This little pseudo-cereal (its called that because it looks like grain but its actually a seed) is so popular in South America that the UN named 2013 Year of the Quinoa.  This super seed is far higher than cereal in protein and also it is naturally gluten free.  The high levels of naturally occurring flavanoids have been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects.  Eaten either as a cereal or rice substitute, whilst it is used as a cereal substitute the plant actually belongs to the same family as spinach or chard.

It takes about 15-20 minutes to cook and it stores well once cooked.  I made this breakfast recipe using milk instead of water but if you are planning on cooking a large batch for the week use water to prevent the milk from souring the quinoa.

I used these small ramekins to serve the quinoa in as part of a bigger health breakfast.


Caramelised Honey Pears & Spiced Quinoa
Serves 4

–  1,5 cups quinoa
–  3 cups milk (plus extra)
–  large pinch cinnamon
–  1 star anise
–  pinch salt
–  1 pear sliced
–  1 tsp butter
–  1 tsp honey

Start by bringing the quinoa, spices and milk to a boil.  Lower the heat and keep on a gently simmer, stirring occasionally.  If the milk all gets absorbed add a little more.  Remember it is a porridge so you want it to have a nice silky consistency.  Whilst the quinoa is cooking, heat the butter in a pan, add the pears and the honey.  Allow to quickly carmelise, dont overcook them they should still be slightly firm to add some texture.  Serve in ramekins drizzled with a little more honey and milk or a spoon of cream.