Thursday, May 21, 2009

let's talk about breakfast.

for dinner. breakfast for dinner. matt made the joke of "make breakfast. eat it nine hours later," but i think that there is more to be said than just that. breakfast for dinner is great. it proves that you're totally an adult and you can eat whatever you want, whenever you want. i suggest having fetuccini alfredo at 8am for this very same reason. on to breakfast:

i think vegans might be somewhat on the losing side of breakfast dishes, to be honest. at least breakfast components that don't rely heavily on tofu or processed soy meats, etc. but there are actually a ton of options! a metric ton! i put together a few in this post, the basics: pancakes, potatoes, toast, and threw in an avocado strawberry mint "salad" for good measure. but use your imagination! when i was unemployed for months i made myself elaborate breakfasts every morning, just because i could. the realm of vegan omelettes is something beautiful. if you ever want to talk about it in detail, find me in the streets and demand answers.

my trusty sidekick/roommate/life partner cheryl worked on the potatoes as i put together the pancake batter and avocado salad. as i have said before, it is great to have pals around, and can make the fixin' process way fun and much faster. for the potatoes, we usually cut up a bunch of them (yukons in today's case) into cubes, and boil them until they are relatively soft. our stovetop only has settings in varying degrees of high, so frying the potatoes up in a skillet without them burning can be hard. thus, we cheat a little bit and boil them ahead of time. then they can cook sufficiently and not burn!

first, we sauteed onions, garlic, red pepper, mushrooms, and kale in a pot, then added the potatoes and added salt, paprika, pepper, and other seasonings.

i'm sorry if you are reading this and are feeling that your intelligence is being undercut, because breakfast potatoes are a pretty simple dish. i'm just being thorough. paprika and breakfast potatoes, though, if you don't know, are perfect companions. really. put them together, please. it it very important. we also grabbed some fresh parsley from our garden and choppped it up and threw it in the potatoes. and we're done! keep 'em covered while you cook everything else, and give them a little heat up if you need to by the time you are ready to eat.

the pancakes! oh god the pancakes! i have been known to make pancakes for myself every morning of my life. it is something that i can't shake and don't want to shake. pancakes are wonderful. i've had the simplest recipe for them memorized for years, sharing it here and there and leaving happy pancake eaters all along the way. i once had a dream to make pancakes in every state in the U.S. it was quickly abandoned, but at this point, i have made pancakes in oregon, california, rhode island, and new york. only 46 states to go!

the pancake recipe:
2 cups flour (wild hive wild hive blah blah blah)
2 cups milk substitute of your choice (almond is usually mine)
3 tablespoons baking powder
3 tablespoons sweetener (i use agave)
2-3 tablespoons oil (optional, really)
pinch of salt
cinnamon, paprika, any spices you want, really.

i am now realizing that i have a lot to say about pancakes. in college, we took apart our ironing closet in our common room and turned it into an electric griddle station, with a pull-out, draw-bridge like griddle, so we didn't ever have to leave our suite to eat pancakes. it was great.

it also needs to be said that i am incapable of making small pancakes. i can only make enormous ones, and the recipe above makes 5 enormous pancakes. if you are more modest with your cake size, then you can probably get double that out of that batter. i just need pancakes to be massive. it doesn't make sense to me if they are small. maybe i'm a freak.

so, mix up all the ingredients.

it will be a pancake batter!

if it appears too thick or too thin, add flour and milk accordingly. also, i strongly advocate for the use of fresh nutmeg (your friend the microplane will assist you here) and fresh cinnamon.

it is also a really great idea to have an array of additives: bananas, apples, chocolate chips, strawberries, blueberries, any fruit, really. today i used gala apples. if you have a lot of people to feed, make up like 12 batches of the batter, have pals cut up a million different fruits, and have people write down what they want, and make them to order! the mornings after stay true paltz, we did this to control the chaos of needing lots of people to eat pancakes. it's the best thing ever, as long as your favorite pasttime is standing over a hot griddle, flipping pancakes, as it is mine. i think i was just born to make pancakes.

i cut up the apples pretty thin and tossed them in a mix of agave and cinnamon.

after you pour the batter onto the hot griddle, arrange the fruit slices however you want on the top. when bubbles start to push through to the top of the pancake, peek under it to see how done it is. when it is time, flip it! cook that side, and then you have yourself a pancake! cover it or keep it in an oven to keep it warm while you make the rest of them.

the avocado strawberry salad!
2 avocados, sliced thin
a bunch of strawberries. 16 or so?
the juice of 2 lemons
for the yogurt topping:
1/2 cup of plan yogurt
2 tablespoons chopped up mint
salt and pepper
mint leaves to garnish

cut the avocados in half and remove the pits. remove all the skin, and slice em up. slice up the strawberries, and juice the lemons. cover the avocados with half the lemon juice immediately, in a bowl, so the avocados do not start to brown. mix all of this up, add the rest of the lemon juice.

for the yogurt topping, just mix up the yogurt and the mint and a little salt and pepper. i used raspberry coconut milk yogurt, which was admittedly sort of a weird combination with the mint. i think it worked out well in the end, though. and we picked the mint fresh from our garden. i highly recommend everyone to start an herb garden at their house so you will never be at a loss for fresh herbs. okay!

now, on to the toast.
if you are eating any bread that is not heidelberg, you are out of your goddamn mind. if you are sensative to gluten, then fine. eat whatever second-rate bread substitute you can muster. ezekiel will do you just fine. but if you are fine with gluten and spend your time eating anything that isn't heidelberg, you are certifiably insane and need to go seek help by purchasing many loaves of heidelberg bread and eating them in succession over a few days. seriously! it is the best bread ever, making it impossible to eat bread products anywhere that i cannot procure it. morning brew gets it, why doesn't every business? few things rival my passion for heidelberg bread.

that being said, get out your loaf of heidelberg bread, and toast it. put whatever you want on it, although heidelberg bread doesn't need any topper to be the best bread known to earth, and eat it. rejoice.

so, put all of this on a plate. with any luck, it will look gorgeous, and a bit like this:

use real maple syrup, because, yes, you are also crazy if you consume anything but. buy maple syrup by the half gallon. it is good on pretty much anything. grapefruit, especially. trust me.

hopefully your friend sam will come by with tons of awesome juice at this point, and you can all enjoy a great and simple breakfast for dinner. i'll admit that i douse potatoes unforgivably with hot sauce, but i'll talk about that more another time. hot sauce, cats, and heidelberg bread. those are my passions lately.