Winter is in full swing around here! Temps in the teens, wind chill of zero, and snow on the ground. But I think I’m finally coming around to winter [I think] – it just took a vacation to get me back to my happy, loving self – the happy, loving self that’s crazy about life, no matter the temperature.
Last week was so draining, so when it was time to hop on a flight to Colorado for a few days I could hardly stand it! I met my boyfriend, who had flown in the weekend before, and 14 of our friends for a mountain getaway for a couple nights. It turned out to be an amazing weekend – 60º & sunny, a beautiful house with great people, and the majestic Rocky Mountains. It couldn’t have gotten any better. We spent a couple nights in Denver, too, and it felt so good to be home.
During the entire long weekend I took a tech hiatus – I left my computer & iPad at home, stayed off my phone, and totally unplugged. It was just what I needed. No homework, no Instagram, no tech. It was amazing. I finally woke up this morning feeling ready to get back into my groove again – and the first thing I wanted to do? Make a new recipe!!
Its felt like forever since I had time to really get creative in the kitchen – especially for a Morning Meal – so when I had some free time this AM I was ready to make something good, something warm, and something healthy [duh]. I threw all three together and got this . .
Banana Bread Quinoa Bake
Makes about 8 servings.
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa
- 1 tbsp [maybe a little more] coconut oil
- 1/2 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut
- 1 1/2 tbsp pure maple syrup
- 1/4 cup + 1 tbsp almond milk
- 1 banana, sliced
- 1 cup blueberries, divided in half [both fresh & frozen are fine]
- 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped & divided in half
Preheat the oven to 400º. In a small saucepan, cook quinoa with 2 cups filtered water, per directions. While the quinoa is cooking, grease a skillet [9-inch pie pan or square pan work, also] with the coconut oil; combine shredded coconut & maple syrup in a small bowl and then press it into the bottom of the pan, forming a crust.
When quinoa has cooked, gently fold in almond milk, 1/2 banana, and one half of the blueberries & walnuts. Spread the quinoa mixture into the pan and then top with the remaining banana & blueberries; place in the oven and bake for 18 – 21 minutes, or until the edges are slightly golden. When it’s finished baking, top with the rest of the walnuts.
Serve in a bowl with a cup of hot tea, a side of yogurt, or all on its own!
This dish, reminiscent of freshly baked banana bread, is super protein-packed and full of delicious nutrients – it has a warmth that hits the spot in the middle of winter, with a toasty crunch that adds a playful bite! I would typically add cinnamon, nutmeg, and maybe a little clove, but I left it out of this one and the dish was still so tasty. Feel free to turn the flavor factor up, though, and add a little spice if you’re feelin’ sassy!
What do you crave in the midst of winter’s freezing temps??