Savory Breakfast Quinoa
Who says you have to stick to cereal or toast for breakfast? Try this savoury quinoa recipe, topped with a perfectly fried egg.
Serves: 1 • Prep Time: N/A • Cook Time: N/A
Savory Breakfast Quinoa
If you hadn’t already guessed from the funny way I spell things, I’m British. We Brits aren’t known for our amazing food (which is a mistake, by the way!), but generally we’re pretty proud of our traditional ‘full English’ breakfast. With mushrooms, tomatoes, baked beans, fried eggs, toast… and sausages… and bacon (for the meat eaters) it’s a pretty impressive sight to behold and is a very ‘stabilising’ way to start the day – especially if the night before involved one too many glasses of wine.
However, a full English breakfast is often as greasy as it is tasty, and the portions aren’t modest. Often it’s served piled high on a platter (yes, a platter) rather than a plate, with extra toast or fried bread on the side.
You get the picture. Brits are great at making stodgy, economical meals that saw us through famines and periods of intense rationing – but we’re not usually celebrated for food that makes us firm and fit.
Next comes the ingredient that pulls everything together, and transforms a simple quinoa dish into a seriously good breakfast: a perfectly fried, ever so slightly runny egg!
I think it’s time to change that – hence my savoury breakfast quinoa! With so many healthy, fresh foods available to us these days, it seems a shame not to make the most of them. This breakfast quinoa contains some of my favourite breakfast vegetables and makes a much healthier alternative to an enormous fry-up. Top it with a fried or poached egg and it’s just as tasty, still very modest, and thoroughly filling!
Of course, any sort of cooked breakfast is going to take a little longer to make than just grabbing a banana or pouring a quick bowl of cereal. Because of this, I think this breakfast quinoa is great for a weekend treat when you have 20 additional minutes to devote to your breakfast that absolutely cannot be managed on weekday mornings. However, if you are intrepid enough to fit a quinoa breakfast in before work each morning, spare yourself a few of those 20 minutes, and prepare the quinoa and vegetables the night before. In the morning, just reheat the mixture and top it with a freshly fried egg when you’re ready to eat. The work of minutes.
To prepare your breakfast quinoa, start by cooking the quinoa in some vegetable stock. You could use plain water if you prefer, but using a tasty veggie stock is a really easy way to inject some of that lovely salty, savoury flavour that we’re looking for. Rather than adding heaps of liquid like I usually do and then draining the quinoa afterwards, I only add about three quarters of a cup of stock, allowing all that savoury flavour to be fully absorbed. This gives a slightly moister result and makes this breakfast quinoa reminiscent of a savoury oatmeal, as opposed to the slightly drier quinoa that you might use to make a quinoa salad.
In a separate pan, fry up your vegetables. Make sure you don’t use too much oil; we’re aiming for a healthy breakfast here, remember! I used asparagus and mushrooms for my breakfast quinoa, but use whatever vegetables you like to have at breakfast time – tomatoes, spinach, peppers, avocado, whatever you have in the fridge!
Next comes the ingredient that pulls everything together, and transforms a simple quinoa dish into a seriously good breakfast: a perfectly fried, ever so slightly runny egg! To be honest, I’ll pretty much slap a fried egg on top of anything and call it breakfast – but this breakfast quinoa is one of my more successful attempts.
To save on washing up, I cook the egg in the same pan as the vegetables (because who wants heaps of pans to wash up before they’ve started their day?). Just push the veg to the edge of the pan, and crack the egg right in the middle. Cook it however you like; I like mine to be a little crispy on the bottom, so I usually use a fairly high heat, and I often flip the egg over for the last few seconds as well, to make sure the egg white is properly cooked. However, for a more photographic fried egg like you can see in my pictures, cook the egg over a fairly low heat so the egg has time to cook all the way through without the underside burning.
If you thought this breakfast quinoa looked tasty with the fried egg perched neatly on top, wait until you see it with the yolk broken into it. The runny yolk oozes down into the quinoa and makes everything silky and utterly luxurious.
What do you think – are you convinced to try a savoury breakfast quinoa? Or, if you’re more of a grab-and-run kind of breakfaster, maybe you’d serve this quinoa recipe as breakfast-for-dinner instead (best type of dinner EVER)? The Forq app gives you a platform for sharing and preserving your recipes–just categorize in the breakfast section using the keywords ‘quinoa’ and ‘savoury’. I’ll be looking!
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Here’s how to make this delicious recipe
Add the quinoa and vegetable stock to a pan, and simmer until all the liquid has been absorbed, and the quinoa is fully cooked. If the liquid has cooked off before the quinoa is cooked, just add a dash more water.
Meanwhile, dice the mushrooms. Snap the tough ends off the asparagus, and cut the spears into bitesize pieces.
Heat the oil in a frying pan, and add the garlic, diced mushrooms, and asparagus pieces. Cook over a medium heat for a few minutes, until the mushrooms have softened a little.
Push the vegetables to the side of the pan, and crack the egg into the centre (add a little more oil if necessary). Fry the egg until the white is fully cooked. Alternatively, you could poach the egg if you prefer.
When the quinoa is ready, add the mushrooms and asparagus to the pan, and season generously. Mix well, and serve the quinoa mixture topped with the egg and garnished with chopped spring onion if desired.
The finished masterpiece!
- 60g (~1/4 cup) quinoa
- 200ml (~3/4 cup) vegetable stock
- 4 medium mushrooms
- 5 asparagus spears
- 1 tbsp oil
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 egg
- Black pepper
- 1 spring onion, finely sliced
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Who’s Cooking Today
Becca Pusey is a freelance recipe developer and food writer based in Hertfordshire, UK. She blogs over at Amuse Your Bouche, where she shares her favourite simple vegetarian recipes using everyday ingredients. She aims to show that vegetarian food can be just as easy to make, just as satisfying, and just as tasty as any meat dish. Oh, and she likes cheese, a lot.
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