Hiya! After all the culinary excesses of football watching, I thought it would be helpful to start the week off with something that undoes a little of the damage, aka this absolutely swoon-worthy Coconut Quinoa Porridge with Blueberry Topping from the people at Bluestone Lane Cafe. Never had quinoa porridge? Don’t know what Bluestone Lane is? Take a deep cleansing breath, scroll down a bit and all will be explained (and if you’re not up for all the details, just scroll down a bit more for the recipe—no hard feelings, I promise! It is Monday, after all.)
First off, I have a confession to make that is likely to reverberate all over the great world wide web and quite frankly, probably change the way you think about me— I don’t like quinoa. I know, I know—it’s a disgrace. In my defense, that dislike comes from a really awful experience I had cooking with it many years ago—certain kids cried that it made our house smell like a health food store (they were right) and since then I’ve given this ultra healthy grain the cold shoulder, even uttered that deepest and darkest of culinary threats— “never again in this house”! But now, I’m forced to eat my words, or rather, the quinoa, because after one bite of this terrifically yummy porridge, I am a quinoa convert! Just putting that out there, in case you’re not a huge fan either.
This miracle came about because we were down in DC for hockey (of course) but also to visit one of our boys who is in college there and he took us to Bluestone Lane for brunch. If you’re not familiar with Bluestone, it’s an Aussie-based coffee bar/restaurant that specializes in healthy food and drink—think avocado toast, breakfast bowls, gorgeous salads, wellness drinks, cold pressed juices and lots of baked goods, many of which are gluten-free and vegan. We got a bunch of yummy things but my favorite was this wonderful riff on classic oatmeal drizzled with an addictively delicious, fresh blueberry, saucy topping.
We all loved it SO MUCH! And I really think you will too. It’s warm and decadent feeling but there’s no cream or milk or added sugar. And the entire thing, including the blueberry topping, comes together easily in just a few minutes. Every bite just has so much flavor and texture!
At Bluestone, in addition to the warm blueberry topping, they served it up with sliced bananas, granola, coconut and I think a spoonful of almond butter too. Here, I simplified things a bit and just added some toasted, slivered almonds, coconut chips and a sprinkle of coconut sugar. What’s great is that it’s so versatile—you can top if off with anything you like and make it your own.
And I don’t know about you, but when I start off the day with a healthy meal, I am so much more likely to keep that healthy vibe going. Never thought I’d hear myself say this, but woo-hoo, let’s hear it for the quinoa!!
Bluestone Lane’s Coconut Quinoa Porridge with Blueberry Topping
Makes 4 servings
Prep Time for the Oatmeal: 15 minutes; Prep Time for the Blueberry Topping: 8-10 minutes
For the Oatmeal
1 cup white quinoa, rinsed well
1 can coconut milk (about 13 1/2 ounces), divided
1 cup water
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon honey
For the Blueberry Topping
2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
2 tablespoons water
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Coconut chips, toasted almonds, coconut sugar, sliced fruit for topping (optional)
To make the porridge: Place the rinsed quinoa, 1 cup of the coconut milk, the water, vanilla and cinnamon in a medium saucepan and stir together. Bring to a boil over high heat. Then turn the heat to low, give everything a big stir, cover the pan and let simmer for about 10-12 minutes, until the quinoa is fully cooked and almost all the liquid is absorbed.
Remove from the heat and stir in the remaining coconut milk and honey.
While the oatmeal is cooking, make the blueberry topping. In a small saucepan, combine the blueberries, water and vanilla. Cook over medium low heat, stirring every now and then, until the berries are heated and start to break down, releasing their juices.
When the porridge is done, spoon it into bowls, top with some of the blueberry mixture and add any toppings you like. Serve immediately. Any leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for a few days and reheated.
Note: Recipe adapted from Bluestone Lane Cafe. I tinkered with the proportions and ingredients a bit. The original recipe calls for honey to be added to the berries—I thought it was sweet enough without, but add if you want a little extra sweetness.