Saturday, February 25, 2012

Cinnamon-Scented Quinoa

       Quinoa is a super fun new-to-me ingredient that I've been messing around with lately. People ask me what it is and I usually explain it as "round rice" even though it's technically not a grain. It's actually related to beets and spinach, but as I'm not a biologist I won't get in to technicalities. For all intents and purposes, let's just think of it as a wheaty round rice. =) I like to make things simple. Anyway, I actually made this dish for breakfast one morning. It was super filling and delicious and a nice change to my general morning routine of a quick protein shake. I made it just like rice, but put a couple of cinnamon sticks in the water while the quinoa was cooking. The original recipe told me so, and I thought it was pretty clever. Once the quinoa was done cooking and I took off the lid to the pot, cinnamon scented goodness wafted around the entire kitchen. (It should be noted, though, that the quinoa didn't taste very cinnamony.) I topped the quinoa with chopped walnuts, some honey (a little bit goes a long way on this), and about a half cup of milk. If you want the quinoa to taste more cinnamony, I would recommend mixing some in with the milk and then pour that over the quinoa. Otherwise, sprinkling cinnamon on alone tastes kind of like you were eating cinnamon straight from the jar. At least, that's what happened to me, but I did add an entire half teaspoon...I fixed the problem by adding more milk. =)

Cinnamon-Scented Quinoa
Recipe from

  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
Topping Ideas
  • chopped walnuts
  • chopped pecans
  • honey
  • maple syrup
  • milk
  • sea salt
  • sugar

--Even if the quinoa says it has been pre-rinsed, go ahead and rinse it again until the water runs clear. A mesh strainer works well for this.

--Combine the rinsed quinoa, water, cinnamon sticks, and salt in a medium sauce pan and bring the mixture to a boil, covered.

--Once boiling, set the heat to low and continue cooking (still covered) for about another 20 minutes, or until all of the water is absorbed into the quinoa.

--When the quinoa is tender, remove the pan from the heat and let it sit (still covered) for another 5 minutes. Then, remove the cinnamon sticks and fluff the quinoa.

--Put some quinoa for yourself in a separate bowl, cover it with your desired toppings, and enjoy!

Happy Cooking!

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