Sunday, January 8, 2012

A Bowl of Warm and Good

It's been awhile since I've posted a nice porridge recipe. Since my first post on weekend oatmeal, my porridge-making has definitely diversified. Millet, quinoa, barely and buckwheat, baked with fruits -- yup! All kinds of different porridge. I've also stopped using quick-cooking oats in favour of the old fashioned rolled oats, that don't take that much longer to cook and have a better flavour and texture.

Today I'm going to bring you a baked porridge recipe that combines spelt flakes and quinoa. I enjoyed a nice warm bowl earlier in the week for lunch after being out in -27 degree weather and it really hit the spot. It makes me long for lazy never-ending weeks as I'm about the head back to work. Working lunches are never this interesting, so I'm probably going to save this one for a wintery cold weekend -- you know, one of those days where you never change out of your pjs or step foot out of the house. Winter has been pretty calm here in Toronto, but I have a feeling that it's just biding it's time ... And when that time comes, I'll have this baked porridge.

You can use whatever fruits and flavourings you like, but I put apples, tahini, a pinch of cinnamon and freshly grated nutmeg, and some chopped dates. Raisins would work just as well, as would dried cranberries, chopped banana, pear ... whatever you like. The quinoa really gives this porridge a great texture -- the little quinoa grains at the top get all crunchy and golden while the ones in the middle puff up and become chewy and toothsome. I had doubts about the spelt, since it tends to get mushy really quickly, but it baked up nice and fluffy. It's hearty, nutty and totally soothing on your tastebuds and tummy. And it's also great January food -- you know, comforting and warm because it's cold outside and you have to go back to work, but also wholesome and nutritious so you keep your healthy resolutions. Go on .. dig in!

Spelt and Quinoa Breakfast Bake
serves 3-4

1/4 cup of quinoa, rinsed well
1/2 cup of spelt flakes
1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon
2 little gratings of fresh nutmeg
1/2 cup of water
1/2 cup of soy milk
1 tablespoons of honey (reduce to 1/2 if your soy milk is sweetened)
2 tablespoons of tahini
4-5 chopped dates
1 large apple, grated

1. Put all your ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix well. Pour into a baking dish and bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes, or when the top gets nice and brown and all the liquid has absorbed.

2. Serve warm, with toppings of your choice. Mine were: a dollop of yogurt, sunflower seeds and an extra drizzle of tahini.

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