Breakfast Crisis, pt. 1

I’m having an existential breakfast crisis at the moment.  I usually eat the same thing every day, something simple and calibrated for optimal nutrition.  For a while it was plain yogurt, a dab of jam, and Ezekiel sprouted grain cereal with flax seeds.  After reading New York Magazine’s story on Best Breakfasts and the benefits of a low glycemic breakfast, I switched to ham, gruyere and mustard on an Ezekiel sprouted grain English muffin.  This evolved into a lower in fat version with smoked turkey and avocado.  But now, I’m over it.

Just in time, I pulled Mark Bittman’s breakfast alternatives story from the February 17, 2009 New York Times.  An intriguing mix of recipes to expand the breakfast horizons, it takes the basics of whole grains beyond the sweet and boring.  Steel-cut oats are spiced up with ginger, mustard seeds, red chilies, and cardamom.  Given a couscous-like boil and steam approach, the oats retain their grainy individuality instead of the cement-y mush that I’ve become accustomed.  Toasted coconut contributes to the texture, a bit of parsley for refreshing spots of color.  It’s quite good, even with a splash of milk as I would normally have with oatmeal, but not necessarily what I want for breakfast.

More like for lunch.  Topped with roasted beets and garlic sauteed spinach, the oats take the place of couscous as the grain of the meal.  In fact, it’s better, being more flavorful, and seemingly more healthy – hmm, but didn’t I saute the oats in butter before steaming?  I may not have solved my breakfast situation, but I have a new lunch idea.


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