It’s Valentine’s Day and all I got you was..a creamy breakfast quinoa bowl! I know that normally, as a dessert focused blog, I really should have planned for this occasion and whipped up a cake or brownie recipe that is topped with piles of frosting (I mean, I do want that), but honestly, I kind of forgot that the holiday was creeping up on me. My husband and I don’t really do much each year, and that is a-ok with me! This year involved grabbing ravioli and pizza from our favorite Italian grocer down the street, popping a bottle of wine, and watching documentaries. I have to say, it was pretty much perfect.
Valentine’s Day aside, I’ve been meaning to switch up my usual breakfast rotation as of late. It’s usually easiest to grab granola and put some almond milk in a jar to go or dollop this berry sauce on a batch of overnight oats and call it a day, but I needed something different. I kept thinking about a perfectly creamy and sweet breakfast quinoa bowl I had a few months back, when AJ and I were in Chicago for a football game. I knew I wanted something that wasn’t going to weigh me down, but I still wanted it to be a fun brunch dish, not a boring bowl of cereal! I spied the breakfast quinoa bowl topped with caramelized pears and apples on the menu and knew I had to try it. Turns out, it was everything I wanted on a chilly winter morning, between the sweet quinoa and perfectly cooked fruit, to the generous topping of cinnamon and sugar. I knew I had to re-create it, stat.
The coconut milk in this breakfast quinoa recipe was the first thing that came to mind, knowing that full fat coconut milk is the best way to lend creaminess to any dish, especially grains or breakfast dishes that are going to be sweetened anyway. I also wasn’t sure I wanted to go the peaches and apples route for the fruit topping, knowing they would be out of season by now, so I settled on bananas and grapefruit, two fruits I always seem to have around the house come wintertime. Also, roasting the fruit and cooking the quinoa can happen at the same time, cutting down on cook time and, more importantly, wait time. Finally, almonds and a healthy dose of agave nectar top the whole quinoa breakfast bowl off, resulting in a sweet, creamy, and filling bowl. If you want your quinoa to be a bit sweeter before you top it off, feel free to stir in a tablespoon or so of agave while cooking. I wanted to keep mine a little less sweet and add in the toppings to sweeten it up after.
Hope you have a lovely and sweet Valentine’s Day! I think my plans for the night will involve cuddling on the couch with our beloved cat, doing some computer work, and starting my way through the final season of West Wing (!!). Happy Tuesday!
Citrus roasting recipe adapted from Salted Plains
Coconut Milk Breakfast Quinoa with Caramelized Bananas and Grapefruit
- 1/2 cup dry quinoa
- 1 cup full fat coconut milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 grapefruit peeled and sliced
- 1 banana peeled and sliced
- 3 tablespoons cane sugar
- 2 tablespoons sliced almonds
- Agave nectar
- Extra cinnamon and cane sugar for topping
To caramelize the fruit: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the sliced grapefruit and bananas on the sheet, spreading them evenly. Sprinkle the sugar over the top of the fruit. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until fruit has started to caramelize. Remove from oven and set aside.
While the fruit is baking, prepare the quinoa. In a small saucepan over medium high heat, whisk together the quinoa, coconut milk, vanilla and cinnamon. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer (medium-low) and let cook for 15 minutes. Fluff with a fork and divide evenly between 2 bowls, topping with additional coconut milk, agave nectar, caramelized fruit and sliced almonds. Serve immediately.
Recipe NotesIf you want to get a creamier texture, add a bit more coconut milk after cooking. I also highly recommend drizzling on your agave after cooking and sweetening to taste!