Mediterranean Breakfast Quinoa with Walnuts, Figs and Apricots

Mediterranean Breakfast Quinoa with Walnuts, Figs and Apricots

Move over, baklava! Sugar-kissed nuts and cinnamon have found a new home.

In this Mediterranean-inspired quinoa recipe, I let dried fruit and cinnamon contribute all of the sweet taste — no added sugars needed. Dried figs are startlingly sugary, and when joined with Turkish apricots, raw walnuts, and cinnamon, this breakfast cereal is given a decidedly Mediterranean flair. Oatmeal is usually my go-to breakfast grain, but warm summer mornings call for cold cereal, and this quinoa fits the bill.

Mediterranean Breakfast Quinoa with Walnuts, Figs and Apricots

Mediterranean Breakfast Quinoa with Walnuts, Figs and Apricots

^^Dried fruit (apricots left, figs right) and nuts make this recipe easy to enjoy year-round

Mediterranean Breakfast Quinoa with Walnuts, Figs and Apricots

^^New to quinoa? You can tell that it’s done cooking when a little white tail separates from the grain

Mediterranean Breakfast Quinoa with Walnuts, Figs and Apricots

Mediterranean Breakfast Quinoa with Walnuts, Figs and Apricots

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed well and drained (any color – I used red)
  • 3 cups water
  • ¼ cup walnuts
  • 4 extra large dried figs (or 8 smaller dried figs)
  • 8 dried apricot halves
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 cups milk (I used organic skim milk)

Method:

  1. Bring water and quinoa to a boil. Then, reduce heat to low and simmer covered for about 15 minutes. (The outside coat of the grain will separate into a curly tail when done cooking.)
  2. While the quinoa is simmering, chop the figs, apricots, and walnuts into small, bite-sized pieces.
  3. Add the chopped fruit and nuts and cinnamon to a large bowl.
  4. When the quinoa is done cooking, add to the bowl and toss with the fruit and nut mixture until combined.
  5. How to serve: Divide the quinoa mixture among 4 mason jars, and add ½ milk to each jar. Cover and refrigerate overnight. (This allows the fruit to soften a bit, and also allows the flavors to mingle more freely.) Alternatively, you can also keep the quinoa mixture in a covered container in the fridge. Then, when you’re ready to eat, simply scoop about 1 cup quinoa mixture into a bowl, top with ½ cup milk, and eat like regular cold cereal.

Mediterranean Breakfast Quinoa with Walnuts, Figs and Apricots

Nutrition per serving (including milk): 290 calories, 7g fat (1g saturated fat), 47g carbohydrates (5g fiber, 16g sugar*), 12g protein, 60mg sodium, 10% Vitamin A, 1% Vitamin C, 21% Calcium, 15% Iron

*All sugars are naturally occurring – none are added sugars

Mediterranean Breakfast Quinoa with Walnuts, Figs and Apricots

– Kelly

Mediterranean Veggie Burgers with Sweet Potato, Red Lentils, and Quinoa

Mediterranean Veggie Burgers with Sweet Potato, Red Lentils, and Quinoa, served on Whole Grain bun with Avocado and Spinach

This recipe is a close adaptation of Martha Rose Shulman’s recipe for the New York Times. I actually had the pleasure of meeting her last week (#starstruck), because she’s moderating a panel at an upcoming conference that my company is hosting. Our lunch meeting was catered by SweetGreen, so basically it was an all-around perfect day.

In my version of the recipe, I decided to lighten things up a little bit and bake the patties, rather than coating in breadcrumbs and pan frying them. Shulman recommends serving the patties with raita, chutney, or a garlic mint yogurt sauce, but I went classic veggie burger style, and served them up on toasted whole wheat buns with avocado slices and fresh spinach.

My only previous attempt at veggie burgers was an awesome black bean burger recipe (with avocado mango salsa, might I add), so this was a totally different experience. But a delicious one, at that. The feta and chives really give these veggie patties a flavorful kick, and the lentils and quinoa provide that ever-important protein.

Mediterranean Veggie Burgers

Mediterranean Veggie Burgers

My boyfriend was actually licking the bowl at this point. I’m telling you, these veggie burgers are GOOD!

Mediterranean Veggie Burgers

Mediterranean Veggie Burgers with Sweet Potatoes, Red Lentils, and Quinoa

Serves 8

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup quinoa
  • 2/3 cup red lentils
  • 2 1/3 cups water
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, baked (I just poked holes and microwaved them, about 4 minutes on each side)
  • 3 cups tightly packed, chopped fresh spinach, plus more for garnish
  • 3 oz crumbled feta (about ¾ cup)
  • ¼ cup finely chopped chives
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 8 whole-wheat hamburger buns, toasted (I like this brand)
  • 2 avocados, sliced

Method

  1. Combine water, quinoa, and lentils in a small pot and bring to a boil. Then cover and reduce to a simmer, until the outside germ of the quinoa separates into a curly tail, the lentils are tender, and the water has been absorbed (about 15-20 minutes).
  2. While the lentils and quinoa are cooking, skin the potatoes and place them in a large mixing bowl. Then add the spinach, feta, chives, mint, and lemon juice to the sweet potatoes.
  3. Once the lentil and quinoa mixture is cooked, let cool, then add it to the sweet potato mixture. Mash all ingredients together with a fork until mixed well.
  4. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Scoop ½ cup of the vegetable mixture, then roll and flatten into a patty. Continue with the rest of the mixture. Recipe makes 8 patties.
  5. Let patties refrigerate for at least an hour- the longer the better. (They can also be made up to two days ahead of time. In fact, they actually turn out better this way, as they have more time to set.)
  6. Bake at 350 degrees F for 25 minutes (no need to flip).
  7. Serve on a toasted whole grain bun with fresh spinach and sliced avocado.

Mediterranean Veggie Burgers

Nutrition per serving (1 patty on a 100% whole wheat bun with 1/6 avocado): 300 calories, 6.5 g fat (3g saturated fat), 46g carbohydrates (8.5g fiber, 8.5g sugar), 12g protein, 460mg sodium, 500mg potassium, 228% Vitamin A, 33% Vitamin C, 20% Calcium, 28% iron

 

Mediterranean Veggie Burgers

– Kelly