Healthy Quinoa Upma + Savoury Breakfast Challenge

Healthy Quinoa Upma + Savoury Breakfast Challenge
September 14, 2017 megsri8
Healthy quinoa upma

Hello! Hope you have been well! I have been having fun times, travelling to India and spending time with my family and loved ones. Today I want to share with you two interesting things. One is a super delicious savoury Indian themed breakfast recipe for a quinoa upma. The other is the fun challenge I started a couple of months back called the Savoury breakfast challenge. First I would like to talk to you about the breakfast challenge.

Healthy quinoa upma

On Instagram breakfasts are usually in the form of smoothie bowls or overnight oats or chia seed parfaits. While I enjoyed learning and creating various versions of these delicious, rainbow coloured breakfasts, I realised there was a lack of savoury breakfast options. In India breakfast is almost always savoury and hot as opposed to cold and sweet. My mother makes a traditional Indian breakfast of Dosa, idli, upma, pongal for breakfast till today. For her and many Indians, breakfast needs to be hot and packed with flavour! I have also been asked by some for healthy breakfast options which are ‘chatpata’ which means slightly spicy and tangy.

I was a bit blank initially because I wasn’t sure how to create a healthy savoury breakfast, especially one which was gluten free, had less grains and more vegetables and spices. Hence I decided to start the #savourybreakfastchallenge to get inspired by my IG friends to create something delicious and different! The rules were simple it had to contain atleast one vegetable, had to be gluten free and had to be savoury. I was so happy with all the amazing recipes ideas that came about, including today’s recipe for a Healthy Quinoa Upma. At the end of today’s blog post are all the delicious recipes created for the challenge with a link to their Instagram accounts and blogs.

Healthy quinoa upma

This competition led to some very interesting recipe creations of my own. I wanted to create something which was inspired by my South Indian breakfast creations. Hence I came up with a savoury overnight oats, Quinoa idlis, Indian spiced almond butter and this delicious and healthy quinoa upma. Now upma is a staple Indian breakfast seen in almost every household in India. It is a savoury mix made by cooking down roasted semolina with oil, onions and a little tempering. Its very tasty but is usually low in nutrition, greasy and made with wheat.

I decided to create a gluten free grain free version using red quinoa instead of the semolina. I soaked the quinoa overnight to ensure maximum benefits from the pseudo cereal. I also adding a mixture of vegetables like beans, carrots, peas and American corn. I made it in the ghee to give a delicious added flavour. Ghee especially made from grass fed cows is a good fat with healing properties and gives everything a delicious flavour. I am a big fan of ghee and use it indulgently whenever I make Indian food but you can also make it with coconut oil if you are vegan. It also has a simple tempering of mustard seeds and curry leaves and packed with grated ginger and chopped onions to ensure the classic flavour.

This moreish healthy Indian breakfast recipe is worth a try. If you love upma then try making this healthier version of this Quinoa upma for you and your family. If you like to make more Quinoa based creations and transform your everyday meals then check out this delicious recipe for a Rajma Quinoa Biryani, Quinoa Pineapple Fried rice and Quinoa Falafels.

Healthy quinoa upma

I hope you take the challenge of trying something new like a creating a healthy savoury breakfast like this Quinoa Upma. For more inspiration do check out these recipes and ideas by all my talented IG friends. Use the #savourbfchallenge on Instagram to find these recipes or follow the links given below.

  • Nisha  @cookingforpeanuts who is a Nutritionist from NYC created four spectacular savoury breakfasts such as Smashed Pea on a Polenta crust, Chickpea crepe with Indian spiced beetroot & guacamole (my personal fav), Chickpea veggie Muffin frittatas and Red lentil turmeric oats. Her Instagram account has the detailed recipes along with other delicious plant based creations
  • Vicky @theflourishingpantry based in Dublin made delicious Paleo wraps with beans and veggies as well as a delightful Shakshuka with rye bread. She has a lovely blog filled with healthy recipes. Do check it out.
  • Moji @empowermindandbody who is a lovely soul with her adorable dog based in California made a Persian breakfast of Mashed lentils and Rosemary potatoes.
  • Abha @eatdancegooutdoors who is an LA based scientist and nature lover made these moreish made mini quiches with a base of almond and oats and a filling of turmeric tofu.
  • Rashmi @rashmibhade who is a wonderful soul from Singapore and makes a variety of healthy Indian food and breakfast bowls made a very interesting Amaranth and Oat flour waffles with carrots and Indian flavours along with green and tamarind chutney. It sounds so yum!
  • Antje @goodfood.sports.happyfamily who is one of the most talented, generous and kind soul I have met on Instagram. She made the most classy and delicious vegan quiches which had sweet potato and rosemary toppings along with a fig based topping. She also has a blog packed with delicious recipes, innovative ideas and photography.
  • My super sweet and witty friend Libby @silverliningskitchen made a yummy sounding tower of fritters made with eggs from her own chickens, rice, thai spices, herbs and layered  with cucumbers, peppers and sauerkraut! She also has a fantastic blog you have to check out!
  • Super fit and talented Tania @fit.foodie.nutter made a warming millet and turmeric porridge topped with cumin and edamame beans. She has healed her gut through healthy food changes and exercise. Do check out her blog for simple and delicious healthy meals.
  • Two UK based stars Joanne @the_balanced_kitchen who is extremely talented and kind mother of three and Kate @onethingforwellness a mid-wife packed with positive energy and zest for life made similar oatmeal bowls one with carrots and oranges and another with oranges and chocolate. They made it savoury by not adding any sweeteners.
  • Jenny @jenny.rai who makes beautiful tropical breakfast bowls and is based in Indonesia made rice crackers topped with mermaid coloured cashew cheese and Mitsuba leaves.
  • Rashmi @rao.rashmi from Bangalore made some exciting Indian based recipes like her naturally coloured Unicorn Shavige Bath, Idli-Vada burgers and Mung dal waffles with Beetroot chutney! So extremely exciting and delicious sounding!
  • Jess @health.conscious.girl a Naturopathy student made a yummy savoury breakfast bowl of zucchini oatmeal with kale, mushrooms, avocado and pumpkin seeds and Krish @krishnamerdono made a savoury bowl Indian spicy potatoes with mushrooms, celery and tomatoes.
  • Barbara @tamandamai who had a glut of tomatoes made a series of tomato creations as well as using vegetables she grows in her farm. She has a homestay and retreat, do check it out if you live in Australia.

Phew! What a list! Am I not the luckiest to have such talented friends from all over the world!

Print Recipe
Healthy Quinoa Upma + Savoury Breakfast Challenge
Healthy quinoa upma
Prep Time overnight
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
Prep Time overnight
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
Healthy quinoa upma
Instructions
  1. The night before you make this Quinoa upma, soak the the quinoa in a few cups of water. Cover and leave overnight on your kitchen counter top. Next day drain the quinoa in a colander and rinse thoroughly in fresh water. Drain again. Set aside.
  2. Finely chop the onion and grate the ginger. Chop the beans and carrot into small pieces. Slice the green chillies into long pieces if using.
  3. Heat 1 Tbsp of ghee or coconut oil on medium heat in a flat pan and add the mustard seeds. When it splutters tear the curry leaves and add to the heat along with the green chilies. Stir rapidly to prevent burning. When the curry leaves looks crisp add the chopped onions. Stir till it becomes translucent and then add the ginger.
  4. Once slightly fried and mildly aromatic add the veggies (carrots, beans, peas and American corn) and the soaked and drained quinoa. Stir through till well combined. Heat water in a kettle and once boiling measure 2 1/2 cups and pour over the vegetables and quinoa. When it starts to bubble, reduce the heat to low simmer and cover.
  5. After 15 minutes stir in another 1 Tbsp of ghee, juice of half the lemon, coconut sugar and salt to taste. The water should have been absorbed by 3/4 by now. Cook for another 5-15 minutes till all the water has been absorbed.
  6. Add the juice of the other half of the lemon and adjust the seasoning by adding more coconut sugar and salt to taste. Sprinkle over with the chopped coriander leaves and desiccated coconut and a slice of tomato (optional) when serving. Serve hot.
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