While most people MAKE New Year resolutions, I wanted to break one.
With this new existence my pleasures are limited in number, but the few remaining are savoured with anticipation. One such anticipated pleasure was my New Year Breakfast.
I have been good—very good this past year in avoiding sugar. Sugar and I do not get along. I had suspected the disintegrating relationship years ago, and I can remember the exact incident that confirmed the suspicion. I was living in S. Korea at the time and had just returned from a delightful trip to Mount Sorak.
(An aside; Korea is a lovely country dotted with rustic temples and high mountains.)
Anyway, I was feeling a little tired and had many papers to grade before the following Monday, so I grabbed a packet of M&M’s for a quick jolt of energy and sat down to tackle the stack. The next morning I had a scratchy throat that quickly blossomed into a miserable cold. This was followed by a few more sugar episodes, with the same results. There was no denying it. Sugar and I must part company.
So Dear Reader, I stopped. Cold turkey.
And to this day, the craving never goes away. I’ve fallen off the wagon several times over the years but gotten back on again.
Anyway, I had been EXTRA vigilant this year, not wanting to weaken my immune system. But then the Christmas catalogues came rolling in, plastered with wintery scenes of happy families and dogs frolicking in the snow. I noted a brightly decorated box of goodies on sale filled with pancake mix, real Maine maple syrup and some jam.
Pancakes with real maple syrup is my most favorite food combo
I rationalized that certainly I deserved a special treat for the New Year. So I bought the goodie box, along with some butter, and those little heating dishes to warm the syrup. Now I was ready to go, salivating like Pavlov's dogs. Visions of hotcakes danced in my dreams.
Well, the New Year slipped by and I just couldn’t do it. Our town had recently experienced a surge of Covid cases and I was a little leery. The pancake mix and syrup still live in my cupboard, waiting for the day. Instead I prepared my standard fare and if you like, I will share it with you. ❤
Kenzie's Standard Fare Brekkie
Ingredients (please feel free to add/subtract/modify)
· 3-4 orange slices
· Fresh ginger slices (for the tea)
· 1/3 cup oatmeal (I use steel cut)
· 1 heaping tablespoon or more of *plain yoghurt for oatmeal topping
· 1 handful sliced blueberries for oatmeal topping
· Assorted fresh chopped fruit
· Ceylon cinnamon to sprinkle on oatmeal and fruit
· chopped cucumber, bell pepper, mushroom, cherry tomatoes (enough to fill a very small bowl—see below)
· ½ teaspoon of balsamic vinegar (I use Black Mission Fig--exquisite)
· sliced Napa cabbage or bok choy
· Fresh spinach leaves
· 10-12 frozen edamame beans
· 1 teaspoon Kenzie’s Secret Potion (see previous post, “Comfort Food Needed”)
· 1 egg, hard boiled or regular
· 1 teasp (or less) stone ground mustard
· A few slices of cheddar cheese (I get organic raw. I think it tastes better)
· one small portion of cooked beans (previously prepared from dried beans)
· about 15 raw almonds
Put a saucepan of water to boil while slicing some fresh ginger. When water boils pour into teacup with strainer and let sit for 10-20 minutes depending on how strong you like your tea. I like mine strong.
Measure 1 cup water and set it to boil in same saucepan for the steel cut oats. When it boils, pour in 1/3 cup of oats and turn heat down. Simmer, uncovered for 12 minutes (approximately)
While oatmeal is simmering, chop veggies and put into small bowl. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and set it aside.
Chop fruit—I used strawberries and melon on that day.
An aside: In Okinawa, a few slices of cantaloupe could easily cost several dollars. An entire cantaloupe was a gift you gave for special occasions usually running $15.00-$30.00 or more. MUCH more.
Since moving here, I eat it A. LOT. 😄
Sprinkle with Ceylon cinnamon and set fruit bowl aside.
Next, tear off some leaves of Napa cabbage or Bok Choy, and fresh spinach. I add about ten frozen or fresh edamame beans. Pour a bit of olive oil into a small skillet, as well as 1 teaspoon of Kenzie’s Secret Potion. Turn heat on medium, and quickly stir fry the cabbage, spinach, and beans. Place it in a small dish and set aside.
For a jolt of Vitamin C, take a navel orange and cut 3-4 slices and put them on a small plate.
Just before the oatmeal is finished, slice some blueberries. I like to slice them as it releases the juices when the hot oatmeal is poured on top. Add the oatmeal and a dollop of *yoghurt.
OK. *Yoghurt Tirade:
I eat yoghurt every day. When I first moved here from a small German town, I was VERY depressed in the quality of yoghurt. Trying to find a good brand that did not have added sugar or flavours was difficult enough. Finding a yoghurt that was NOT nonfat/low fat was almost impossible. To me, nonfat/low fat yoghurt tastes like plastic. 😒
I FINALLY found some: Bellwether Farms Sheep Milk Yoghurt. It is quite expensive, but very good. I find myself wistfully remembering the delicious German yoghurt that only cost 30-40 cents per container and was so yummie. Oh well, at least in this town I don’t have to pedal through the snow to get it!!
-----End of Yoghurt Tirade -----
Add blueberries and sprinkle oatmeal with cinnamon. Set aside.
When I buy a carton of eggs, I hard-boil six of them, so I have hard-boiled eggs for six days, and an omelette for the other six days. A bit of variety is the spice of Covid life.
While cooking the omelette add a bit of organic cheddar cheese so it melts as the omelette is cooking. When done, I scoop it out like a flat pancake (I WISH!) and sprinkle the chopped veggies onto it, fold it over and spread the rest of the veggies around it on a plate.
On days when I have the hard-boiled egg, I put about a teaspoon or more of the yoghurt mixed with a half teaspoon (more or less) of stone ground mustard and mash the egg up in it. Deee--licious. 😊
Place about 12 almonds in a small dish, as well as another small dish with about 12 beans. I use dried navy, pinto, lima, or fava, soaking them overnight and simmering for one hour the next day. Lots of fiber and filling too!
Welp, that’s about it. Pictures below. Please excuse the quality, but food never looks that great in photos. Kinda like the plastic food they use in café windows over in Japan, but you get the idea. I just realized, the almonds are not in the first photo, but they are also in a tiny bowl to crunch on after breakfast.
Much love from the Island ❤❤