As much as I try, I just can’t seem to cook quinoa properly. I’ve tried various methods but it always ends up badly. Instead of individual fluffy grains, I get a big gloppy mess. Too much water? Overcooked? Who knows. Even when I follow a recipe to the letter, it’s a disaster.

This past weekend I decided to give it one last shot. If I couldn’t do it this time, I swore to myself, I would give up completely and resign myself to buying it from the Whole Foods buffet and just heating it up when I needed it. Once again the alchemy escaped me and I was left with thick, gloppy glue. I tasted it and it had a vaguely cinnamon flavor. Who knows where that came from but it was obvious to me that I would have to dump the whole batch into the garbage disposal YET AGAIN… or would I?

I looked at the mess again and the consistency combined with the cinnamon-y flavor reminded me of oatmeal. I had an idea… one that would change the entire breakfast game for my kid, if I could pull it off.

My four-year-old is a notoriously picky eater. I know we’re not supposed to call them that anymore but fuck it, that’s what he is. And it’s annoying. I digress…

I scooped some of my massacred quinoa into a bowl, added a few raisins and sprinkled it with brown sugar, and handed it over to my son, telling him that it was “special oatmeal” that I had made just for him (overkill perhaps, but I really hate wasting food). Because he’s male four, he totally bought it and took a bite. Holy crap! He likes it! He finished the bowl and then wanted more after dinner, for “dessert.”

All week, he’s had his “special oatmeal” for breakfast and all week I’ve been riding on a high from knowing that I’m sending my kid off on his way with a belly full of vitamins, fiber and protein, shit that his usual bagel and cream cheese or buttered toast just don’t have. I’m supermom and super saver of the planet by cutting down on my food waste. Go me!

You know my next batch of quinoa is going to come out fluffy and perfect, right? Sigh.

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