The ABC's of Cooking with Lynn Fredericks
author of Cooking Time Is Family Time

   G  is for Grains
Quinoa Breakfast Cereal

Adapted from Lynne Fredericks' Cooking Time is Family Time.

Quinoa has a similar texture to couscous though the flavor is a little different. It can be utilized in similar preparations. It's protein content is so high, I like to serve it as a nutritious breakfast cereal -- kind of a hot version of the muesli, with nuts and dried fruit. The recipe is adapted form a chef-friend, Katherine Alford who we invited to introduce quinoa to kids at P.S. 61. It was simple and tasty enough to become a permanent part of our curriculum. Your family can vary this recipe with your own creative combinations of different dried fruits and nuts. It's delicious when served with milk much like you would oatmeal or cream of wheat.

2 generous servings

  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup dried cherries or cranberries
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds or pumpkin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • honey to taste

1. In a medium saucepan, have the children combine quinoa, water, and dried fruit and nuts or seeds and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer 15-20 minutes, or until water is absorbed.

2. Remove from the heat when done and let the children add the cinnamon. Transfer into individual serving bowls and add honey to taste by the teaspoon. Great served warm for breakfast or a midday snack.

To fill and cook the ravioli:

1. Unwrap the wonton wrappers and remove about eight sheets. Cover the remaining squares with a cloth and reserve. Have your children select a pastry cutter or cookie cutter about 3 - 4 inches in diameter. Cut out the desired ravioli shapes. Place them on a cookie sheet in pairs, and cover with a towel. The wonton skins are now ready to be filled.

2. Sprinkle a baking sheet with cornmeal or cornstarch and set aside. If you are using the amaretti cookies, have children crush them by placing the unwrapped cookies in a towel, covering them and crushing them with a rolling pin. Now let the kids use a pastry brush and "paint" a line of beaten egg, egg wash "glue," on the edges of the ravioli. Using a spoon place just enough filling into the center of one piece of cut out dough, leaving a 1/2-inch margin along the sides. Press an identically shaped ravioli over the one with filling and egg wash.

3. Show the children how to carefully pinch the two pieces of dough together, making sure the filling does not ooze out. A fork can also be used to crimp the ends closed, this is easier for most small children. Place the finished ravioli under a towel on the prepared baking sheet, keeping them separate so they do not stick together.

4. Add the olive oil to a pot of boiling water and, using a slotted spoon, carefully place the ravioli in the pot. After a few minutes, very carefully remove one with a slotted spoon and test for doneness. They're done when the pasta is still slightly chewy--don't cook too long or they will fall apart!

5. Melt a tablespoon or two of butter. Remove the cooked raviolis very carefully with a slotted spoon and place on a serving dish, layering with a bit of melted butter so they do not stick together. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve immediately.

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