Monday, September 15, 2014

Menu Plan Monday- 9/15/2014 Vanilla Quinoa for Breakfast

Hello again.  Yes, I've fallen off the blogging band wagon.  Shame on me.  It's just that lately I've found that I have literally Zero to say.  I've been in a funk, to put it mildly.  
I find as time goes on, I miss my friends who have all moved away from the Atlanta area, and I miss the ones I left behind in California even more.  Work has become depressing.  Between the emotional challenge of it and the sorority girl atmosphere,  I've come to the conclusion that it's not someplace I want to be this time next year.
On the home front, Pumpkin has moved out in to a dorm.  That means the only one left at home (besides the fur kids) is Diva.  From 3 girls down to 1 makes for a too quiet house. I miss having Pumpkin around terribly.  I miss her droll sense of humor.  I miss having someone to talk with about mundane things as well as the big. 
It's time to make some changes in my life.  One of those changes is to get back to blogging and looking for the positive.  I also need to focus on the areas of my life that DO work.  I've been better about meal planning and trying new things.  Last week I made two new recipes that were complete hits and will be going in to my rotation.  I hope this week's newbies are as successful.  I also have a new breakfast favorite- Vanilla Quinoa; I'll share that recipe at the end of this post.
So, without further ado, here is this week's meal plan:
Bacon and Onion Quiche
Shells and Cheese with Bacon and Peas  (hmmmm... I seem to have a bacon theme going here)
Tacos, mexican rice and beans
White Chicken Chili
Spaghettii Carbonara, salad and garlic bread
Meatball Subs
Grilled Chicken, ceasar salad and corn on the cob
Nom!!!
Ok, on to my new favorite breakfast treat.  Vanilla Quinoa.  If you haven't tried Quinoa yet, I highly recommend it.  Quinoa is a seed from South America.  It's very versatile; it can be cooked on the stove top, baked, ground in to a flour, served hot or cold.  One thing to keep in mind; quinoa needs to be rinsed, rinsed again and rinsed even more- otherwise it is very bitter.  Even if the package says it's pre-rinse, do yourself a favor and rinse it again.  It's not the cheapest of ingredients, but it's really good for you.  I paid about $8 for a one pound package at Trader Joes'.  I've since found it in the bulk bins at Sprouts for a bit less.  It's a complete protein, has a low glycemic index and full of fiber, which means it's filling and doesn't cause spikes in your blood sugar.  Pookers was the one who first introduced me to it by making a cold Spanish-inspired side dish made of quinoa, corn, black beans, green onions, garlic and cumin.  
This breakfast version is my favorite way of eating it.  It's warm and sweet.  A perfect change of pace from oatmeal or cream of wheat.  The best part?  It's just as good as cold left overs.  In fact, I may almost prefer it cold.
Sorry for the picture, I was halfway through breakfast when I realized I needed a picture for this post! A serving is really bigger than this picture shows!

Vanilla Quinoa
Ingredients:

1 cup vanilla soy milk
1/2 cup dried quinoa, rinsed well and drained
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1-2 tsp agave syrup (may substitute brown sugar if desired)
optional- 1/4 cup Frozen blueberries, thawed.

Directions:
Over medium heat, bring the soy milk to a low boil in a small sauce pan. Stir frequently to prevent a skin from forming.  When boiling, add the rinsed quinoa.  Return to a low boil, then reduce heat to low.  Cook for 20 minutes, stirring frequently.  Stir in the cinnamon and agave syrup.  Cook for an additional 10 minutes or until the remaining liquid is absorbed.

Serve topped with thawed berries (or frozen if you are impatient like I am ) If desired.  Makes 2 servings.




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