There is a time and a place for breakfast quinoa.

Breakfast Quinoa I

And I’m here to tell you that the time and the place is prooooobably the morning after you’ve judged a dessert competition.

Breakfast Quinoa I

Did you know that you can make a gin and tonic cake? Because I didn’t. Until last night, when I ate some, and it tasted EXACTLY like a gin and tonic. And it had gin in it. And it’s sort of all I can think about right now (probably because of the gin) but instead I’m eating quinoa.

Could my life be any more boring? I wish I was eating and drinking gin for breakfast.

Breakfast Quinoa I

But alas… I am not.

After eating eggs (poached, fried, scrambled, hard-boiled – you name it) every morning for MONTHS, I’m moving on. Well, actually I’m now eating the eggs (poached, fried, scrambled, hard-boiled – you name it) for lunch, but whatev. New breakfasts = something to wake up for.

Breakfast Quinoa I

A few weeks ago I came home from a morning workout and was craving cereal like a mad woman. We didn’t have any cereal and while I have no problem venturing to the grocery store six times a day (it’s the only sort of life I have), I needed food NOW. Or then. Whatever. I just wanted some sort of stuff sitting in a bowl of milk that had some crunch.

I made quinoa cooked in coconut milk, added a ton of vanilla and cinnamon, then covered it in fruit and almonds. I was completely fanatic about the texture, but not only that: it kept me full FOR-EV-ER. Like forever, Sandlot style. Since then, I’ve been making obsessive combinations of assorted fruit and nuts, and this is currently my favorite. Toasted pecans, chopped bananas and heaven. It’s all in that bowl down there.

I also like to add a bunch of grape nuts but my 74-year old self finished the box two days ago. The key is in the crunch people. You must have crunch.

Breakfast Quinoa I

I mean, it’s not gin… but it works.

Breakfast Quinoa I

Coconut Milk Breakfast Quinoa

serves 2

1/2 cup dry quinoa, rinsed

3/4 cup canned lite coconut milk + more for drizzling

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon + more for sprinkling

pinch of salt

1 banana, chopped

1/3 cup toasted pecans, chopped

Combine quinoa, coconut milk, cinnamon and vanilla in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and let cook for 15 minutes until quinoa can be fluffed with a fork.

Divide quinoa into two bowls then cover with bananas, pecans, and a few extra drizzles of coconut milk.

Note: you can definitely use full-fat coconut milk… I use Trader Joe’s lite coconut milk which is insanely creamy and resembles full-fat coconut milk. If I used another brand, I’d probably use full-fat. Additionally, feel free to add sugar or sweetener if needed. I (shockingly) find it sweet enough with the coconut milk and fruit.

Breakfast Quinoa I

As soon as breakfast is over though: gin. I’ll share.

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209 Responses to “Breakfast Quinoa.”

  1. #
    Kim in MD — April 26, 2012 @ 6:57 am

    YUM! I SO want this for breakfast this morning, but sadly I don’t have all of the ingredients. I hate it when that happens!


  2. #
    Lauren at Keep It Sweet — April 26, 2012 @ 6:59 am

    Quinoa really can be good for breakfast but usually I am way too lazy for that. And if I went to the supermarket any more often my car would drive itself there.


  3. #
    Holly — April 26, 2012 @ 7:01 am

    Yum! that looks great! Is there anything that can be subbed for coconut milk? My DH hates it! Do you think almond milk would work?


    • Jessica — April 26th, 2012 @ 7:02 am



      • shannon — April 26th, 2012 @ 7:36 am

        what about regular old cows milk? or would that be too thin?

        • Jessica — April 26th, 2012 @ 7:38 am

          If you go with that I probably would use at least 2% and you may need some brown sugar or honey, etc. It’s just not really as creamy as almond or coconut milk!

          • shannon — April 26th, 2012 @ 7:55 am

            okay thats what i figured :) maybe i’ll just buy some almond milk. thanks so much!

  4. #
    chelsey @ clean eating chelsey — April 26, 2012 @ 7:02 am

    I feel like I’m at someone else’s blog. Breakfast quinoa?! I think I have tears in my eyes.


  5. #
    Rachel Cooks (formerly Not Rachael Ray) — April 26, 2012 @ 7:03 am

    Love quinoa for breakfast! I often cook huge batches of it and freeze it in small portions. Thaws quickly and then it is easier to use for things like this, or quinoa pancakes (my favorite!). Because I’m too lazy at breakfast too…I need food in my belly as soon as I roll outta bed.


  6. #
    Julie H. of Spinach and Sprinkles — April 26, 2012 @ 7:04 am

    Isn’t it wonderful when you body craves something hardcore and you want nothing more than to have it NOW! …..I’m talking about the gin— and the cereal you were craving after your work out! ;)


  7. #
    Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers — April 26, 2012 @ 7:08 am

    Yum! I made Quinoa bake for the first time last week, which was the first time I ever had quinoa and I was surprised how good it was. It’s really nutty! Your recipe looks amazing as usual! I’ll have to try yours this weekend!! Have a lovely day!


  8. #
    Sommer J — April 26, 2012 @ 7:20 am

    just what i mutha*bleepin* needed!!!! thanks will be making this for the husband!


  9. #
    Sara — April 26, 2012 @ 7:20 am

    I have been WAITING for this!ANNNNNND I know what my first coconut flavored something adventure will be. WOOO! Breakfast tomorrow. Yes please and Thank you


  10. #
    Katrina — April 26, 2012 @ 7:23 am

    This sounds delicious! Yum!


  11. #
    Hilliary@Brunch and Cupcakes — April 26, 2012 @ 7:28 am

    This looks delicious, a great alternative to my morning oatmeal!


  12. #
    Kim — April 26, 2012 @ 7:28 am

    I’m so making this. It looks delicious! I’ve never had quinoa for breakfast. Have no idea what it is, but I’m going to quickly find out. Thank you for the recipe!!!


  13. #
    Jen @ keepitsimplefoods — April 26, 2012 @ 7:31 am

    Too funny, I just made this yesterday for breakfast to feature on my blog! I used strawberries. Love the touch of coconut milk!


  14. #
    Gen — April 26, 2012 @ 7:39 am

    hmmm i love all the flavors in there….but what does quinoa taste like?


    • Jessica — April 26th, 2012 @ 7:42 am

      hmmm I’m not sure how to explain it, maybe almost like a brown rice? I’ve heard it can be bitter (that’s why you rinse it) but I’ve never experienced that. I think the key is mixing a lot of things in with it. I have a bunch of savory quinoa recipes in the side dish section of my recipes!


  15. #
    Claire @ Live and Love to Eat — April 26, 2012 @ 7:40 am

    Looks amazing! I’ve been wanting to try quinoa for breakfast but there hasn’t been a recipe that caught my eye – until now. :)


  16. #
    Sarena (The Non Dairy Queen) — April 26, 2012 @ 7:42 am

    I LOVE quinoa for breakfast! It’s a great change from oats and really is good hot or cold. This looks so up my alley! The addition of coconut milk is pure perfection!


  17. #
    Maria — April 26, 2012 @ 7:53 am

    I am on my way over for breakfast!


  18. #
    Natalie @ Cooking for My Kids — April 26, 2012 @ 7:54 am

    I love this. After way too many cupcakes this week, I needed a healthy breakfast to start my day today. Now I know what I will be having!


  19. #
    Kristen @ notsodomesticated — April 26, 2012 @ 7:55 am

    I’ve never cooked quinoa, but I think this might be a good recipe to start with … anything with banana, vanilla, and cinnamon has to be good!! ;)


  20. #
    Chris — April 26, 2012 @ 7:57 am

    Looks delicious! I’ve got quinoa on my grocery list for later today so I’ll have to whip some up for my Friday morning breakfast tomorrow!


  21. #
    Cindy Coniglio — April 26, 2012 @ 7:59 am

    that looks so good!


  22. #
    The Mrs @ Success Along the Weigh — April 26, 2012 @ 8:16 am

    Well well, I just happen to have all of those ingredients on hand….what EVER will I do with them?


  23. #
    amanda @ fake ginger — April 26, 2012 @ 8:16 am

    That looks so good! I haven’t loved quinoa in the past but I need to try this!


  24. #
    Sally @ Spontaneous Hausfrau — April 26, 2012 @ 8:24 am

    Oh, geez, does this ever look perfect. I even have the tri-color quinoa – schwing!


  25. #
    Vicki — April 26, 2012 @ 8:41 am

    Love quinoa! What kind are you using that it is so colorful? Is this the multicolored one from Trader Joe’s? If so, does it taste any different? I am new to quinoa, so I went with the regular, but it doesn’t always look great! I am definitely going to have to start making this for breakfast!


    • Jessica — April 26th, 2012 @ 10:37 am

      Yep, it’s the tri-color blend from TJs! And it tastes the same as the plain stuff. :)


  26. #
    Emily — April 26, 2012 @ 8:42 am

    i appreciate your shout-out to grape nuts. i, too, love them and have faced ridicule from most of my friends for it. but you know what? you can’t beat the crunch of grape nuts in a breakfast parfait or with the soggy texture of raisin bran. boom.


    • Jessica — April 26th, 2012 @ 10:37 am

      They are the crunchiest thing ever.


  27. #
    Gina @ Running to the Kitchen — April 26, 2012 @ 9:12 am

    Isn’t breakfast quinoa amazing?! It’s actually my favorite way to eat quinoa. Try caramelized bananas on top…oh my word.


  28. #
    Tara @ Chip Chip Hooray — April 26, 2012 @ 9:22 am

    Yesss, I flipping love quinoa for breakfast. And totally agreed–the crunch is essential. I sometimes add dry cereal or granola to my oatmeal for that very reason. Nom.


  29. #
    krysten — April 26, 2012 @ 9:24 am

    yum! I have been meaning to try quinoa for breakfast, this looks perfect! One critique, those spoons are waaaay too small for how good that must be. :)


  30. #
    sarah — April 26, 2012 @ 9:58 am

    i’m so glad to run into someone who goes to the grocery store with the same frequency as me–sometimes it is totally the highlight of my day, and next time my partner and i move we are planning to keep an appropriately tiny distance between us and our beloved coop ;)


  31. #
    Erin — April 26, 2012 @ 10:22 am

    Pleeeaase tell me there is a place in Pittsburgh that makes bowls like this. I miss this place so so so much.


    • Jessica — April 26th, 2012 @ 10:36 am

      Um that looks amazing, and unfortunately I don’t think so.


  32. #
    Kristen M. — April 26, 2012 @ 10:25 am

    I was hoping you would share your breakfast quinoa recipe. I absolutely love quinoa, coconut milk and of course great textures. I’ve heard of people having quinoa for breakfast but I just couldn’t imagine it. You have showed me the light. :) Ha ha…thanks!


  33. #
    Kelly — April 26, 2012 @ 10:28 am

    Looks delicious!! I’d wake up for that!


  34. #
    Katie @ Veggie and the Beast — April 26, 2012 @ 10:33 am

    This looks fantastic! I also love the idea of adding Grape Nuts, but I’m also a bit of a 74 year-old :) I bet you could make this ahead of time and reheat it the next morning too!

    Did you use a white and red quinoa mix?


    • Jessica — April 26th, 2012 @ 10:35 am

      Nope this quinoa is the tri-color blend from Trader Joe’s – but you could definitely use a mix if you wanted.


  35. #
    Carissa — April 26, 2012 @ 10:34 am

    Love the tri-color quinoa & that you cooked it in coconut milk. We eat a lot of oatmeal in our house, I should switch it up & have this instead!!


  36. #
    Averie @ Averie Cooks — April 26, 2012 @ 10:35 am

    Coconut milk has magical properties of making any grain just taste…better! I make rice pudding with it and this is so clever to use it for quinoa. Yum!


  37. #
    Margarita — April 26, 2012 @ 10:44 am

    I love breakfast quinoa! It is so filling and you can basically do whatever you want with it. :) Love the different colors of your quinoa.


  38. #
    Calee (@chimes) — April 26, 2012 @ 10:50 am

    I love love LOVE breakfast quinoa. Thanks for sharing this recipe!


  39. #
    Brooke @BittersweetBrooke — April 26, 2012 @ 10:57 am

    I was just looking for a recipe to use quinoa as a breakfast food! I definitely need to try this.


  40. #
    Emilie @ Emilie's Enjoyables — April 26, 2012 @ 11:00 am

    I’m obsessed with quinoa but somehow (?) have never tried it at breakfast! Totally giving this a shot.


  41. #
    Heather of Kitchen Concoctions — April 26, 2012 @ 11:04 am

    I think judging a dessert competition is anything BUT boring! And I am totally lovin’ this breakfast quinoa! I too get stuck in a boring breakfast rut (that is if I even remember breakfast!). I am going to get everything to make this when I head out on my daily grocery store excursion so that I can eat this for breakfast tomorrow (or maybe snack today)!


  42. #
    Allie@sweetpotatobites — April 26, 2012 @ 11:07 am

    i’m always looking for new things to do with quinoa and this is perfect! this could definitely become a part of my breakfast rotation.


  43. #
    Ellen — April 26, 2012 @ 11:10 am

    You must, Must, MUST share a Gin and Tonic cake recipe… Must. Please. :)


  44. #
    Sarah | The Cyclists Wife — April 26, 2012 @ 11:12 am

    When you mentioned this the other day I was wondering what it was all about! Looks so good and protein packed!


  45. #
    Cait's Plate — April 26, 2012 @ 11:14 am

    LOVE this. I feel like it would be such a great fall breakfast with cinnamon, apples and walnuts.


  46. #
    Emily — April 26, 2012 @ 11:20 am

    That looks amazingly, insanely, delicious, and healthy. Mmmm.


  47. #
    Bee (Quarter Life Crisis Cuisine) — April 26, 2012 @ 11:31 am

    That quiona is so pretty! I had my first attempt at a quiona recipe in my last blog post–it’s okaaay but I still need to be convinced. I LOVE coconut though, so I should try this!


  48. #
    Fallon — April 26, 2012 @ 11:43 am

    Yum! My mom makes a similar quinoa cereal with the coconut milk but she tops it with a poached egg, so good!


  49. #
    Heather (Heather's Dish) — April 26, 2012 @ 11:52 am

    this sounds so good…and i have to say, every morning i look in the fridge and see beer staring back at me. that’s a wholesome breakfast, no? :)


  50. #
    Catalina @ Cake with Love — April 26, 2012 @ 11:53 am

    Jessica this breakfast is strange: no bacon, nu butter!!! LOL I am just teasing you, looks delicious and healthy!! I love anything (almost) that has coconut!


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