Thursday, January 7, 2010

Recipe: Cranberry Raisin Quinoa with Yogurt

This week I’ve been having some pretty light breakfasts that have been just fine in terms of giving me some energy & sustenance for the beginning of the day: a fruity protein shake, some scrambled egg whites with spinach & veggies, etc, etc. Today, however, I wanted something a bit heartier - just a giant bowl of something warm & filling. I contemplated having oatmeal but realized I was out of the instant kind and didn’t really have the time to go into the whole oatmeal-from-scratch making process, so I opted to have a hearty bowl of quinoa instead. Because I was also out of apples (and because it’s just a bit too sinful of a breakfast to be having just yet; I have to exercise some restraint here!), I couldn’t really indulge in my Warm Breakfast Quinoa with Cinnamon Apples, nor could I have my Mixed Berry & Almond Quinoa Bowl because I was also out of berries. But darnit – I WANTED QUINOA FOR BREAKFAST! What to do, what to do?

Well, this was one craving I wasn’t going to ignore, especially after resisting the siren call of Pancho’s Cocina Mexicana yesterday (it’s so wrong to watch your coworkers go without you and then come back smelling like enchiladas. *sigh* Still, I saved some much needed dinero by not going!). I had raisins, I had Craisins, heck, I even had some yogurt and nuts to throw into the mix – breakfast would be served in no time. This bowl of goodness couldn’t have turned out better, and I lightened things up a bit this time by not using any of the evil cinnamon-sugar-butter concoctions that I’m apt to put in everything. It’s packed with protein, of course, and the addition of some creamy yogurt tied everything together beautifully.

I know, I know; on a weekday it’s probably easier to head to McDonald’s and get a McGriddle or something, but is that really the way you want to start the new year? (The correct answer is NO.) This is inexpensive and good for you, and not all that time consuming if you organize your morning just right. Hooray for healthy workweek breakfasts that don’t cost an arm & a leg!

Cranberry Raisin Quinoa with Yogurt (makes 2-3 servings; total cost per serving: ~$2.35)
1 c quinoa
1 c apple juice
1 c nonfat milk
¼ c raisins
¼ c dried cranberries
1 t cinnamon
1 c nonfat plain or vanilla yogurt (Greek style if you’ve got it!)
1/2 c chopped nuts of your choice

Rinse the quinoa thoroughly before cooking. In a medium saucepan combine the apple juice and milk and bring to a low boil. Add the quinoa and cook for about 20 minutes or until the quinoa grains have burst and are tender (but not mushy!). Add the cranberries and raisins and cover for about 2-3 minutes to let the steam plump them up a bit.

Spoon a generous amount into a bowl, top with ½ cup of yogurt and plenty of chopped almonds, walnuts or pecans, and enjoy!


  1. I do something very similar on my blog every Wednesday, but yours are much prettier :)

  2. This looks so delicious and healthy!

  3. This looks really delicious, and very unusual. I'm definitely going to have to try this sometime!

  4. I am always looking for a way to eat quinoa! Thanks! I'm excited about exploring quinoa for breakfast.

  5. This looks great for our cold 14 degree mornings but I have to tell you, the Pesto Couscous Salad was absolutely delicious!!!!

  6. I don't know why but I get a lunch/dinner image with this grain and I have never tried it but now with this recipe, I am going to have to! Like the craisins idea!

  7. Not crazy about the cranberries, but that's just personnal taste. Next time i'll leave them out. Also, i had leftover cooked plain quinoa from last night so it was only cooked in water... i reheated it in milk. Next time i'll try with the apple juice, which will probably give it more of a sweet fruity taste. Overall good! This is my frist time eating quinoa for breakfast! Love it!

  8. This was fantastic. I am doing weight watchers and this made 4 servings for me. I used white grape juice instead of apple and switched candied pecans I had leftover with the almonds. I only used a quarter cup of the raisins and dried cranberries but there was enough. I actually used the vanilla flavored ff yogurt from Trader Joes and drizzled a little honey over it. WOW...what a substantial, tasty, yummy breakfast treat...for only about 4 points.

  9. Hey! I stumbled across your site and added you to my daily blogroll. Love it, keep up the good work!

    I think I heard somewhere though, that if you take quick oats and blend them in a blender, they can be treated like instant oatmeal. I haven't tried it, but if you want something warm again, it might be a good way to go.

  10. Hi there
    Wow, I stumbled across this blog tonight and I love it. You have done really well to showcase a range of great meals on a budget. Thanks :)
    Carly (Australia)

  11. I would really like to make this, but my milk is curdling! Any idea what I might be doing wrong?

  12. Oooh, that's not good. Are you using very high heat? You'll want to use medium to medium-high heat so that it'll just come to a boil but not overcook the milk. Hope that helps!

  13. I was using a high heat, but now I'm using a low heat and it still chunks up :( I've read that it's easier to curdle skim milk. Right now I'm just using water instead of milk because I just want this so much!

  14. Kirsten, maybe you could try adding the milk while the quinoa is cooking (after the water has boiled). It'll taste just fine without it but the milk - even if it is skim - will give it a nice creamy texture.

  15. Love this recipe. Great way to start the day!

  16. I think bananas and blackberries would taste excellent too!



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