Thursday, April 14, 2011

Quinoa Rice Breakfast Cereal

So, it's day four of my little cleanse, and it's actually going quite well. I miss cheese, yogurt and bread, but have been keeping those cravings at bay with salty rice crackers (didn't realize how much I love them!) and creamy tapioca pudding made with rice milk and honey. I think knowing that this is only for two weeks makes it easier. I'm already thinking about bread and cheese....

Breakfast was an area I was a little worried about starting this diet. I love having toast with peanut butter and bananas or oatmeal or granola with kefir, all of which are on my do not eat list! So I had to come up with a good alternative, to fill me up and satisfy my need for a substantial morning meal. I had tried creamy rice cereal in the past, and found it lacking in something. The texture can be a bit too grainy or something. So the other day, I mixed it with quinoa that I decided to try grinding in my coffee grinder (I don't drink coffee, so I only use it for flax and spices). It worked perfectly! I cooked the two together with a mixture of rice milk and water and drizzled honey overtop. Today I served it with an apple blueberry compote, almonds, blueberries and honey. It was a perfect, creamy, nutty, fruity and warm cereal that I think I will continue making even when I'm done with this crazy diet. And for me, that's saying something.

Quinoa Rice Breakfast Cereal

¼ c Quinoa
¼ c Rice Cereal / Rice Meal
1 c Water
1 c Plain Rice Milk
Pinch Salt

Put quinoa in a clean coffee grinder and pulse until finely ground, about like coarse cornmeal. Place in a medium saucepan with rice, water, rice milk and salt. Give it a stir and turn the heat on to medium. Bring it to the boil, stirring constantly. Cook until thick, about 6-7 minutes. Remove from heat, cover with lid and let stand for 5 minutes or so. Drizzle with honey, fruit, dried fruit, almonds or whatever you like.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Honey Puffed Grain and Seed Squares and a personal challenge

I am embarking on a culinary adventure/challenge that I never thought I would be embarking on. It all started the other day, when I went to see a naturopath for the first time. After her in-depth assessment of my overall health, she suggested it might be a good idea for me to do a two week "cleansing diet". The purpose of this diet is to see if some minor health problems clear up if I cut out refined sugar, gluten and three favourite food groups! I have always been very sceptical (even bordering on critical) of people who jump on the fat-free, gluten-free, sugar-free, dairy-free bandwagons, unless they have actual allergies. It always seems so extreme, and besides, many of these things (minus the refined sugar) are so healthy! The first question I asked was whether I can (permanently) re-introduce these foods afterwards, even if my symptoms clear up. Her answer was yes, which for me was huge. I wouldn't even be willing to try this is if meant I could never go back to gluten and dairy! Plus, it's not like I have severe reactions to these foods. I am interested, however, to see how my body reacts without them. So starting Monday (after a dual birthday party for which I made two cakes), I will give it a try. I'm looking at it as an interesting culinary project and a personal challenge that way I can have fun with it and try some new ingredients and recipes that I might not have thought of otherwise.

I came up with these really yummy puffed millet and quinoa squares last night, and think they will be a good sweet fix for me, because I certainly can't get very far through a day without something sweet (no pun intended for those of you who get that reference). I will be posting some recipes over the next two weeks, so stay tuned for some (hopefully) delicious, gluten, dairy and sugar-free recipes!


1 cup Liquid Honey
¼ cup Pure Almond Butter
1 tsp Vanilla
1/2 tsp Salt
2 cups Puffed Millet
1 cup Puffed Quinoa
1 Tbsp Sesame Seeds
1 Tbsp Poppy Seeds
1 Tbsp Flax Seeds
2 Tbsp Sunflower Seeds
2 Tbsp Pumpkin Seeds
¼ cup Chopped Almonds
Preheat oven to 325 F. Line an 8x8 inch pan with parchment paper.

Put honey, almond butter, salt and vanilla into a medium saucepan over medium heat until it comes to a boil, stirring with a spatula. Remove from heat, pour in remaining ingredients and stir until everything is coated in the honey mixture. Pour into prepared pan and press down with a spatula or with wet hands.

Place in preheated oven and bake for 20 minutes.

Remove from heat, let cool fully and then cut into squares. Store in an airtight container.