Fresh, ripe tomatoes, warm off the vine. You might think you need a plot of land, or at least a large-ish garden to make this happen, but we have been happily surprised with the productivity of our condo garden this first year. We have planters on our balcony, as well as a metre-square plot in the building’s communal roof garden (a yard, if you’re using imperial measures).
We’ve been incorporating fresh tomatoes into our menu for a couple of weeks now, and have even canned a couple of jars. Small-batch canning is easy enough; you really just need a big pot of boiling water that is deeper than your canning jars. I’ll blog about that another time.
Today’s recipe is for a favourite breakfast of ours. Simply chop a big bunch of tomatoes. Add herbs if you like; we had a bit of basil and also a smoky chipotle in adobo which we chopped and put in the pot. Get the tomatoes really simmering. Once you’ve got them bubbling away, crack in a few eggs, one or two per person. I find the easiest way to do this is to crack them one at a time into a small bowl or cup, and gently pour into the tomatoes. Cover with a lid, turn the heat to medium-low, and check every couple of minutes until they are poached as you like. (Probably 5 or 6 minutes). Typically this is just enough time to make some toast.
This is an easy lunch or brunch dish, or a hearty, healthy, low-fat breakfast.
…or perhaps, lax-ury? This morning’s omelette is filled with a decadent mixture of asparagus, mushrooms, onion, and baby potato slices. It is tasty enough on its own, so the two thin slices of thyme and pepper gravlax on the side make it extra special. It’s more of a method than a recipe, but here’s what to do, for two:
Snap the tough ends off the asparagus and cut the good bits into 1″/2.5cm lengths. Thinly slice 1/4c or 60ml mild white onion. Add to this, 6 sliced mushrooms and 2 thinly sliced baby potatoes. Stir the whole thing together in a nonstick pan over medium heat until nicely cooked. Now, pour in three beaten eggs, and turn the heat to medium-low. Lift the edges with a spatula, letting the uncooked egg run underneath. Fold in thirds and cut in half to serve.
We bought our gravlax from De La Mer on the Danforth; look for gravlax at a good fishmonger near you.
It’s Sunday morning and we are rushing around to get out the door (again). No excuse not to have a delicious breakfast in our bellies!
In a blender, whirr
2T / 30ml flaxseed to grind (always keeps better if you grind as needed)
3/4 c 180ml buckwheat flour
2 t / 10ml baking powder
1T / 15 ml brown sugar
Pulse to mix
1 c / 250 ml almond milk
1 large egg or egg substitute
1 T / 15 ml butter or oil or coconut oil
Mix just to combine (you might need a spatula to help).
If needed just enough milk to make a thick but pourable batter.
Pour pancakes into a nonstick pan buttered or sprayed with cooking oil on medium high heat, about the size of your palm. They will spread and puff a little.
When bubbles appear and the edges start to look dry, time to flip. My frypan does four at a time.
They can be kept warm in a 150F oven as additional batches are made. Recipe can be doubled. Finished pancakes can be frozen with parchment in between for reheating in the toaster.
Serve with fruit and maple syrup.
For us, today is meal-planning and market day. We mostly plan dinners, eating leftovers the following day, or a salad or soup. At the end of the week we take stock: what didn’t we make? What made too much and needs to be used up?
Last week we tried a recipe for bacon and leek risotto. Even reducing the arborio by half, it was more than a meal’s worth for the two of us. So we tucked away the leftovers in the fridge with all good intentions. Here we are, Saturday, and that little package of risotto either must be used or thrown away. Sure, it could form the basis of a creamy rice soup. Or it could get buried in some casserole, or formed into patties and browned until slightly crisp on the outside, given that it has absorbed the liquid and sort of, well, solidified. But all that seemed boring.
What about breakfast? I sautéed an onion, four mushrooms and a stalk of celery (all sliced or diced) with any leftover fresh herbs from the fridge, chopped. Then I tipped in the risotto (about a cup, for two) and a chopped tomato that was on its last day. A quick stir, and then I cracked in two eggs. On low heat with a lid, it took just 5 more minutes for a tasty medium poached breakfast bowl to be ready for each of us.
A grind of pepper on top and we are off to a healthy, happy start to our weekend!
It’s everywhere! Messages touting packaged foods that will make my life easier and, it’s suggested, better. Truly, I can’t imagine how. Cooking delicious food is absolutely satisfying. Fortunately, there are lots of counter-messages out there, including those from Michael Pollan (“Eat real food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”) And I credit my fellow blogger and Twitter sister, Anne-Marie Bonneau, aka the Zero Waste Chef, with an inspiring house rule, which I’ll paraphrase as “Sure, you can have that treat, but you have to find a recipe and make a homemade version”.
In our family we are very fortunate to have raised kids who can both cook and bake. They experiment with their own recipes. Adults now, we are provided with delicious things to eat whenever we visit their homes. Do yourself and your family a favour, and make something from scratch this weekend. Your health will thank you.
What a couple of weeks! Our part of the world seems to still be very much driven by the seasons, even in the urban parts. We’ve just wrapped up one of our big projects and turned our attention to another. I’ve started a new business…and of course it’s harvest time! Much roasting, canning and preserving has ensued.
But last night I realized it was time for a little decompression today. Sure, I have new customers coming to visit this afternoon, and a batch of sourdough bread in my future, but we are starting the morning with a leisurely, local breakfast. We could have gone to our friend Denis’ for the Full Monty breakfast, but we opted for the complete pj experience here at home. Martock Glen applewood smoked bacon, a large sunny side up egg, and whole grain toast. Delicious.
This morning we were out for a walk in the early morning, keeping our commitment to be fitter, not fatter, in 2014. This is especially important if you’ve had far too much fun with friends or family on the weekend. Don’t give up, just get on track.
Breakfast was a healthy affair – a piece of plain wheat toast, topped with 1/3 of an avocado mashed with lemon juice, 1/3 of a medium tomato, diced, a poached egg and a sprinkle of lemon pepper for me, and two servings for the big guy.
We’re so grateful that the good weather continues and we can get outside and keep fit without ending up drenched or freezing! Hope you’re having a healthy, happy day as well.
After watching California Chrome win yesterday’s Preakness, I had California on my mind when it came to dreaming up a long-weekend breakfast idea.
A ripe avocado sealed the deal. On a toasted English muffin, we layered the avocado…mashed with a little lime juice and chopped cilantro. Next, a handful of frozen corn, toasted in a nonstick pan…with diced tomato added at the last second to warm through.
Then, a poached egg…with lime juice in the water instead of vinegar…and finally, a sprinkle of Mrs. Dash Chipotle seasoning, although any chili powder would do in a pinch.
I might have made this delectable breakfast treat for our team meeting on Wednesday, but Marianne wanted bacon. She is an expert at making people feel welcome, so I took her advice – bacon it was. But today, there was an avocado still calling my name, so it became the starting point.
Toasted English muffins, topped with avocado (mashed with a squeeze of lemon) and finished with a perfectly poached egg. They have the creamy goodness of a Benny without the work – great for a weekday breakfast!