Monday, August 26, 2013

Breakfast of Champions....or at least of kids who don't like to eat ANYTHING.

This one is for my very best friend from high school, Hilaire, and her picky kids.  I'm pretty sure Hilaire's kids are better eaters than mine, based on the simple fact that they are vegetarian.  But veg-heads or not, kids can be a real bitch to cook for.  Their tastes seem to change every minute, every day....and what was once beloved, is now HATED.  Not disliked, I'm talking pure hate.  Plus, in addition to wanting them to enjoy food on sheer love alone, you have to actually nourish them.  I mean really!

My kids do NOT like hot cereal, I try oatmeal like every winter.  These two dishes might help me this year.  I've made both of these for years in my cooking classes and they are always a hit.  This is most likely because they taste like dessert. And that's the beauty of them.  Tell the kids they can have pudding for breakfast, and everyone wins.  First up, coconut quinoa pudding.  Gluten free, vegan, high in protein.  Slightly sweet, and fresh fruit to boot.

Coconut Quinoa Pudding

2 cans (4 cups) unsweetened coconut milk
1/4 cup sugar or honey to taste
2 tsp vanilla
zest from one lime
1 cup quinoa
6 cardamom pods
1 tsp dried ginger

Stir together all of the ingredients in a saucepan.  Bring to a boil, then turn down to simmer, put a lid on the pan and cook until the quinoa is tender and most of the coconut milk is absorbed, about 15 minutes.  You want it to be a little bit soupy.  Turn off the heat and let rest for five minutes.  Remove the cardamom pods.  You can serve this plain, with a drizzle of chocolate sauce or with any fruit.  I like to eat it with mango.

1 ripe mango
juice of half a lime
1/4 cup coconut, shredded

In a dry skillet, toast the coconut until golden brown.  Dice the mango and toss with the lime juice.  Top the pudding with the mango and coconut.

Round two, quinoa with dried fruit and nuts.  You could even make this in a low temp crock pot over night.  Full of protein, you can doctor it up however your family likes it.

Breakfast Quinoa
1 cup quinoa
1 1/2 cups water
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt

For serving:  chopped walnuts, pure maple syrup or honey, milk, dried cherries  or fresh blueberries and sea salt

Wash quinoa until water is clear.  Drain washed quinoa well in a large fine-mesh sieve. Combine all ingredients in a heavy medium saucepan and bring to a boil, covered. Reduce heat to low and cook, covered, until water is absorbed and quinoa is tender, about 20 minutes. Remove pan from heat and let stand, covered, 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork and keep covered to keep warm.

Divide quinoa among bowls and top with walnuts, maple syrup or honey, milk, cherries or blueberries and sea salt. 

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