Thinking aloud, while my daughter Lisa sat at her computer, she said, "I wonder what Nana would like for her birthday." Without hesitation, my soon-to-be 6 year-old grandson suggested cookbooks. "Now, why do you say that?" Lisa inquired. "Because she loves to cook," was his wise reply. I do love to build my collection of nutritious recipes. The Eat-Clean Diet Cookbook by Tosca Reno, is one of the books Lisa gave me for my birthday.
That is Kleenex tissue poking out from the cookbook's pages. I curl up with cookbooks at bedtime before drifting off to sleep and select recipes I'd like to try. The Kleenex box was close at hand. The clothespin is my page marker for the recipe that I tried today... one I will make again and again.
This breakfast cereal prepared with quinoa and steel cut oats, is a mega powerhouse of goodness. Topped with short season honey crisp apples, finely chopped walnuts, sliced almonds, and ground flax... seated on the porch in the warmth of a sunny autumn morning. Mmmmm. Perfect.
Quinoa and Steel Cut Oats
1 cup quinoa, rinsed well or soaked*
1 cup steel cut oats
¼ tsp sea salt
3 cups water
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
¼ cup organic raisins
In a medium saucepan with a lid, place soaked quinoa, steel cut oats, sea salt, and water. Bring the mixture to a boil and reduce heat. Cover and let simmer for 30 minutes. (I cracked the lid a bit to prevent boiling over and added a bit more water the final 10 minutes of cooking time.) Remove from heat, stir in cinnamon, vanilla, and raisins and let sit for several minutes. Serve hot.
Red and golden quinoa are the most common colors sold in grocery stores, but there are also black, orange, pink, and purple varieties. Red quinoa has a higher protein content than golden. *Quinoa is coated with saponins, a bitter tasting, naturally occurring coating that repels birds during its cultivation. It produces soap-like foaming when quinoa is shaken in water. Most boxed/pre-packaged quinoa has been pre-rinsed for convenience, and cooking instructions suggest only a brief rinse before cooking, if at all. If quinoa has not been pre-rinsed, the first step is to remove the saponins, which requires either rinsing the quinoa under running water for several minutes in either a fine strainer or cheesecloth or soaking the grain in water for a few hours. Soaking causes the quinoa to germinate which boosts its nutritional value. Germination activates its natural enzymes and multiplies its vitamin content. Quinoa has a very short germination period. Soaking in a glass jar of clean water for only 2 to 4 hours is enough to make it sprout.