I don’t think anybody was more excited for Autumn to get here than me. Granted, I am a little tired of those silly Tweets, Facebook statuses, Instagrams, whatever that say any variation of “Fall: hot chocolate, leaves, football, big sweaters, bonfires, pumpkins, apple cider..” etc etc. We get it: fall is here and we are all happy about it. I think F. Scott Fitzgerald said it best:
Easily one of my favorite things about the season is the return of all things pumpkin. Sadly, we vegans can’t ring in the season with the flavor of the coveted Pumpkin Spice Latte as the pumpkin mix at Starbucks has condensed milk in it. My friends have made me painfully aware of this but I am determined to have a happy season filled with pumpkin flavored things, even if it isn’t in coffee form.
Which brings me to the magic that happened in my kitchen yesterday morning:
Let me back up for a minute and explain the reasons this brunch happened. First, I went out Friday with some friends to celebrate a birthday:
I fell into bed around 1:15 a.m. and didn’t set an alarm for Saturday morning. Normally, I get up around 8:30 a.m. on the weekends, have my usual green smoothie, go to the gym, shower and start my homework. I had so much work to do yesterday and had one of the worst days ever on Friday so I was going to treat myself to sleeping in and a leisurely but productive day. Thus, you can imagine my delight when I woke up on my own around 7:30 a.m and promptly went back to sleep. When I opened my eyes again, the sun was pouring into my room at it was 9:40 a.m. — whoops! I’m not really a proponent for sleeping in that late but I felt so energized, recharged and optimistic. It also didn’t hurt that my whole apartment smelled like fall and the windows were open, flooding my room with the crisp, breezy air. 9:40 is kind of late for breakfast by my standards and I wasn’t really feeling a green smoothie for some reason.
The morning was perfect for something pumpkin flavored so I hopped out of bed and got cooking.
Quinoa (pronounced keen wah) is one of those amazing
grains seeds that we hear a lot about but some people still aren’t too awfully sure about. Here’s what you need to know:
- Quinoa is an ancient grain that has been cultivated for at least 5,000 years — dating back to when the Incas were in South America
- There are more than 120 varieties of the seed, each of which are grown on large stalks
- Quinoa packs a powerful punch of amino acids and proteins
- This nutty, fluffy seed is naturally gluten free so those who are sensitive to gluten can nosh away
This recipe was a breeze — quinoa only takes about 15 minutes to cook up and then only about five additional minutes to heat up with the pumpkin puree and almond milk. The recipe calls for almond milk but I would bet the farm that any other non-dairy alternative would be just as delicious. The recipe calls for 1.5 – 2 tablespoons of either honey or maple syrup. Honey is one of those controversial vegan items that some will argue is or isn’t vegan, depending on who you talk to. I stay away from it for personal/ethical reasons. Thus, I opted for just one tablespoon of pure maple syrup (100% pure is extremely sweet…a little bit goes a very long way). It was just the right amount!
The recipe also calls for some ginger. I added just a little bit more than the recipe called for because I really like the taste of ginger. Plus, any morning that I get to grate this root up is a good one, by my standards:
So there you have it! Pumpkin quinoa porridge and today is the first day of the season. I had this for breakfast again today and will be working on the leftovers probably until Tuesday or Wednesday, but it keeps really well in the fridge and is nice to know that I have breakfast/lunch covered for the next few days.
I’m still adjusting to this new posting schedule and I really miss checking in every day…just bear with me! You guys are excellent.
Have a restful first day of Autumn!