my elaborate breakfasts without any weekday morning prep.

And, I love quinoa (a food I previously declared a distaste for). The combination of almond, orange, cinnamon, and apricot is so, so good! And the finishing touch of ricotta, along with the creaminess from the milk, sends it over the top. Your morning dose of fiber just got a whole lot more interesting!

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Sweet Breakfast Quinoa with Apricots and Almonds slightly adapted from Food and Wine, February 2011 and Wallflower Wonderland

1 cup quinoa, rinsed
2 cups skim milk
1/4 cup almonds, chopped or slivered
1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped
3 Tbsp pure maple syrup
1/2 tsp orange zest, finely grated
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup low-fat ricotta

Directions:

In a small saucepan, combined the quinoa and milk and bring to a boil. Cover and cook over low heat until the milk has been absorbed and the quinoa is tender, about 15 minutes. Lightly fluff the quinoa with a fork; add the almonds, apricots, maple syrup, orange zest and cinnamon and stir well until heated through.

Top each portion of quinoa with a tablespoon of ricotta and serve. Yield: 4 servings.

Nutrition Information (per serving): 353 calories; 7 g. fat; 4 mg. cholesterol; 114 mg. sodium; 60 g. carbohydrate; 5.3 g. fiber; 13 g. protein

Result: Sweet and protein and fiber-packed for a healthy, filling breakfast. This can be reheated throughout the week for breakfast and comes together quickly. While I loved the apricots in this recipe, you could certainly use dried cranberries, raisins, etc. The original recipe called for cooking the quinoa in water, but I find that using fat-free milk makes it much more creamy and rich without adding many calories. Plus, you get in a half serving or dairy by using milk 😉 Enjoy!

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Oh, Monday. Why do I have this gut feeling that today is going to be rough going?

Have a great week!

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14 Comments

  1. November 28, 2011 / 6:19 am

    That looks really delicious. I’ll have to try it soon.

  2. November 28, 2011 / 8:04 am

    Waah, I was hoping Monday would never get here!! But I think this breakfast would make any morning better…definitely want to whip it up one evening for a quick breakfast!

  3. November 28, 2011 / 8:05 am

    The monday after a holiday weekend is always the worst. I’m still in lazy mode. Hopefully it won’t be as bad as we’re anticipating!

  4. November 28, 2011 / 8:52 am

    Yikes– good luck fighting your ticket!!! Glad you got a hearty breakfast for strength 🙂

  5. November 28, 2011 / 10:13 am

    This breakfast looks like the perfect fuel to start the week — delicious! I hope all goes well in court, fingers crossed, my friend!

    Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  6. November 28, 2011 / 12:08 pm

    Mondays are dumb. Its too bad we can’t just skip right to Wednesday. I’d be ok with that.
    This looks really good – I still haven’t tried making quinoa sweet, but I imagine it would be really good. And filling. That is key in the mornings.

  7. November 28, 2011 / 12:26 pm

    Sorry about your Illini football season – there is always next year, right??!!

    Love that quinoa dish – so pretty! Hang in there back to work Monday!

  8. November 28, 2011 / 12:59 pm

    Wow, this breakfast looks incredible! I have made quinoa for breakfast once before…I definitely need to do it more often.
    Hope you get your ticket cleared up. No way to start a week off from a holiday. 🙁

  9. November 28, 2011 / 1:24 pm

    I feel like when I have quinoa, I never use it, and when I’m out of it, I want to use it. This looks delicious – I need to branch out from my oat comfort zone.

  10. November 28, 2011 / 9:00 pm

    This is the second blog post using quinoa for breakfast…such a marvelous idea…especially when you add apricots and almonds! YUM!

  11. November 29, 2011 / 9:19 am

    I lovee quinoa. I find its nuttiness to go really well with a little maple syrup for breakfast. And I hear you, a hungry Grace in the morning is not a happy one!

  12. November 30, 2011 / 2:18 am

    I was thinking about buying some quinoa flakes but wasn’t too sure how I would prepare them, now I know and I will DEFINITELY be purchasing some to make this delicious breakfast 🙂

  13. Layla Bowen
    December 5, 2011 / 9:41 am

    Yum! I made this with almond milk and it was very filling. Still tasted good 3 days later.

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