Breakfast Quinoa with Caramelized Bananas

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Even though January is the time for New Year’s resolutions, I never seem to make them. I understand the enticement of a fresh start. I understand the importance of discipline and goal-setting. I just know I would be too devastated if I set a resolution that I didn’t perfectly follow.

For example, I already broke any “healthy diet” resolution with last week’s happy meal from McDonald’s. Even though the french fries are so teeny tiny! And there’s a little baggie of apples!

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Instead of hard-and-fast resolutions, I’m using this time to think about life in a little broader terms.

At home and work, I have to force myself to think big picture. I tend to get caught up in the day-to-day and small details. I stay focused on tasks instead of the big goals I’m working towards.

To think big-picture: I’m going back to a few questions I answered after reading the Happiness Project.

What parts of my life are going well and what doesn’t feel quite right?

What are things things that make me happy, energized, and joyful? What things bring boredom, frustration, or guilt?

What parts of my life are helping me grow?

So I haven’t made any resolutions for the year but plan on using this month and each coming month to look at the big picture and make small goals.

If you’re reading this and have made 2013 your year to get healthy, I’m sending you all the best vibes and well-wishes. Two pieces of advice I’ve read that stand out: make your goals specific and manageable and make it fun.

Eating breakfast is one small and manageable way to be more healthy. You can make it fun by playing around with new recipes with healthy and delicious ingredients like this breakfast quinoa.

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Breakfast quinoa is a great way to have a protein-rich start to your day. I loved the quinoa cooked with milk, vanilla, and cinnamon because it reminded me of my favorite, creamy bowl of oatmeal.

I used a few fun toppings. The bananas are caramelized with a slightly roasty-toasty flavor. Chopped almonds add crunch.

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This recipe makes two servings and each one is about 280 calories with 12 grams of protein (less if you use almond milk). To save time, you could easily make the quinoa at night and reheat in the microwave with a little added milk in the morning.

Enjoy your fun and healthy breakfast!

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Breakfast Quinoa with Caramelized Bananas
Serves 2

1/2 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed and drained
1 cup milk (I used unsweetened vanilla almond)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 banana, cut lengthwise
butter, 1 tsp brown sugar, sprinkle of cinnamon
2 T chopped almonds

Heat pot to medium high heat and add quinoa. Toast for about 2 minutes.

Add milk, vanilla, and cinnamon, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer 15 minutes until liquid is absorbed.

Meanwhile, melt butter in saucepan on medium heat. Add brown sugar and let melt a little. Place bananas with cut side facing upwards, sprinkle with cinnamon, and let cook 30 seconds without touching. Flip and cook other side for 30 seconds.

Top quinoa with bananas, almonds, and extra milk if desired. Other toppings like berries, nuts, or granola would be great!

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Signing off…

Last Friday January 4 was National Trivia Day — I know you probably already celebrated with friends and family. 🙂

I love trivia and can’t get enough weird and unexpected facts. I also feel the desire to share them but usually restrain myself. Probably an impulse left over from high school and not wanting to seem like a know-it-all. Also, I don’t always know if it’s just interesting to me or interesting to everybody.

Anyway! The nice thing about blogging is I can share whatever I want. And so I present a few of my favorite facts from Mental Floss.

Before Google launched Gmail, “G-Mail” was the name of a free email service offered by Garfield’s website.

Ben & Jerry originally considered getting into the bagel business, but the equipment was too expensive.

The first webcam watched a coffee pot. It allowed researchers at Cambridge to monitor the coffee situation without leaving their desks.

During the first Super Bowl in 1967, NBC was still in commercial when the second half kicked off. Officials asked the Packers to kick off again. (Packers trivia for the husby!)

Have a great week! Let me know if you try quinoa for breakfast!

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2 thoughts on “Breakfast Quinoa with Caramelized Bananas

  1. Pingback: Cauliflower Crust Pizza | In The Mixing Bowl

  2. Amy, I made this the other day. It was good but my quinoa was not the best. I think I bought it from a market in South America a couple years ago. I need to get some fresh quinoa and try it again. Quality and freshness – always make a difference.

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