Sure, we’ve had a few uncomfortable run-ins since I kicked him to the curb. But nothing major, nothing that has affected me too severely. I still love him dearly, as you can tell from my post about the gorgeous chocolate croissants at Tavern. Be still my beating heart! Be strong!
So why, if I love him, did I let him go? Because I think that he might be doing me wrong. Sure he appears to be feeding me. But on the inside, I suspect he’s poisoning me, causing my skin to break out on my face, and to itch somethin’ awful on my legs (psoriasis). He also gives me some really awful heartburn. I know a number of people who’ve kicked gluten because it causes painful stomach aches, not to mention people who suffer from celiac disease. Luckily, I don’t have it that bad. And while I’m not seeing immediate results, Bren has encouraged me to give this a go for at least a month, to let the break-up takes its full effect.
The only time that this new diet bugs me is in the mornings. I used to make a big batch of oatmeal that would last us through the week. But, despite kicking every other offensive gluten-bearer from my diet, I was still suffering from heartburn. A quick google showed that some people also have reactions to oatmeal, and so my love’s grittier cousin has been kicked out too! Thankfully the heartburn went with it, but I was still craving a warm carb-laden breakfast, so I turned to my old trusty friend, the nice guy who always waits around in the background, only to ride to the rescue when the dashing jock has broken my heart: quinoa! (pronounced KEEN-wah)
So here’s my recipe for Mr. Nice Guy Quinoa, a healthy carb-y breakfast that’s a gluten-free answer to oatmeal. Really, it’s best not to think of it as an oatmeal substitute, or else you’ll be disappointed. This has its own character — nutty, crunchy, light. And thanks to some flavourings (almond milk, orange zest, pistachios…) not native to most oatmeal recipes, you probably won’t even miss your ol’ Quaker Oats. Plus, quinoa contains a helpful amount of protein, so you’re actually getting a more nutritious breakfast! Make a big pot and eat it over a few days. I love it!
MR NICE GUY QUINOA
1 cup quinoa (red or beige), rinsed thoroughly
1 cup water
1 cup almond milk (unsweetened)
1 cinnamon stick
Pinch of salt
2 tbsp pistachios (shelled)
2 tbsp raisins
Zest of one orange (eat the flesh as a snack!)
1 tbsp honey
1) In a saucepan, bring quinoa, water, milk, cinnamon stick, and pinch of salt to a boil. Keep an eye on it to keep it from boiling over — it’ll happen in an instant. I’ve missed it every time, and had to clean up the stove afterward. Ugh!
2) Turn heat down to a simmer, and cook for 15 minutes until quinoa is tender, and curly-cue white germ appears on each grain. Add more almond milk if it gets too dry. In the last 5 minutes of cooking, add raisins and pistachios.
3) Finish with orange zest, honey and more almond milk if you like it a little soupier (I do). Enjoy!