Tag Archives: breakfast

Single-Serving Frittata with Mushrooms, Arugula, and Feta

I am not a morning person.

On weekdays I often scramble downstairs just as J is walking out the door.  He and the girls have been up and dressed for an hour, breakfast is over, art projects are often underway.  I burst onto the scene and immediately start searching for three tiny pairs of shoes and three even tinier pairs of socks so I can herd the kids straight out the door to get my oldest to kindergarten.  Which starts at almost 9.  This should not be a hardship.  (In my defense, my baby has been waking up all night long lately, and so have I.  But, honestly, I’d be sleeping until the last possible second no matter what.)

I am pleased to see to my family’s sweet faces in the morning, of course, but you know what else I’m always happy to see?  COFFEE.  J, inexplicably, does not drink coffee.  Which is either virtuous or insane.  But he does make it for me, a perfect French press pot of dark roast beans, ready to plunge the moment I get downstairs.  It is an act of love.

So maybe now you’re thinking that this should be a coffee recipe, but I only have one and it only involves glossy, dark-roasted coffee beans and hot water, plus maybe a pinch of cinnamon or cardamom in the grounds–try that!  Instead, my point here is that sometime it is rather late in the day before I get around to breakfast. 

A single-serving frittata is a great way to get your vegetables in at breakfast.  You can also make a big batch in muffin tins to grab on your way out the door all week, have you tried that?  I am usually not that organized, so today I made mine in my 8″ cast iron skillet.  You can use any small ovenproof skillet, or even one that’s not ovenproof, since a frittata this small is easy to flip and finish on the stovetop.

The key here, as far as I’m concerned, is to load up on the vegetables, using the egg to just hold it all together.  And since I actually used egg whites this time instead of whole eggs (the yolks went into the crust for mini Strawberry-Rhubarb cornmeal tarts), I made sure that all my ingredients were extra-flavorful and well-seasoned.  Egg whites are a great source of protein, but flavor?  Not so much.  Enter savory mushrooms, peppery arugula, and salty feta–now we’re talking. 

Continue reading Frittata with Mushrooms, Arugula, and Feta (click for recipe)

Baked Chard Stems with Tomato, Garlic, and Parmesan

I find particular satisfaction in making something from not-so-much.  I save my Parmesan rinds to add depth of flavor to lentil soups.  I save my vegetable trimmings make homemade broth.  And when I made those risotto-filled chard rolls, I saved the chard stems to make this dish.

I often cook chard stems right along with their leaves, chopping them into confetti and sauteing them with onions and garlic before adding the glistening green leaves to my pan.  And I sometimes chop the stems up for my stock-trimmings bag in the freezer if I only have a few of them.  But chard stems are a delicious vegetable on their own, with a sweeter flavor than the leaves and a bit of crunch or chew, depending on how long you cook them.

This recipe is a longstanding family favorite.  It comes from Jack Bishop’s A Year in a Vegetarian Kitchen, which I once checked out of the library.  (I love getting cookbooks from the library.)  I sauce things up by increasing the tomato and often serving a poached egg on top, but you can do what you like.  I also usually serve the sauteed chard leaves alongside if I didn’t already use them up to make chard rolls.

This is one of those nice dishes where the end product seems to be more than the sum of its parts. We are about equally likely to make it for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.  Which will you do?

Continue reading Baked Chard Stems with Tomato, Garlic, and Parmesan (click for recipe)

Poached Scrambled Eggs, or, The 40-Second Breakfast

And here is where I abandon all pretense of not making scrambled eggs.  (For those of you too lazy to click, let me just share that this blog started as an attempt to motivate myself to cook something besides scrambled eggs for dinner all the time.)  I made these for breakfast, but you?  You who have made no promises about making scrambled eggs for dinner could certainly get away with serving these as a light supper, maybe drizzled with a nice olive oil and sprinkle of herbs, alongside a crisp salad.

Sometimes you just need something simple.  This is simple.  Perfectly textured scrambled eggs, no added fat, negligible clean-up, 20 seconds of egg-whisking plus 20 seconds of cooking.  Courtesy of that Genius Recipes feature I love from Food52.

Continue reading Poached Scrambled Eggs (click for recipe)

Rhubarb Cake with Crystallized Ginger Crumb

Remember when my backyard rhubarb was barely poking its head up through the ground?  I was happy to see the first signs of spring, sure, and new life unfurling is always inspiring, yada yada, but really?  I was excited because I was already thinking about this cake.

It’s sweet and light, with barely-tart shards of rhubarb nestled in every bite.  It’s topped with a crystallized ginger crumb that gives it a bit of a coffee cake appearance, which lets you get away with serving it for breakfast.  (I’ve never understood why topping a sugary cake with MORE sugar makes it into breakfast fare, but I’m not complaining.)  It’s a family favorite.

This recipe comes from Rustic Fruit Desserts, a book by Portland baker Julie Richardson and chef Cory Schreiber.  If you don’t have it already, you might want to run out and get it right now.  I know I’ll be using my copy all summer. Continue reading Rhubarb Cake with Crystallized Ginger Crumb (click for recipe)

Granola with Orange Zest, Currants, and Walnuts

I mean to bring something nice over when you invite me to your house. Hopefully I will at least show up with a bottle of wine or a six pack of drinkable beer. But sometimes getting out the door with shoes and coats and all three children is all I can handle and on those occasions, sorry, I owe you. I’m lucky to have understanding friends (and reciprocity agreements in place).

Last weekend, I got about halfway to my goal of bringing some kind of nice baked good to our weekend hosts. Which brings us back to the topic of traveling with oats. I didn’t manage to actually bake the batch of granola I meant to take to our friends in Portland, but I did get as far as packing two jars with the ingredients for this olive oil granola: one big jar of dry ingredients and another smaller jar of wet ingredients. It wasn’t quite like showing up with a perfect cellophane-wrapped treat with a ribbon on it (just kidding, I’ve never done that), but at least the house smelled good while it baked.

We have eaten a lot of that olive oil granola in recent months.  (Here’s a variation with pistachios, dried apricots, and cardamom.)  J claims he could eat it for every meal, but it’s so sweet that his teeth might fall out. Here’s another option, a bit less decadent and perhaps therefore better suited to eat as an everyday breakfast.  Or for three meals a day, your call.

I am an orange zest junkie (have you made this bread yet?), so this recipe appealed to me immediately. Orange zest, currants, walnuts. I was intrigued by the fact that the recipe (mine is adapted from Heidi Swanson’s Super Natural Every Day) calls for butter in place of oil, but I really didn’t taste any difference and will probably just make it with oil next time. Maybe even olive oil.

Continue reading Granola with Orange Zest, Currants, and Walnuts (click for recipe)

Eggs and Rice with Harissa

I love the harissa oil from that Broccoli and Ravioli salad.  When it’s in the fridge, I drizzle it on everything (including green salad).  It’s the perfect combination of spice, lemon, oil, and salt, an all-around upstanding condiment.

It’s great on roasted potatoes or fish.  Try it smeared onto whole wheat bread and topped with a slice of leftover frittata.  Or stir it into scrambled eggs, of course.

I know I promised to stop making scrambled eggs for dinner all the time, but two things: first, I made this for lunch, and second, of course YOU can still make scrambled eggs for dinner!

Use what you have, as usual.  One of the many benefits of being a cook is that you usually have pretty good things hanging out in your fridge.  I had this harissa oil, leftover jasmine rice, and the bottom half of a bunch of green onions.  And eggs, of course. Continue reading Eggs and Rice with Harissa (click for recipe)

Overnight Oats with Apple, Currants, and Walnuts

When we travel, we like to have a fridge in our hotel room.  You know?  Scoping out the local restaurant scene is all well and good, but a family of five (with three members under the age of six) emphatically does not want to spend too much time in restaurants.

So we stock up on arrival: milk and cereal for the morning, PB&J fixings for lunch, a pile of fruit and some choice snacks to keep everyone’s energy up for adventuring.  But this time I had a little idea when I stopped into the natural foods store and I swung by the bulk bins for the fixings to make overnight oats.

A handful of oats, milk and/or yogurt (both could easily be vegan–or water or juice, for that matter), toppings.  The oats get creamy with an overnight soak in the fridge, and although I sweetened mine with fruit, it wouldn’t be wrong to drizzle a little maple syrup or honey on your bowl.  If you travel with that sort of thing.

This is definitely going to be my new breakfast of choice on the road.  What’s yours?  What are your travel tips for eating well?  I am really enjoying all the good ideas and advice I am getting in the food blogging world.

p.s. I should really let you know about the great latte and ace baked goods I found at Sleepy Monk Coffee Roasters in Cannon Beach, OR.  Check it out if you’re passing through!

Continue reading Overnight Oats with Apple, Currants, and Walnuts (click for recipe)

Southwestern Frittata with Peppers, Black Beans, and Cheddar

Speaking of glorified scrambled eggs, a frittata is one of my favorite quick dinners.  (Although of course it would not be out of place at an elegant brunch. You know, should you have the occasion to host or attend an elegant brunch.  Around here on weekends it’s more of a race to see if I can just snag a pancake before the kids eat them all.)  A frittata has a significant advantage over scrambled eggs when it comes to dinner, in fact, because it can be made ahead and served at room temperature, or even cold.

Some of my favorite people went tootling around New Mexico recently, and knowing that they were in the land of chiles left me dreaming of the flavors of the Southwest.  They hadn’t yet come back to deliver my stash of frozen roasted Alcalde chiles, so I was stuck making this frittata with ingredients available to ordinary mortals.

But now those chiles are in my freezer.  What should I do with them?! They’re like gold. Or at least truffles.

Anyway.  Back to the I’m-not-in-Santa-Fe frittata.  I knew that I wanted to make a thick frittata, packed full of vegetables and a big scoop of drained pico de gallo salsa.  I was a little worried about getting my frittata to cook through, so I turned to the experts on nitpicky culinary concerns, Cook’s Illustrated.  And, as usual, they had good advice for me: cook the eggs as if you are scrambling them until they are nearly set, then finish them under the broiler.  Which I did. Continue Reading Southwestern Frittata with Peppers, Black Beans, and Cheddar (click for recipe)

Matzo Brei

Lest you think that I am only posting this recipe in order to get away with eating scrambled eggs again, I would like to start by clarifying that matzo brei (rhymes with “fry” and, hey!, also means “fried”) is a traditional Passover meal.  Some people eat it because they are eating matzo (matzoh/matzah!) in place of leavened bread in observance of Passover.  The rest of us eat it because we have a box of matzo in the house and would prefer to use it up this year.  Either way, these eggy pancakes make an appealing blank slate for sweet or savory sauces, and get you out of eating boxed matzo in its dry and un-fried form.

I’d like to tell you that this was my own Bubbie’s recipe, but actually it came from Bon Appetit.  Growing up, my family’s matzo brei was more of a scramble, and if I recall correctly it involved fried salami as well (is THAT kosher?).  This recipe is more refined, more symmetrically shaped, and more vegetarian.

Matzo brei is traditionally a breakfast dish, but breakfast for dinner is never a bad idea.  You can take these in a sweet direction with jam, powdered sugar, or syrup, or you can spice things up; we liked them with a harissa spread.  But my personal favorite topping was our homemade plum-ginger jam.  You could easily replicate it by pureeing a pound of pitted plums and boiling them down with a couple of teaspoons of grated ginger and sugar to taste (I further sweetened our jam to use as a sauce here).  Isn’t that good?  You’re welcome. Continue reading Matzo Brei (click for recipe)

Breakfast Tacos with Eggs, Potatoes, and Greens

Everyone pretends it’s only the first few months of parenthood that leave you bleary-eyed and dazed from lack of sleep.  Wrong.  Most babies I know regularly wake up during the night for a long, long time.  I don’t know if it’s collective amnesia or willful deception, but nobody ever explained this to me in advance.

Last night my almost-one-year-old slept all night long for the first time in her life.  I was overjoyed, because my older girls didn’t do that until they turned two.  So it was probably a freak occurance that won’t be repeated for a year.  But still–still!–multiple consecutive hours of sleep are always a welcome gift after five years of sleep deprivation.  (I am like to think of this period of my life as the decade of babies, to be immediately followed by the decade of sleep.  Does it work that way?)

Sleep or no sleep, these tacos–just eggs atop a tangle of sauteed onions, potatoes, and greens–are a nice way to start the day. Continue reading Breakfast Tacos with Eggs, Potatoes, and Greens (click for recipe)