Breakfast is good. It’s 90% of the reason I get out of bed in the morning. Don’t get me wrong, my daily grind rules, I just like sleep more than most living things probably should and the promise of putting something in my belly that makes me feel awesome and is totally delicious is what stops me from hitting the snooze button that 18th time. While breakfast should be delicious, I believe it should also be easy. It’s the first meal of the day… we’re too groggy to show off any serious culinary skills. Family’s in town and coming over for an AM gathering at your place? Someone spent the night whom you want to impress with your domestic side? Fine, but in my book that’s brunch. Brunch is special and is done after a weekend’s night sleep which is significantly longer than a weekday one. When I have to wake up early with a full day ahead of me I need something nourishing and satisfying and I need it on the go. But just because it happens quickly doesn’t mean it can’t be fantastic. Here are a couple of my favorites:
Vanilla Spice Chia Pudding
Oh man. This one’s serious. Honestly, it’s like Cinnamon Toast Crunch.. without the crunch. Great for breakfast. Also great for dessert.
In a blender combine
one cup coconut milk
half a vanilla bean*
a few dashes of pumpkin pie or apple pie spice blend
(which is mostly made up of cinnamon and nutmeg)
a pinch of sea salt
1/4 cup maple syrup
blend for a few seconds and pour the mixture into a bowl with 1/4 cup chia seeds. mix, cover, and refrigerate overnight. It will be perfect and ready for consumption by morning.
*I know real vanilla bean is expensive but it’s really worth it. You can use extract if you’re on a seriously tight budget… but slicing that bean open and scraping out the good stuff… oh man, there’s nothing quite like it.
Yeah I said it. Everyone loves oatmeal. It’s good for you and it fills you up real fast. perfect breakfast food. Cool. But I’ve always preferred savory over sweet, so here’s my alternative to the traditional oatmeal bowl.
After you’ve made your oats (stove top, slow cooker, instant, overnight, whatever) mix in some nutritional yeast, put it in a bowl, and make a little nest out of it. Then, fill that nest with whatever your crazy little heart desires. Think omelete ingredients: peppers, onions, tomatoes, squash, broccoli, spinach, garlic, tofu. Here’s a good one to start out with:
1 cup of:
Shiitake mushrooms, baby portabello mushrooms, crimini mushrooms
2 sprigs of thyme
2 chopped shallots
sea salt and pepper to taste
Sautee and serve inside adorable little oatmeal nest.
Another thought: I think juice is vital for the morning. Especially a green one. It’s not that I never drink coffee… It’s just that, I don’t know… maybe I’m a wuss, but a caffeine buzz sometimes gets me too anxious for my liking. Juice on the other hand gives you a real energy burst instead of an artificial one, and it fills you with the essentials you need to wake up and stay focused. I recommend experimenting with kale, bok choy, spinach, apple, pear, ginger, and absolutely any citrus fruit for a perfect morning juice. I also recommend making it the night before so it’s ready to go when you wake up. And first and foremost, before you ingest anything in the morning, start with a giant glass of water. I’ve found that hydration wakes me up more than anything. I hope these ideas help to better your morning ritual.
The girl who would prefer to stay in bed till noon
Lee Kalpakis is a New York City based lifestyle blogger. Born and raised in the lush farmland of the Hudson Valley, she learned the basics of growing and preparing the food that came from the earth beneath her. It was then that her love affair with whole foods began. As a self taught cook, Lee specializes in recipes that follow a plant based diet. With a passion for raw and vegan cuisine and family roots deep in traditional Greek and Polish comfort cooking, she works to marry the best ideas of new and old world meals with upstate and urban New York style. When she isn’t playing a show with her band or petting dogs, she’s daydreaming about fruits and vegetables and isn’t afraid to admit it.