It should be spelled Bore-at, not Borat. Yawnsville! Why the hell all the buzz on this movie? I found it neither offensive nor funny, just long, boring, and really rather sad. I’m (clearly) no prude and am in fact a big fan of the butt-fart-poop joke genre as well as truly stupid, crude, slapstick humor (Old School?Austin Powers? Even Jackass had its sick moments…). However, I’ve never been a fan of acts that trick unsuspecting people into looking like complete asses, so I guess Borat and I weren’t meant for each other (another big clue, that I clearly should have heeded: I can’t stand the Da Ali G show). I fought sleep the whole time and felt a bit depressed when we left. Weird.
Well, on to something much more fascinating…brace yourselves!…quinoa. Ooooh! And again. I know, I’ve already written about it, but I made up a couple of recipes and got a cool one from reader Donna, for quinoa bars, so here I am again. I had cooked up another – big – batch of plain quinoa, and after eating it for breakfast for a couple of days I decided to innovate with it a bit. First up, quinoa pancakes. As you can tell from reading here, I cook mostly with fresh food, but once in awhile a good mix does come in handy, such as Krusteaz Wheat & Honey Pancake Mix. I loved this stuff in college, since you only have to add water. It makes soft, fluffy, whole-grain pancakes and best of all, you can mess around like crazy with the ingredients. I’ve been addding nuts, fruit, wheat germ, flax seeds, yogurt, juice – whatever I have on hand or am in the mood for – to these for years. And today, yes, I added cooked quinoa. Since all you add is water, I just put two cups of Krusteaz mix in a bowl, with a bunch (2 cups?) of cooked quinoa, and added enough water to make a thick batter. I cooked the cakes one at a time in a small, non-stick skillet, cooled them on racks, and froze them between sheets of parchment paper (to keep them from freezing together). Voila, instant breakfast! One pancake is one serving – microwaved until warm, topped with a little cottage cheese and sweetened berries, mmmm, a perfect winter’s breakfast. (Delicious with maple syrup as well, by the way! And same technique works for other leftover cooked grains – amaranth made yummy pancakes.)
The other recipe I’m experimenting with is quinoa banana bread. I adapted a pretty standard recipe – and by adapted I mean seriously messed with, so we’ll see how it turns out. Luckily quick breads are pretty forgiving. It’s just out of the oven, smelling quite fabulous, I must say. Update: tastes quite fabulous as well, John agrees. Sweet, dense, crunchy (with nuts), definitely whole-grain looking and tasting, yet moist. (Recipes posted in comments, below.)
Quinoa Breakfast Bars
Rinse 1 cup of Quinoa in cold water and drain. Combine quinoa with 2 cups of water in sauce pan. Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
Toast 1 cup of roasted unsalted almonds for about 5 minutes on a baking sheet in 350 degree oven. Allow to cool and grind finely.
1 cup of unsalted soy nuts, ground finely
1 cup of oat bran
1/2 cup of all purpose flour, sifted
1/2 cup of flax seeds, ground finely
1/2 cup of Kombu seaweed, ground finely
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup of canola oil
1/2 cup of brown sugar
2 mashed bananas
1 3/4 cup soy milk
Optional: 1 cup chocolate chips or carob chips or leave out all together depending on how many calories you want.
Combine dry ingredients and wet ingredients separately. Mix wet and dry ingredients with quinoa. It should make a thick batter. Stir in carob chips if using. Pour into two greased loaf pans and bake in 350 degree oven for 55 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Reduce cooking time to 25 to 30 minutes for muffins.
Allow to cool and remove from pans.
Banana Quinoa Bread
Makes 1 loaf
This is a hearty, crunchy bread.
1 c. brown sugar
1/3 c. olive (or vegetable) oil
2 large, ripe bananas
½ c. yogurt
1 tsp. vanilla
½ c. oats
1 c. whole wheat pastry flour (or 1 c. white flour; or ½ c. white, ½ c. regular whole wheat flour)
1 c. cooked quinoa
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 c. chopped walnuts
nonstick cooking spray
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 9x5 loaf pan with nonstick spray. Combine sugar, oil, eggs, bananas, yogurt, and vanilla in the bowl of a mixer. Beat at medium speed until fluffy, about 5 minutes. In a small bowl, stir together oats, flour, quinoa, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon. With mixer on low, slowly add dry ingredients to banana mixture until just combined. Fold in walnuts. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 1 hour. Test for doneness with a toothpick. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a rack. Serve warm or at room temperature. Freezes nicely.