I would argue that, in the age of Instagram, our eating habits are molded by social media. There are plenty of food accounts that preach healthy living, and many that simply feature good food – not necessarily healthy or unhealthy. But the accounts that gather steam most quickly are those that showcase globs of cheese dripping off a slice of pizza, rainbow-colored bagels with birthday cake cream cheese, and milkshakes overflowing out of mason jars. Cheat day eats – towering burgers and ice cream sandwiches – have been around for years…but with Instagram, the stakes have been raised.
Case and point: the Bloody Mary. For years, a glass filled with vodka, tomato juice, and a few spices and flavorings was sufficient. These days, restaurants are begging for social media fame, serving up Bloody Marys with burgers and pizzas skewered across the rim of the glass. And, of course, we’re ordering them, photographing them, and basking in the glory of Instagram likes.
So, why the rant? I just wish these accounts would strike a balance between indulgence and reality. It’s impossible to maintain a diet of lobster mac n’ cheese and chocolate-dipped ice cream cones without developing serious health issues and running out of money. I love both of those foods, but I want to fight for the budget-friendly weight-friendly meals that – let’s be honest – we all have to eat. My hope is that you give this recipe a try. Take it for breakfast or lunch this week. Then reward yourself with a delicious bagel or burger or whatever makes you happy! But let’s not pretend that we all drink manicured matcha lattes and egg benedicts every morning.
1 cup of quinoa, rinsed
2 cups of almond milk for the quinoa, more almond milk to be served when eating
1 16 oz container of strawberries, rinsed and stems removed
1 4 or 5 oz container of blueberries, rinsed
1/4 cup of chia seeds (optional)
3/4 cup of roasted cashews, chopped
1 large banana
1 tsp of vanilla extract
1/2 tsp of cinnamon powder
Agave syrup or honey
Combine the quinoa and two cups of almond milk in a pot over medium heat. Stir occasionally and mix in a tablespoon of agave, the vanilla and the cinnamon.
Heat until the majority of the liquid has been dissolved, but there is still almond milk visible – about 8 minutes. Take a small bite of quinoa to ensure that it’s cooked. If not, add in some extra almond milk or water and heat a bit longer. Remove from heat and stir in the chia seeds.
Slice the banana lengthwise, then into small slivers, so that you’re left with little half-circle slivers of banana. Stir these into the quinoa as it cools.
Next, slice your strawberries into slivers – about 4-6 slices per berry depending upon the size. Mix in about 1 cup of sliced strawberries, saving the remaining slivers for garnish.
Taste your quinoa – if you’d like it sweeter, add another tablespoon of agave or a sprinkle of brown sugar if you have it on hand.
Serve the quinoa chilled in a bowl. Pour the almond milk over the quinoa, just like you’re making a bowl of cereal. Top with blueberries, strawberry slivers, chopped cashews and any other garnishes – I added extra chia seeds to the top. Feel free to mix it up. Stir in some peanut butter or nutella for an extra flavor boost!