Yesterday (Sunday) Corey and I woke up and with no plans for the day. We felt like doing something we hadn’t done before and going somewhere new. We checked out the train schedule (7 minutes to the next one) so we jumped out of bed and with the best of intentions to exercise threw on our gym gear (luckily perfectly acceptable attire for any time of day in Melbourne) and sprinted to the station. We made it just in time and with chests a-burning we got on.
I needed a few stops to catch my breath and when we were ready to go again we got off. I was so excited when we came up out of the station to find that we were right at a little cafe called The European that I had passed a few weekes back and was dying to try. We walked inside the big dark wood doors and were immediately transported to a cafe in Paris except with friendly staff. This is how it is described:
“Reminiscent of old world Europe, The European mines the traditions of rural France, Italy and Spain. The European is a hybrid creation that evokes memories (and the occasional bit of longing) for the wine bars and cafes of all those places; and the extent to which the concept resonates with Melbournians can be measured in the place’s longevity….” Epicure
It still feels like its winter here in Melbourne today, its raining and you need a few layers on when you go outside. So I thought I’d try and make my own version of their Quinoa Porridge for a warming start to the day.
Quinoa, pronounced “keen-wah” ,has a natural bitter coating of sapponins so make sure you rinse it in a fine mesh strainer before using. Most commercial quinoa will have been rinsed but you are better off doing it yourself just in case.
You can top this porridge with anything you like from fresh blueberries to desiccated coconut and flaked almonds.. I used dried turkish apricots and dates and honeyed walnuts.
- 1 cup quinoa
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup milk of your choice you can use dairy, cocnut milk, almond milk or rice milk
- 3 mejool dates
- 6 turkish apricots
- handful of walnuts
- ½ tsp cinamon
- 1 star aniseed
- 1 tsp honey and extra to taste
- Rinse the quinoa in a fine mesh stariner under running water then bring to the boil with 2 cups of water
- Simmer for 12 minutes then cover and remove from the heat. This will allow it to continue cooking and you will get fluffy beautiful quinoa.
- Place the walnuts on a piece of baking paper on a baking sheet and drizzle with honey then roast in an oven heated at 200C for 5 minutes until they are golden
- Remove from the oven and set aside to cool. When cool roughly chop
- Heat the milk in a saucepan over a medium heat to warm. Add the star naiseed, nutmeg and cinnamon and allow to infuse. Remove the star aniseed and add the cooked quinoa. Mix it together and sweeten with some honey. ( you can adjust the cinnamon by adding more now if you like)
- Divide the quinoa between 2 bowls and top with the dates, apricots and honeyed walnuts. Add extra honey to taste.