Every PhD student’s life is marked by a bit of academically sanctioned torture that’s known as a “qualifying exam.” In my case, the qualifying exam is a month long written test followed by a 3 hour oral exam. It’s a scary test, but preparing for it is even scarier — my desk is currently hidden under teetering piles of papers and books. Thankfully, the prep is almost over. I start my exams in 10 days.
Because of this exam situation, I haven’t left my desk as often as I’d like over the past month. That also means I’ve been eating less fresh fruits and veggies and more stuff from the pantry (or the proverbial pantry, as our tiny kitchen definitely does not have a real pantry). One of the dishes that’s become a new staple over the last month — and one I absolutely adore! — is a multigrain porridge.
I’ve always liked a warm breakfast cereal. I started veering away from the usual flaked grains one day when I laid my eyes on a bag of amaranth that had been sitting around the house for a while. I cooked a bit of it. Then I mixed it with some other grains. At points I was stirring together some combination of amaranth, quinoa, short grained brown rice, jasmine rice and millet, seeking a lightly sweet and creamy breakfast porridge. I also added different types of milks, spices, fruits and nuts.
After lots of tries, there are a couple combinations that have become favorites. Here’s one of them. This recipe makes a few servings, which is nice because the leftovers reheat well. The amaranth takes a little while to soften, so if you want this for a weekday breakfast, you may prefer to cook up a batch the night before. I can also imagine this recipe might work well in a crock pot (which I’ve never used before, so let me know if you try it).
By the way, I know amaranth isn’t for everyone. If you don’t dig on it, just leave it out and replace it with quinoa or another grain of choice.
Amaranth and quinoa porridge
Makes 2-3 servings
- 3/4 c quinoa
- 1/4 c amaranth
- 5 c water (or 4 c water + 1 c almond milk — or your milk of choice)
- a couple dashes of ground cinnamon
- a couple dashes of ground nutmeg
- a dash of ground ginger
- optional chopped nuts, chopped fruit and an extra splash of almond milk
Add everything to a medium pot and bring to a low heat. In about twenty minutes, come back and stir a few times. After that, check in every five minutes or so until the amaranth is done — it should take about 40 min. Scoop into a bowl and top with nuts, fruit and milk.
P.S. That’s some especially vibrant carrot juice in the picture, not Tang.