A while back, I had a fabulous breakfast with kitchenplay at the Green Eggs Cafe in Philadelphia. I was hesitant—I don’t generally enjoy oatmeal or other gloopy breakfasts—but on her recommendation, I tried the quinoa porridge. And then I was hooked. It tasted creamy and fresh and interesting, not at all the bland bowl of wholesome I was expecting.
After months of daydreaming about quinoa porridge, I decided it was finally time to see what I could do about it at home. I made a big batch on Sunday night and looked forward to Monday morning’s breakfast. But on Monday, even after stirring in some blueberries and adding a fair amount of salt, the result was disappointingly meh. I was ready to call off the whole experiment and go back to eating eggs.
But on Tuesday, I remembered that I’d had the presence of mind at the Saturday farmer’s market to buy some strawberries and mascarpone cheese. I stirred in a spoonful of cheese and chopped up some strawberries, and there it was—a delightful bowl of breakfast quinoa. This was the creamy, intriguing dish I remembered, with the sweetness of the strawberries the perfect foil to the cinnamon and cardamom in the quinoa.
Someday soon I’ll have to go back to Green Eggs to see if my version really can compete with theirs. But for now, I’m perfectly happy to keep eating a bowl of this every morning.
Adapted from the Philadelphia Cooking Examiner
1 cup uncooked quinoa
1 1/2 cup water
1 1/2 cup milk
2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoon cardamom
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tsp honey (or agave nectar, but I didn’t have any) plus more to taste
1/4 cup golden raisins (I omitted)
Chopped fruit and nuts if desired
Chopped fresh mint, as garnish
5 tablespoons mascarpone cheese
Rinse quinoa in a fine-mesh strainer.
Combine quinoa, water, cinnamon, cardamom, salt and 1/2 cup of the milk in a pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until most of the liquid has been absorbed.
Add the remaining milk and raisins and allow to simmer for about 5 minutes. Porridge should be thick but still with liquid in it (unlike savory uses of quinoa, which generally call for it to be drier). Add honey or agave, and stir to combine.
To reheat, microwave for about one minute, until warm. Before serving, stir in 1 tablespoon of mascarpone cheese per bowl. Combine well—the mascarpone should melt into the porridge. Stir in fruit or nuts, as desired, and top with chopped mint.