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Coconut Quinoa Breakfast Porridge

December 4, 2014

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In addition to serving as a day of gratitude and festive family gatherings, Thanksgiving symbolizes America’s official kick-off to the holiday season. For many of us, the whimsical spirit and joy of the holidays is often tarnished by the stress of holiday shopping. I don’t know anyone whose inboxes, Facebook feeds, TV screens and radios aren’t saturated with promises of Black Friday, Cyber Monday and other holiday deals that “can’t be missed!” and will guarantee to make this holiday the “best yet!” for their loved ones, pets and colleagues. It’s overwhelming, not to mention mentally and financially exhausting.

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This is why I’m especially thankful for our recent rain storms. As opposed to succumbing to my annual patterns of spending and stressing, I’ve been embracing the alternative option of bundling up under a blanket with a cup of hot tea. This weather has always had a remarkable talent for providing me with a sense of calm and comfort, and after living in sunny Los Angeles for the last couple of years, I’ve been overdue for a good downpour. I love the damp, woodsy, clean-air smell that accompanies the first seasonal storm almost as much as I love falling asleep to the rhythmic drumming of rain on the roof. Wet, wintery storms are definitely one of my favorite simple pleasures.

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Like summer heat calls for ice cream and popcicles, stormy weather requires comfort food. While I love to experiment with new recipes, I’m a creature of habit when it comes to breakfast. 99% of my mornings start with either a simple bowl of Irish oatmeal and berries, or eggs and soldiers (soft boiled eggs and toast fingers for those unfamiliar with the English tradition).

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Craving something new but equally hearty and warm, I decided on a quinoa breakfast ‘porridge’. While I’m used to cooking my quinoa in chicken or vegetable stock when preparing a salad or side dish, I opted for coconut milk and topped it with fresh persimmon, toasted coconut flakes and a splash of almond milk.

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The spices added the perfect touch of Fall flavor, and the result was as hearty and comforting as it was healthy. I love this new twist on a breakfast classic, and look forward to future seasonal variations (perhaps peaches and toasted almonds in Summer…)





½ cup dry quinoa

2 cups coconut milk (or 1 cup coconut milk and 1 cup coconut water for a more mild coconut flavor)

½ cup raw coconut flakes

½ tsp salt (preferably Maldon)

1 persimmon, rinsed and diced

1 tbsp vanilla extract

1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

½ tsp cardamom

1 cup almond milk (or other milk varietal of your choosing)

1 tbsp brown sugar (optional)



  1. Heat the coconut milk in a saucepan over medium heat
  2. While the coconut milk is warming, thoroughly rinse the quinoa in a strainer until water runs clear of bubbles & foam
  3. Add quinoa, vanilla extract and spices to coconut milk and cover, stirring intermitently until done (about 10-15 minutes)
  4. While the quinoa is cooking, toast the coconut flakes over medium heat in a skillet, stirring until a light golden brown. This should only take 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat, pour coconut flakes into a dish and set aside
  5. When quinoa is fully cooked, remove from heat until it has reached a desirable serving temperature
  6. Serve in a bowl, and top with brown sugar, diced persimmon, toasted coconut flakes and a splash of almond milk

** Serves 2 larger portions or 3 more modest appetites



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