You may think this trifecta of coconut too decadent, too all-consuming and sweet, but I promise you that this porridge isn’t bombastic. Rather, it’s subtle, creamy, and a perfect vehicle for savoring a dish in solitude on those days when you want to shutter yourself away from the rain and frenzy of the city. Lately, I’ve found a lot of space in exploring the quiet. My work keeps me in an office twice a week, but it’s always a joy to come home to an apartment filled with books, old movies and art that keeps me stimulated and nourished. Lately, I’ve been mixing up my reads, finding new ways to invent the food writing genre. Finding new ways in which I can merge image with word, culture and recipe. I keep hearing the phrase everything must converge, and I’m believing that to be true.
When I shifted my blog to focus more on cultivating my passion for food and the stories that invariably unfurl as a result of a great meal shared, I realized I didn’t fit into the traditional food blog space. I wasn’t employing snappy, SEO-driven titles; I didn’t have a recipe engine, and I wasn’t high-five’ing the top gals in the game. Mostly, it’s been me sharing recipes I’ve found or created, and giving you a sense of what I’m thinking while making it. A little texture to the painting, as it were. I never felt complete just posting a recipe you can easily find in a magazine without delivering some sort of small or large truth that surfaces as a result of the food we make and the relationships we cultivate, build and break.
It always seems as if I’m on the fringe, playing on the outskirts of things, and I wonder if I can conceive of a new way to write about food. A way that brings in so more culture and context, where the food is at the heart of it all, but there’s this whole magical world surrounding it. Oscillating wildly, madly.
I’m still figuring it all out, but I’m glad I can plot my randomness out, create an outline, draw dots, connect them. Find my way closer to fine.
INGREDIENTS: Adapted from Megan Gordon’s Whole Grain Mornings, one of the finest breakfast cookbooks I’ve encountered in a while. Look out for my review on Medium.
1 1/4 cups unsweetened, wide-flaked coconut (not shredded)
1 vanilla bean, split or 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup raw quinoa, rinsed
1 13.5 oz can unsweetened coconut milk
1/4 cup water
2 tbsp cane sugar, plus more for sprinkling on top
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp coarse kosher salt
1-2 tbsp of melted coconut oil (optional)
Pre-heat the oven to 325F. Toast 3/4 cup of the coconut flakes until fragrant and golden brown, 5-7 minutes. I opted to toast this in a dry pan over medium heat. Either way works. When done, set aside.
Scrape the vanilla bean seeds into a heavy-bottomed pot along with the pot (pour extract if you’re rocking that option). Add the quinoa, coconut milk, 1/4 cup water, sugar, ground ginger, remaining 1/2 cup of the coconut flakes and salt to the pot. Over medium heat, bring the mixture to a slow boil. Decrease the heat to low and cover the pot. Cook until most of the moisture has been absorbed, stirring a few times to avoid sticking, 18-20 minutes. Remove the vanilla bean pod.
Remove the quinoa from the heat and let sit for 10 minutes, covered. Spoon into bowls and garnish with toasted coconut flakes, a sprinkle of sugar, and a drizzle of melted coconut oil.