16 April 2009

Severe Lack in Breakfast Blogging

Bananas Foster Pancakes with Genmaicha Tea

Yesterday I noticed a severe lack in breakfast blogging, especially among gluten-free and vegan blogs. Everyone always focuses their attention on supper. Supper is a terrific meal, but breakfast is as equally as amazing(and can often times be better). So, where are all of the breakfast recipes and photographs? Is breakfast just too hard to blog about, or to get people interested in? Or is it that we're all skipping out on the meal entirely?

When I watch old TV shows breakfast seems to be the biggest meal with pancakes, meats, eggs, waffles, milk, orange juice, and potato dishes; in the movie Pleasantville they mock this.

These days in movies and on TV you see people grabbing a granola bar, or a yogurt and rushing out the door. What happened to the nice hot breakfast to start the day off right?

I can't say I'm not guilty of eating a cold breakfast most of the time, but I live for those weekend breakfasts with warm pancakes and leisurely eating. Just about every Saturday I make pancakes. We usually wake up around here at 10am on the weekends, so breakfast is almost like a small brunch, with a light lunch later in the day, and then dinner.

I'd love to get into creating some delicious breakfasts, and show that they can be done quickly while still getting out of the door on time. Being a student who doesn't have to be downtown for class until noon gives me a lot of time in the morning, but the Nerd has to be in his office(he telecommutes) by 8am. Giving that I don't get out of bed until about 7:10, this doesn't give me a lot of time. I still have to get dressed, cleaned up, and in the kitchen in time to make a good breakfast. Sometimes I can take his breakfast into the office for the Nerd. But, I would like to make a really great breakfast for him to enjoy before he is thrust into corporate land and meetings.

This will definitely be an involved experiment, and I probably won't be able to do it all of the time, but I'll give it a shot.

There is one problem though: fitting more food into the budget.

Being gluten-free means that pancake batter isn't as cheap as a bag of flour, baking soda, salt, sugar and some baking powder. The gluten-free flours all tend to be quite expensive, and there's the mixing of the different kinds to get them to create something tasty that isn't flat as a well, too thin pancake, and doesn't turn into a rock. I'm so reliant on mixes or other people's recipes that I am afraid to branch out to my own brain for the correct mixture of flours, but I'll try. It will probably just start with modifying some existing mixes and playing with that. But see, here's that problem of money again. How to do this without wasting expensive flours? I'll start with slight alterations that shouldn't affect the mix greatly.

What about other breakfast dishes? Well, potatoes are cheap and you can leave them alone to do their cooking while you're off dressing yourself for work, school, etc. or while you're dressing your husband, boyfriend, etc. or while you're wrestling your children into clothes. Heck, you could even start a load of laundry while they're cooking. Potatoes like to be left alone to cook at a lower to medium temperature. If you try to cook them too fast on a high heat they'll burn and breakfast will be ruined. If cooked too low then they won't be ready by the time you're ready to leave. There is a happy middle. I'll come up with a great recipe and we'll learn that temperature and time together.

Eggs are quick, and if you are patient and use that happy middle again, they won't burn or be undercooked. There will even be time to get a kid's shoes on, or time to brush your hair and put on a little makeup, or give a quick spit shine to your shoes. You could even move the laundry to the dryer. If you're a vegan, then great, go with a tofu scramble. It's a simple quick fix too. There are more spices to throw in, but a quick crumble of tofu with your hands and some seasonings, and once the tofu is heated through you're ready to go. What makes you lucky is no fear of salmonella from improperly handled and cooked eggs.

And, if you can afford gluten-free oats then throw them into the crockpot the night before, and you've got breakfast piping hot and waiting in the morning. Throw in your favorite toppings, and mmm so ono(delicious in Hawaiian).

If you're absolutely in a rush, mix up a smoothie. They should be faster than any of the above, given a good blender you don't have to fight with(like mine). Take the standard smoothie and hide some spinach in it for extra vitamins and a serving of vegetables. You'll notice a slight difference, but not much of one.

One of our favorite hot breakfasts during the week is fried rice. This is a great way to get vegetables into breakfast(which seems quite difficult to do). It's a wonderful way to use up leftovers. Scramble two eggs in a large skillet or wok, and then move them to a plate(we do this so they don't dry out while everything else cooks). Add a little oil to the wok and toss in some vegetables(frozen mixed vegetables work quite nicely, and are much faster and easier than chopping fresh). Cook them until they're almost tender. Toss in some leftover, refrigerated rice. It should be nice and dried out.(If your rice isn't very dry, take the lid off and put it in the freezer for a couple of minutes.) Stir fry this together over medium high heat with some seasonings(I like crushed red pepper, salt, and black pepper). Finally, add in some pineapple chunks and a little bit of gluten-free soy sauce(I use Braggs). Put the cooked egg back into the wok, give everything a good stir, and serve it up in bowls with extra Braggs on the side. Delicious!

Well, that's my way too long breakfast post for today. A dinner posting and the meal plan for the week are up next!

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