I have been told on several occasions that I eat Weird Breakfasts.
From a certain perspective, I am guilty as charged. Leftover noodles, tomato soup, dal on toast—these are not what one could call typical items on the average North American breakfast table. I prefer to look at it as reclaiming an space in which culinary creativity has been sadly curtailed. I do love traditional breakfasts, but why stick with tradition all the time? There are no actual laws against having something spicy in the morning, or having rice alongside your yogurt and blueberries.
I often find myself turning to travesty of the egg-and-toast formula. Instead of toast, I’ll substitute a more exciting grain, add some vegetables, and spice it up to suit my mood. I’ve shared one version of this before; here is another, very different variation. Rather than soy sauce, lemon juice and paprika perk up this meal, and the lightness of the quinoa makes it a nice start to a day that promises to be hot.
And the colours! Bright green asparagus, deep scarlet quinoa, the shocking orange of a pastured egg yolk—I find it hard not to be smile with a breakfast like this. Even if it is Weird.
Breakfast Quinoa with Egg and Asparagus
- 1/3 C red quinoa, rinsed and soaked overnight in 2/3 C water and 1/2 tsp lemon juice
- olive oil
- 1/4 C diced onion
- 4-5 stalks asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces
- a pinch of thyme
- 1/4 tsp paprika
- 1 egg
- salt and pepper to taste
Bring the quinoa with its soaking water to a boil, turn the heat down, and simmer for about 15 minutes, or until all the liquid has been absorbed.
Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until it begins to turn translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the asparagus and spices and cook, stirring, until the asparagus is just tender. Stir the vegetables into the cooked quinoa and keep everything warm in the oven.
Heat a bit more olive oil in the pan and add the egg. Fry it to your liking and serve it atop the quinoa and veggies with salt and pepper to taste.