Monday, April 8, 2013

Banana and Coconut Quinoa

Olie is a bit of a quinoa nut.  We always have a ton of it around.  But because it's a little pricey, and he loves it so much, I don't eat it often.  I just save it for him.  But the other morning I was wanting something a little different than my normal oatmeal and bananas.  So I decided to throw those bananas in some quinoa instead.  And add some flavorful twists.

I've been wanting to try banana chips for a while, and when I saw a recipe on A Beautiful Mess, I knew I had to give it a go.  It's a sweet and salty recipe (always the best kind), and I thought it would be perfect for my quinoa. They would also be great on their own as a snack.

Banana and Coconut Quinoa

First you need to make the banana chips.  Slice a banana up into thin slices.  Coat with brown sugar.  This will get a bit gooey, but you can handle it.
Place the bananas on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.  Top with salt and pepper.
Bake in a 425 degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes.  You want them to be brown around the edges.
While the bananas are cooking, make your quinoa.  You want it to be plain, so don't use chicken stock. Just use water.

Toast a handful of sweetened coconut and a teaspoon of ground ginger in a saucepan over medium heat.  Keep an eye on it!  It will go from toasted to burnt in a matter of seconds.  When it starts to brown, take it off the heat.  Place the coconut on a plate and set aside.  Don't leave it in the pan, even off of the heat.  The residual heat of the pan is enough to burn the coconut.  Trust me, I've burnt coconut so many times.
Grab a bowl.  Add some quinoa.  Top with some bananas, coconut, some cilantro leaves, and a dollop of Greek Yogurt.  Mix it up and wolf it down.  It's pretty awesome.  Sweet and savory and healthy.  This was a perfect start to the day.  I ate the leftovers the next morning and was surprised by how well this kept in the fridge.  It was just as good the next day.  This would also be great for lunch, but I loved these unexpected flavors in the morning.  And how pretty it is.  This makes breakfast just a little more special.

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