Coco-Berry Quinoa Bowls
Back in April, my roommate and I headed to Tulum for a little spring break (WHOOOOO).
Since we booked this getaway extremely last minute after doing next to no research, our hotel choice had a 50/50 chance of being regrettable, but I wasn’t overly concerned. Don’t get me wrong, I love me a great boutique hotel, but all I really need on a Mexican vacation is a good 4’x6’ piece of sand, tacos, and tequila. (And somewhere to rinse off the sand, hot sauce, and tequila that will inevitably stick to 80% of my body.)
Luckily for us, Papaya Playa Project ended up being a delightful spot. Very bohemian chic. A little untz-untzy for my taste—think DJ cranking by noon in the outdoor restaurant and magnums of rose being consumed by chain-smoking youths—but beautiful nonetheless. (Also, I am rapidly becoming a grandmother?)
Aside from the very friendly beach waiter who became Logan’s best friend, what I appreciated most about PPP was their breakfast menu. Tulum is generally celebrated for its “wellness scene,” but I wasn’t anticipating the level of healthy awesomeness I would be presented with every morning. I’m talking all manner of fresh juices and smoothies, whole-grain pancakes, gluten-free granola with coconut yogurt, and a magical assortment of cold grain bowls loaded with fresh fruit and homemade coconut milk.
I was a big fan of the overnight oats and a magical smoothie involving coffee and bananas, but the sleeper dish that really blew me away was the quinoa breakfast bowl. A not-too-sweet porridge with quinoa, coconut milk, fresh fruit and nuts, it was loaded with refreshing flavors and had the most addictive texture. It was weird but in a good way, and I couldn’t get enough.
When I returned home to the polar vortex after four days in the Mexican sun, I missed many, many things about Tulum, but this badass breakfast was at the top of my list. (Second only to spicy Salty Dogs and watching Logan splash in the ocean.) Sadly, I had to wait a couple of months for the temperature in NYC to creep above 65 degrees, but when it did, I wasted no time whipping up my own Coco-Berry Quinoa Bowls.
These easy bowls only require a handful of nutrient-packed ingredients, and they come together pretty quickly, especially if you have cooked quinoa on hand. (Just me? Sorry.) Whisk some coconut milk, maple syrup, vanilla, and cinnamon, stir in the quinoa, and top with fresh berries and toasted nuts and coconut shavings. Boom, done. And for all my meal preppers out there, you can make the quinoa base on Sunday, and eat it throughout the week. (Just add an extra splash of milk before serving because the quinoa will soak up most of the liquid in the fridge.)
A couple quick notes and you do you options before you hit the kitchen. First, I like red quinoa for this bowl because it’s a little bit heartier/nuttier than white quinoa, but either will work. Second, this bowl is very lightly sweetened. If you have a sweet tooth, play with the quantity of maple syrup until you find your sweet spot. Finally, feel free to get creative with toppings! Mango and macadamia nuts is a great combo, and I’m a sucker for sliced strawberries and banana with a little dark chocolate. A dollop of coconut or Greek yogurt is also great if you want porridge with a creamier texture and some tang.
Now go forth, and quinoa bowl, friends! I’m very excited for you to experience the magic.
p.s. This recipe has some great red-white-and-blue vibes, so if you’re looking for a Fourth of July breakfast…
- 1/3 cup chopped walnuts
- 1/3 cup unsweetened flaked coconut
- One 15-ounce can light coconut milk or 2 cups non-dairy milk of your choice
- 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup or to taste
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Pinch of sea salt
- 3 cups cooked quinoa 1 cup uncooked quinoa
- 2 cups fresh berries I recommend a mix of strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries.
First, toast the coco-nutty topping. Heat a medium skillet (with no oil) over medium heat. When hot, add the walnuts and coconut to the pan and toast for about 2 minutes, shaking the pan regularly, until lightly browned and cooked through. Transfer to a small bowl to cool.
Whisk the coconut milk, maple syrup, cinnamon, vanilla extract, and salt in a medium mixing bowl. Stir in the quinoa, and give it a taste. (Feel free to add a little more maple syrup, cinnamon, or vanilla here if you like.)
Divide the quinoa between 4 small bowls and top with berries and the coco-nutty topping. Serve with extra coconut milk if you like.
This post is sponsored by my longtime friends at Peapod Delivers. All opinions are very obviously my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that help keep Domesticate Me alive and kicking.
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