Smoky Quinoa Breakfast Bowl with Avocado

Boosting protein at breakfast can be as easy as adding two scrambled egg whites to a  delicious and trendy  plant-based I enjoyed seeing many of my registered dietitian (RD/RDN) friends in  Boston last weekend at the Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo (FNCE); all committed to staying abreast of the current  scientific research  in the field. Please take note: this is what makes registered dietitians your source for credible nutrition information. I hope in the coming weeks to share nuggets of knowledge learned and more yummy ways to  integrate that knowledge into your meals and snacks.

On the heels of my trip to Boston, is the October Recipe Redux. Here’s our challenge: Plant Protein Power Bowls: Packed with protein, fiber and color, plant protein bowls are trendy and delicious.

Today I share

 Using  the whole grain quinoa as a base (flavored with smokey paprika), I  slip in some high quality protein as egg whites  allowing me to  keep the calories low and still meet my protein needs early in the morning. Here’s a little fact that influences my food choices:  older adults need less calories, but NOT less protein.  To this high fiber,  lean protein base,  I add sauted grape tomatoes in olive oil and top with heart healthy avocado cubes. Tossing in some fresh oregano from the garden adds even more color and flavor. Please visit the links at the bottom of this post to see how my Recipe Redux colleagues are packing in protein, fiber and color into their trendy bowls.
Smoky Quinoa Breakfast Bowl with Avocado
Smoky Quinoa Breakfast Bowl with Avocado

by Diane Boyd, MBA, RD, LDN

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil, divided
  • 1/3 cup chopped onion
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 3 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 cup rinsed tricolor quinoa
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 2 teaspoons lime juice
  • pinch of salt
  • 8 egg whites
  • 1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • fresh oregano


1. Heat one teaspoon of oil in a saucepan. Add onion and cook over medium -low heat until soft, about 3 minutes.

2. Add minced garlic and cook 1 minute more. Add smoked paprika. Stir and cook 1 more minute. Add rinsed quinoa and stir to combine.

3. Add vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 10-15 minutes.

4. Sprinkle the cubed avocado with lime juice and a pinch of salt. Mix and gently set aside.

5. Place egg whites to a microwave safe bowl, and microwave on high for 1 minute. Stir. Continue to microwave about 30 seconds longer or until egg whites are set.

6. In a separate saute pan, heat the remaining 1 teaspoon oil. Add halved tomatoes. Cook over medium heat until tomatoes soften and the skins begin to wrinkle, about 2 minutes.

7.Add quinoa and cooked egg whites to sauted tomatoes. Stir to combine. Spoon into serving bowls.

8. Top each bowl with cube avocado. Sprinkle with fresh oregano.

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Purple Quinoa Salad + Juicy Giveaway

The five ingredient Quinoa Salad that even  your children will love!Purple Quinoa SaladDisclosure: This is my recipe for Welch’s Recipe Contest.  I received coupons for Welch’s 100% Grape Juice Products mentioned in this post, for creating a family friendly  recipe and for the giveaway. I am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.

The quinoa craze  reminds me of the story  by Hans Christian Anderson, The Emperor’s New Clothes. No one wants to come right out and say, I don’t like quinoa, much like no one wanted to confess they couldn’t see the Emperor’s new duds, without being labeled a fool. Sigh!

So guess what? Today I am sharing a recipe with you that will make you really want to eat this translucent grain, for reasons beyond it’s good for you (’cause you already know it’s nearly a complete protein, high in fiber, and gluten free.)

There are 2 parts to preparing foolproof quinoa, that even a child will love. The first part is cooking technique (thank you America’s Test Kitchen) and the second part is a purple cooking ingredient. Here’s how to  to make quinoa tender with a satisfying bite  (bye bye messy soggy quinoa).:

1. First toast quinoa in a pan over medium high heat until you hear a popping sound and the  quinoa is fragrant (5-7 minutes).

2. Alter the  common ratio 2:1 of water-to-quinoa to equal amounts.

Now for the the purple ingredient that will forever banish bitter, earthy tasting quinoa… Welch’s 100% Grape Juice. Not only does this ingredient boost the flavor,  it also  has the power of purple Concord grapes.

purple power, polyphenol; purple quinoa This photo is so cheesy, I apologize, but it calls attention to  my message regarding grape research. For more than a decade, researchers have been exploring an important mix of plant nutrients-polyphenols- found in Concord grapes and the effects they have on the body, including possible benefits in supporting heart health. In addition, emerging research is being conducted to determine whether Concord grapes play a role in supporting a healthy mind and immune system. Click to see research.   Using Welch’s 100% Grape Juice is a simple way to squeeze more flavor and better nutrition into foods you prepare for yourself and your family. Please try this recipe and enter to win!

Purple Quinoa Salad

Purple Quinoa Salad (serves 4)

by Diane Boyd


  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 1 1/4 cup Welch’s 100% Grape Juice
  • 1/2 cup cucumber sliced and quartered
  • 12 yellow grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped


1. Toast quinoa in medium saucepan over medium high heat, stirring frequently, until quinoa is fragrant and make a popping sound, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

2. Add Welch’s 100% grape juice to medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium high heat.

3. Stir in quinoa and reduce heat to low. Simmer until grains are just tender and liquid is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat .

4. Let sit covered for 10 minutes. Fluff quinoa with a fork and stir in cucumber, tomato and oregano. Serve immediately or refrigerate for later.

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Must be a U.S. resident and at least 18 years old to enter.   a Rafflecopter giveaway

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