Breakfast in a Bowl + My Summer Reads (Part I)

My favorite meal of the day is breakfast. Sometimes I think about it the night before and make something nice for the next morning. Sometimes I let my early-morning appetite decide. There's always readymade breakfast in the fridge or freezer, like muffins and breads, for mornings when dashing out the door is necessary.

But my most cherished breakfast moment is the one you have while looking out the window, taking your time to contemplate the day ahead and scooping nourishment into your newly awakened body. I usually get up so early that I'm completely alone when I do that, save for the company of Una my cat and some friends from the bookshelves.  

It's nice waking up to a world that still makes books. I own an e-book reader and appreciate it for the convenience, but I'm a steadfast lover of printed words. The hardest thing I had to do before I moved was to find new homes for my books. I may have had to say goodbye to a lot of old friends but I'm fast making new ones here. 

I try to eat a whole-foods, plant-based diet with minimal dairy, sugar and wheat, so you will see that reflected in the easy and quick breakfast recipes below, which are portioned for one and highly adaptable to your personal preference and taste.  

Breakfast: Multigrain porridge with chunky toppings

Multigrain porridge with chunky toppings
Cook 1/3 cup multigrain cereal + 1 cup water + 1 mashed banana + a pinch of salt. 
Add almond milk + whole almonds + dried mulberries + cacao nibs on top.

Read: Newspaper weather forecast
I live in a household that's obsessed with the weather, so I've developed the habit of checking the weather forecast in the local newspaper every morning. I pay particular attention to the weekends, because that's when we go hiking. More often than not, the weather determines what I'm in the mood to eat. If it's "low clouds in the morning", I find myself yearning for something gloopy, like porridge, with hearty, crunchable toppings. I get strange and use words like that when the clouds get too close, so it's always nice to know that the low clouds "will break for a good deal of sunshine in the afternoon". 

Breakfast: Overnight oats with berries

Overnight oats with berries
Mix 1/4 cup quick oats + 1 tbsp oat bran + 1/2 tsp chia seeds + 1/2 tsp ground flax seeds + 1 mashed baby banana + 2/3 cup almond milk in a jar and leave overnight in the refrigerator. 
Add sliced strawberries and blueberries in the morning to serve. 

Read: The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
I got this book two summers ago when I visited San Francisco to watch Neil Gaiman read. And then I got in line to have this book signed. Yes, I met the man in person. I mumbled something to him, I forget what, but it didn't matter; I was in the same room with one of my favorite authors. I left the book in the States and was only recently reunited with it, so I'm not done with it. I've read the first page and the last paragraph, which is how I start all my books, and it didn't make any sense, but gave me goosebumps. 

Breakfast: Banana tofu pudding with graham crackers

Banana tofu pudding with graham crackers 
Blend 1 ripe banana + 170g (or 1/2 package Mori-Nu) extra firm silken tofu + 1 tbsp almond milk + 1/2 tsp maple syrup (or to taste) + a dash of salt + a dash of ground cinnamon.
Add graham crackers (lightly broken into chunky crumbs) + a sprinkle of ground cinnamon on top.  

Read: Falling Up, Poems and Drawings by Shel Silverstein
Some days, a good dose of levity is fiercely needed. After we said goodbye to David's 18-year-old cat, I asked for a book recommendation that will help take my mind off the seriousness of death – something light, something cuddly, something carefree, like tofu, I said – and he pulled out a Shel Silverstein classic from the shelves. And thus I was introduced to Silverstein's brand of humor, the kind that makes you feel like cotton candy inside, liquorice-flavored. 

Breakfast: Beet orange ginger smoothie with homemade granola

Beet orange ginger smoothie with homemade granola
Blend 2/3 cup coconut water + 1 small beetroot + 1 small orange + 1 medium banana + 1 small slice of ginger + a few ice cubes (optional). Serve with homemade granola. 

To make a simple granola for one to go with this smoothie, bake 1/3 cup rolled oats + 1 tbsp pumpkin seeds + 1 tbsp maple syrup + a sprinkle of sea salt at 300° F for 10 to 15 minutes, or until golden brown, stirring frequently to prevent burning. Remove from heat and stir in 1 tsp cacao nibs + 2 chopped dried black mission figs.  

Read: Trees of North America by C. Frank Brockman
David and I have been going hiking every weekend since Spring started, and wasted no time planning camping and backpacking trips at the first sign of Summer. We share a love of nature, and we think of trees as people. So we flip through this book a lot (pretending to be tree scientists, when we really are tree huggers). The earthiness of beet and ginger grounds me in the morning and I turn to it whenever I need that connection to start my day.

We're headed off to Lassen Volcanic National Park to backpack for the weekend. Maybe I'll allow myself the weight of a book. When we return, I'll introduce to you a few more of my new book friends and share more recipes for breakfast in a bowl. Be sure to drop by again for the second half of this post.

You may also be interested to read Breakfast in a bowl + my summer reads (Part II).