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. #
    Lynne @ 365 Days of Baking — April 26, 2012 @ 11:54 am

    I’ve just recently added quinoa to our diet at dinner, but it never would have occurred to me to eat it for breakfast. I need to start thinking outside the box more!


  2. #
    Jamie {green beans & grapefruit} — April 26, 2012 @ 12:29 pm

    This looks great! Definitely a satisfying way to start the day!


  3. #
    Ellen — April 26, 2012 @ 12:48 pm

    You are too funny! FOR-EV-ER. Love this idea, thanks!


  4. #
    Ashley @ Wishes and Dishes — April 26, 2012 @ 1:17 pm

    Definitely my kind of breakfast!!! A nice alternative to plain ol’ cereal…..although, I do love my cereal :) I still need to try grape nuts sometime!


  5. #
    Nancy @ CouponClippingCook — April 26, 2012 @ 1:21 pm

    What a different, delicious and healthy breakfast. Such a great idea.


  6. #
    Anna — April 26, 2012 @ 1:25 pm

    Still haven´t tried quinoa, need to it seems like :) I´d also love to be a judge in a tasting competition – YUM


  7. #
    Megan {Country Cleaver} — April 26, 2012 @ 2:22 pm

    For-Eh-Ver. Sandlot style. Best line, ever. You can’t help but mimic that line and flick your bottom lip out extra far in the “ver” part of it…no? Just me? OKay then.


  8. #
    Meg @ Peaches and Cake — April 26, 2012 @ 2:26 pm



  9. #
    Erin — April 26, 2012 @ 2:26 pm

    You might have convinced me to eat quinoa (which I still pronounce incorrectly) for breakfast


  10. #
    Ryan @ Spicy Richmond — April 26, 2012 @ 3:31 pm

    I need to hop on the quinoa train so I can enjoy this! I’ve been resisting but I think this has finally done the trick!


  11. #
    Katie @ Katie Moves — April 26, 2012 @ 3:33 pm

    I have yet to have the courage to try quinoa…one day!


  12. #
    Crystal @ A Lovin' Forkful — April 26, 2012 @ 3:38 pm

    This is a great use for quinoa! Thanks for sharing!


  13. #
    Laura — April 26, 2012 @ 3:56 pm

    I was super skeptical when i heard about this originally but it looks so delicious and I may have to try it. No. I will try it.


  14. #
    Katie — April 26, 2012 @ 4:38 pm

    oOooh heavens. I need it now. And yes, you’ve got to have crunch.


  15. #
    Anita — April 26, 2012 @ 4:48 pm

    I never knew quinoa was so pretty!


  16. #
    honeywhatscooking — April 26, 2012 @ 6:18 pm

    i’ve been using coconut milk for breakfast lately , it’s so delicious. i never thought of adding it to quinoa though… cool idea. love banana pecans blueberries in oatmeal. it’s all so good. :)


  17. #
    Quiche-ing Queen — April 26, 2012 @ 7:13 pm

    I have quinoa on hand. Now I need to run to the store to pick up the rest of the goodies. I love coconut flavored meals and the sounds so delicious. Amazing flavor combination.


  18. #
    mags — April 26, 2012 @ 7:43 pm

    I love it! I’m going to rename it ginwah (because you put the gin into my head and now it won’t go away) and make it my own. Look for a future knockoff on my own blog (giving you all the credit, of course)


  19. #
    mags — April 26, 2012 @ 7:44 pm

    p.s. YES…. I DO realize that there is not really any gin in it *sigh*


  20. #
    zombiesgirl — April 26, 2012 @ 7:53 pm

    I’ve been thinking about quinoa for breakfast, but more like leftover quinoa, I am headed down the wrong path, would be strange if there was a little chicken broth in my breakfast food…


  21. #
    Sondra — April 26, 2012 @ 8:45 pm

    Oh my goodness~ I have to hurry up and go to bed so I can make this for breakfast…..ZZZZZZZ
    Is it Morning Yet?


  22. #
    Julia {The Roasted Root} — April 26, 2012 @ 9:04 pm

    Sweet, creamy breakfast quinoa sounds great! Like you, I normally eat a ton of eggs for breakfast, in every form, so throwing in something fruity, nutty, grainy and creamy is definitely called for in my book! Sounds like your dessert competition was loads of fun…I’d take a gin and tonic cake hangover any day. :)


  23. #
    Lizzi — April 26, 2012 @ 10:17 pm


    I made a version the other day – cooked chunks of apple in with it, along with cinnamon, nutmeg, dried cranberries, sultanas and crystallised ginger. Served with candied almonds (why would you want anything in its uncandied form?? ANSWER ME THIS), thickthickrich vanilla yoghurt (the kind that is pretty much cream masquerading as yoghurt), and a big fat dollop of honey.

    IT WAS AUTUMN IN A BOWL AND I COULD NOT HAVE BEEN HAPPIER. When Spring/Summer eventually get to me here in Australia, I am making this version STAT!


  24. #
    Tracy — April 26, 2012 @ 10:56 pm

    This looks like the perfect breakfast! I’ll have to find something crunchy to sub for the pecans. Yum!


  25. #
    Jen — April 26, 2012 @ 11:16 pm

    Never been a breakfast person but I think I have to give this one a try. Thanks


  26. #
    Amanda @ Once Upon a Recipe — April 26, 2012 @ 11:31 pm

    I’ve seen more and more breakfast quinoa recipes popping up lately. I love quinoa for lunch and dinner, why not breakfast? Must try soon!


  27. #
    Becs @ Lay the table — April 27, 2012 @ 9:13 am

    I’m so glad you posted the recipe as I’ve been obssessed since i saw you tweet the pic! You quinoa looks completely different to what I buy – like a wild rice version. Mine’s very consistent in colour.


    • Jessica — April 27th, 2012 @ 11:21 am

      This is the tricolor quinoa from Trader Joe’s… I believe there is red, black and “regular” (like a tan color?) quinoa… but they all taste the same. At least I think they do.


  28. #
    Angi — April 27, 2012 @ 9:29 am

    Wow is all I have to say!! I’ve never commented before (although I still think about your lipgloss post and wish I had on it). I love quinoa, I can’t wait to try this. I am going to be passing through Vegas and hitting Trader Joe’s for my first time in a couple days. I’m wondering besides this delicious coconut milk, what else do you suggest as a Joe must have?? Thanks in advance!! And I would love another make-up post. Not that I need any more make-up!!!


    • Jessica — April 27th, 2012 @ 11:19 am

      OH man… what DON’T I suggest? You probably can’t buy anything perishable then, right? I suggest: tricolor quinoa, strawberry yogurt o’s, cookie butter, maple sugar, sweet chili sauce, lentil chips, blue corn chips, any salsas, pasta sauces, pasta, granolas, dried fruit… I really don’t think you could go wrong!


  29. #
    chefroommate — April 27, 2012 @ 9:59 am

    While this looks delicious – more important matters are at hand – such as, Where is this gin and tonic cake and how do I make it!?


  30. #
    Chris — April 27, 2012 @ 10:44 am

    You crack me up! I seriously LOVE reading your posts. I haven’t tried quinoa yet but this definately made me want to. I’m a coconut milk junkie lately. And since I’m at the point of baked oatmeal overload and I need a new breakfast option. Yeah!


  31. #
    Lisa | With Style and Grace — April 27, 2012 @ 11:02 am

    I freakin’ love breakfast quinoa!!


  32. #
    Kare at Kitchen Treaty — April 27, 2012 @ 12:12 pm

    This is really such a great idea. The coconut milk sounds heavenly and the fact that it keeps you full and satisfied for hours? I’m in!


  33. #
    Annie@stronghealthyfit — April 27, 2012 @ 1:49 pm

    I’m going to try this recipe asap! Looks amazing, I love anything with coconut. Well, almost anything. I also love grape-nuts and often mix them with raw oats (1/4 cup each) into yogurt or almond milk with a bunch of seeds and nuts for bfast. Yum!


  34. #
    Paige @ Running Around Normal — April 27, 2012 @ 2:05 pm

    Oooh, I have these ingredients! I might just try this for dinner! Breakfast quinoa dinner.


  35. #
    Donna — April 27, 2012 @ 6:56 pm

    Your incredible sense of humor alone makes this the absolute BEST food blog …It’s a bonus that you come up with incredible recipes to boot. Being a big breakfast fan…this offering was a mega-bonus…
    Thank you for being you and sharing with all of us.


  36. #
    Katie — April 27, 2012 @ 11:21 pm

    Is this something that can be made it advance? It looks so yummy but I just don’t think I can be this on top of things before 12PM. I’m lucky if I can find a granola bar. Help?


    • Jessica — April 28th, 2012 @ 7:43 am

      Yep you can make the quinoa before and then just throw it together when ready! I think it’s great both hot and cold.


      • Jessica — May 7th, 2012 @ 8:44 pm

        I was going to ask you if you’re supposed to eat it hot or cold. I just made it tonight to eat tomorrow morning. I haven’t added the fruit yet but the quinoa by itself is yum! Can’t wait for the bananas and walnuts (no pecans in the house) tomorrow morning!!

  37. #
    Meghan — April 28, 2012 @ 4:35 pm

    I am so excited to try this! I have never had quinoa before!


  38. #
    Gen — April 28, 2012 @ 5:41 pm

    We have maple sugar buds here in Canada. I used that for some crunch instead!


  39. #
    Emily — April 28, 2012 @ 6:03 pm

    this is genius!


  40. #
    Lauri — April 29, 2012 @ 4:13 pm

    Just found this on Pinterest and HAVE TO try it! For about the last week I have been wanting some kind of a quinoa breakfast cereal, but the few cookbooks I have don’t have anything like that in them and I keep forgetting to surf the net to find something because…surprise, surprise…Pintrest always sucks me in. This looks delicious and your post cracks me up because it’s like reading something I wrote myself. I am ALL ABOUT the texture!


  41. #
    Sierra @ Posh Meets Pavement — April 29, 2012 @ 5:08 pm

    I have seen your photos on Instagram and patiently awaiting the recipe….looks divine.

    In Maine, they have Grape Nut Ice Cream…my Grammy adores it.


  42. #
    Blair — April 30, 2012 @ 9:45 am

    Made this this morning! Got all the ingredients yesterday and literally dreamed about it last night. I was so excited to try it! It did not disappoint. Delicious! I’m a runner and I find it hard to find foods that really fill me up but this was so satisfying! Thanks for an awesome recipe!


  43. #
    Jess — April 30, 2012 @ 10:41 pm

    I made this for my nearly 10 month old daughter today, minus the pecans, and she absolutely loved it! Of course, I enjoyed it too. I would never have thought to use quinoa in a breakfast.


  44. #
    Rose — May 1, 2012 @ 10:51 am

    I just made this using mango and skipping pecans; enjoyed it


  45. #
    vingleburt wingeldank — May 2, 2012 @ 9:42 pm

    can I just say how much I appreciate your blog? Because I really really really really do. Not only do you make me feel like there is someone else on my crazy planet (Apparently Jess & Vingleburt Planet), but you always have a recipe for what I want. I’m trying new foods while on weight watchers, and this week I’m giving quinoa a try. I thought you had like one recipe…dude, you make quinoa all the time. You rock. :-)


  46. #
    Amy — May 7, 2012 @ 12:02 am

    Made this for my kids for breakfast…the LOVED it! Thanks!


  47. #
    jessika — May 9, 2012 @ 11:50 am

    This sounds amazing!

    Do you think it would keep for a few days?


    • Jessica — May 9th, 2012 @ 11:52 am

      Quinoa itself definitely keeps in the fridge for a few days, but I wouldn’t mix everything together.


  48. #
    Lisa Petr — May 16, 2012 @ 11:55 pm

    I love, love your site! It makes me smile – TX!


  49. #
    Sharon Garofalow — May 18, 2012 @ 12:17 pm

    I have been thinking about this since I first made the recipe 2 weeks ago. My son may even be late to school so that I can finish cooking the quinoa. :) So delicious!!!


  50. #
    Karen Loucks Rinedollar — May 21, 2012 @ 12:42 pm

    Loved your blog- arrived via Pinterest when I spotted the recipe for Quinoa. Am co-owner of Roundhouse Spirits distillery in Boulder, Colorado where we make award winning gin, Corretto coffee liqueur and Imperial barrel aged gin that taste more like a whiskey. We’ll start sharing it with the country when Trader Joe’s finally comes to Colorado- rumor has it next year?!? If you are ever in the Denver/Boulder area- let me know and I’ll take you (or your followers) for a personal tour of the distillery. Free tastings!

    Now back to the Quinoa. Thought this might be the answer to the eye rolling breakfast battle my husband and I have each morning. He prefers cereal and oatmeal. I’m more of an eggy girl so I can add veggies and cheese. After reading an article by Dr. Oz on food suggestions- I was finally ready to make the leap from brown rice to Quinoa. At 7:30 am, I entered the kitchen galley for my virgin voyage on the Quinoa Cooking Express this morning. I loved it and will definitely make again. He is more of a creature of habit and will continue his old regime. Oh well, try, try again. Loved your blog. Very humorous!



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