Usually my weeks go something like this…I wake up, stumble downstairs in pajamas, head straight to the coffee machine, make breakfast, sit down at the computer and work for 2-3 hours before I decide that if I spend one more minute bra-less and in the clothes I woke up in, I’m a complete bum. So from there, I “get dressed”. Quotes are warranted because that essentially means workout clothes and not a single ounce of makeup. The day proceeds as normal (work + blog cooking at lunch time) until my one social event of the day, CrossFit. Besides that one hour, I’ve probably talked to my dog, my coworkers on an internal IM thing and maybe had 1 or 2 actual phone conversations the entire day. Repeat that 5 times and you know now my Monday through Friday. Predictable, boring but somewhat comfortable.
This week however, is exciting!!! Three exclamation marks kind of exciting.
I got to go to NYC for a food event for a day (more on that eventually), I “get” (not exactly something I want to do but more so forced to) to go to Connecticut for work for a day and I have dinner plans 2 nights this week.
That’s like 3 days of actually getting dressed, driving somewhere and functioning outside of my living room turned office. Big news.
So, I decided to make granola at the start of the week for quick breakfasts when I’m trying to get out the door before 8am and never ever seem to leave enough time to get ready in the morning and easy snacking while I’m out and about.
The crazy part though is that I used quinoa. Uncooked quinoa. Did you know you could do that?! Because I totally didn’t until reading Sonja’s post. I also totally don’t buy into the paleo-ers claims that quinoa is more like a grain than a seed so I’m deeming this a grain-less granola (to my semi-paleo self at least) which just rocks. Another perk? There are far fewer nuts and seeds in this recipe because of the quinoa so you don’t have to spend your life savings at the bulk bins in preparation.
Personally, I think this version beats out the normal oat approach by a landslide. It’s super crunchy but not in an “omg, I’m going to break my tooth” sort of way and there’s a serious protein boost from the quinoa.
I’ll trade in workout clothes and talking to my dog any week if it means more of this stuff.
- ¾ cup uncooked quinoa (I used a mixture of white & red)
- ½ cup unsweetened coconut flakes
- ½ cup chopped cashews
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds
- 2 tablespoons pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspooon cinnamon
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
- ¼ cup chopped dried apricots
- ¼ cup chopped golden raisins
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Combine quinoa, coconut, cashews, chia seeds, pepitas, salt and cinnamon in a large bowl.
- Add coconut oil and honey and toss well to fully coat the mixture.
- Spread granola mixture onto a baking sheet in a single layer.
- Bake for 12-15 minutes, tossing occasionally and watching carefully to avoid burning.
- Remove from oven and add the apricots and raisins to the baking sheet, toss to combine.
- Let cool for about 10 minutes. Clusters will form as it cools.
- Store in an airtight container.