Friday, March 16, 2012

Protein Breakfast - Eggs & Quinoa

Spring has hit San Diego.  Sleepy rose bushes are reaching for the sky with beautiful new growth, the grass is sporting a lovely shade of deep green and the weather has been warm enough for tank tops, shorts and floppies.  While the warm breezes and brilliant blue skies are welcomed,  the thought of sporting a swim suit soon has me cringing.

Months of blustery, cold (I know... we are wimps in San Diego), and dark weather have perhaps put a few pounds on my frame, and while I don't feel bad in regular cloths, a glance in the mirror of my pale, white arms hanging out of my summery tank top was not a sight I cared to behold.

Hence, an increase in protein and veggie filled meals and a decrease in those midlife, pound-adding carbs.  Well, a moderate decrease, but a decrease nonetheless.

Quinoa comes in varying colors
Enter Quinoa.  A native to the Andean regions of Peru, quinoa is truly an "ancient grain" (though it is in reality a seed) with a near 9,000 year history.  Once called "The Gold of the Incas", quinoa is not only high in protein, but a complete protein, meaning it contains all 9 essential amino acids.  In addition to protein, the tiny seed is a very good source of manganese as well as a good source of magnesium, folate, and phosphorus, potentially making quinoa valuable for persons with migraine headaches, diabetes and atherosclerosis.  Add the fact that quinoa was used by the Inca Warriors to increase stamina and I think I have a winner.

Lunching at a local restaurant a few months ago, their healthy protein breakfast-like offering included an egg white scramble with a side of plain quinoa, all topped with avocado and what I loved most, a generous dose of salty feta.  Easy to put together, I've prepared a similar dish nearly weekly and have found myself craving my simple protein breakfast even for dinner.

One of those "A little of this. A little of that." recipes, this dish adapts easily to your tastes as well as to what you have on hand.  Using a combination of whole eggs and egg whites, I've added sauteed mushrooms, spinach, peppers and onions to my scramble, while seasonal topping have included avocado, cherry tomatoes, scallions and my beloved Feta.  Sprinkling the toppings liberally over the eggs placed aside a portion of protein- rich and stamina-producing quinoa, I've found myself content, satisfied and with the stamina of a warrior.  Now I just need to work on getting my somewhat floppy arms back in the shape of a warrior and I'll be ready for summer clothes.

Egg Scramble with a side of Quinoa
Adaptable to what you have on hand this scramble will start your day off the right way, just like the Inca Warriors.  Below are are listed ingredients in general terms, feel free to pick and choose what works for you.

1 cup dry quinoa

eggs or egg whites


Prepare quinoa according to package directions.

Sautee veggies and add eggs to scramble, or alternatively make an omelette.

Plate quinoa and eggs, then top with your favorite toppings.  Sprinkle liberally with Feta

Enjoy your "Warriorness" today...


  1. This sounds delicious - and I *love* quinoa. I just can't imagine eating salad for brekkie though, so may try this for a lunch or dinner :-)

  2. This sounds delicious and I love the quality protein - and the gorgeous image!!

  3. Quinoa is the best! Im always looking for new ways to use it! This breakfast looks so wonderful and healthy!

  4. I love the photo of the Inca warrior guy! I am a geography teacher (among other things!) and I am actually currently teaching about the Inca people. I will make quinoa for my students next week. Most have never even heard of it!

  5. Sounds wonderful and you're right, perfect for getting back in shape after a winter of indulging! Thanks I will be trying this!

  6. Swoon worthy! I almost never remember that quinoa can be eaten at breakfast. Combining it with avocado makes this a solid contender for best breakfast ever :)


  7. What a pretty breakfast! I am not a huge fan of eggs, but mix in all those delicious veggies, and I could probably eat a few!

  8. This is gorgeous Kim! I love a healthy breakfast. I have that napkin, love those!

  9. Haven't thought about using quinoa with eggs. Interesting idea!

  10. I'm a big quinoa fan. You can't beat the combination you have here for a filling and healthy meal.

  11. Ooh, Kim! This meal looks wonderful. I've just started enjoying the taste of quinoa and am excited to learn different ways of making it :-) Good luck on your working out! If you read the post I wrote today, you'll find that I can't move much of my body, lol. I'm wondering if it's the hack squats, spinning, or lunges that I've got to blame!

  12. Love quinoa, and you are right, this is a wonderful breakfast! You would go into the day feeling energized after enjoying it :)!

  13. The last time I had quinoa (a couple of months ago) I enjoyed it so much that I vowed not to neglect it again for so long. Unfortunately, I have done just that. Your breakfast is a good reminder of how much I like it and how versatile it can be. I need to enjoy breakfast this way more often.

  14. I'm a big fan of quinoa also. I've used for for breakfast, but usually just as a sub for oatmeal. I really like what you've done here!

  15. I have all of the ingredients! Will make this!

  16. My kids love quinoa (we call "quinua" in Peru). One day I made cream caramel with quinoa expecting they will enjoyed it, but no, they didn't like, they like quinoa savory and never sweet.

  17. This looks and sounds amazing! I love the protein-packed aspect of it as well. I like to find breakfasts that give you a good start to the day. :)

  18. Never really thought about Quinoa for breakfast. This is a must try next weekend!

  19. I was just looking for something to eat out of the few groceries we had and I ended up making scrambled eggs mixed with quinoa and sharp cheddar. I googled it to see if I could find a better recipe than my off the cuff idea. Thanks!


Your comments make our hearts sing!