Day 3’s assignment is a fun one: find 5 new breakfast recipes you would like to try, keeping the goals you set yesterday in mind.

Luckily for me, I keep a running tab on my bookmarks of recipes I find that I would like to try, so this did not take me long at all. I tried to stick with my goal of straying away from the sweet, but I’m not being hard on myself that a couple of these will still satisfy my sweet tooth.  =) Here are the five I settled on:

1. Breakfast Polenta Bake–I plan on adding mushrooms to this.  I’m not a huge fan of traditional frittata-like egg dishes.  The texture of the baked, whisked eggs kind of gets to me (and how it kinda just towers there!), so I think the addition of the corn meal will be good for that!

2. Simple yet elegant Scrambled Egg Toast on either gluten-free or sprouted grain bread and using my homemade almond milk. I figure scrambled eggs are fast enough to make in the morning and don’t require the delicate touch that over-easy eggs do.  I might also add some smoked salmon on these!

3.  Sweet potato and sausage hash (because sweet potatoes don’t count as sweet, right? Right?!)–I’ll make the hash ahead of time, per the recipe, and then heat it up in individual portions in my toaster oven.  Instead of baking the egg in the oven, I’ll just cook an egg or two over-easy on the pan and serve them on top with their yolky goodness!

4.  This Avocado Breakfast Pudding intrigues me.  I have been making smoothies with avocado, and I’ve noticed that you really can’t taste it, so I am curious to try something where the avocado isn’t masked.

5.  I’ve been wanting to make a home-made granola, so I will try this Pumpkin Seed version, using pumpkin seeds I got in my latest Naturebox!

Will you be adding anything new to your breakfast repertoire?

 

Snowpocalypse Mexi-hot Chocolate

Today it snowed, maybe….1/4 of an inch in Austin.  So, naturally, the whole city shut down.  While I think this is a bit silly, what I don’t think is silly is that my office was one of those things that shut down.  Yay for two days off in one week (Thanks MLK!)!

I decided to watch the movie Frozen, which I had made Mr. Little Fish download for me for some future time when he wasn’t at home.  He doesn’t like cartoons.  I do.  Now I have a get-out-of-jail-out-free card next time he wants to watch conspiracy theory documentaries about aliens or 9/11.  Compromise.   I love Disney movies.  And Frozen, true to form, was very cute.

It also, however, made me want hot chocolate.  Of the Mexican variety.  Because I’m Mexican.  Well, I’m not.  But I’m half Nicaraguan, which to everyone else means Mexican.  And I’m spicy.  Like this drink.  I’m not sure why I’m writing like this.  I could be going a little stir crazy.

Anywho, I’m gonna write this recipe a little differently because it’s basically two steps, so I took detailed photographic evidence of it.

Step 1.  Assemble the following ingredients:

2 cups unsweetened almond milk, preferably homemade
2 tbsp cocoa powder, dutch-processed or otherwise
2 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
A dash of nutmeg, cayenne, and chipotle powder

But it doesn't have to look like this.

Step 2.  Pour all the ingredients into a medium saucepan over medium heat.
20140124_195949

Step 3.  Whisk everything together so it dissolves.

Frothy yumminess.

Step 4.  When the milk starts simmering, or when you can’t stand the delicious smells any longer, pour into your favorite mug and enjoy!

My mug says, "Hello"! Can you see it?
My mug says, “Hello”! Can you see it?  

Snowpocalypse Mexi-hot Chocolate
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Beverages
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 2 cups unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder, dutch-processed or otherwise
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp vanilla extract
  • A dash of nutmeg, cayenne, and chipotle powder
Directions
  1. Combine everything in a saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Whisk together until the cocoa powder dissolves.
  3. When the mixture starts to come to a simmer, remove from heat, pour, and enjoy!

 

Home-made Almond Milk

The thing that never fails to elicit either a quizzical glance or a curious question is when I tell someone that I make my own almond milk.

I’m not exactly sure why this always takes people by surprise, but I suspect it has something to do with the fact that the things we buy in the store, the things that come already made for us, are complete mysteries to us.  I mean, how many of you already buy almond milk at your grocery store?  Or coconut milk?  Or almond butter?  Or any number of other products.   We buy them on autopilot, because the food industry has succeeded in making us believe that those unpronounceable ingredients on the back of the package are somehow necessary to make that product.

So I think when someone hears that I make almond milk, it’s jarring.  I can usually see the emotions and thoughts flit across their face–amusement then confusion then some brief thoughts of “She’s fallen off the edge,” and then, finally, genuine interest–all culminating in the question:  How?

And my answer is always: “It’s the easiest thing in the world!”  That’s not even a little bit of a lie.  In fact, the directions boil down to three steps:

Step 1:  Soak.
Step 2: Blend.
Step 3: Strain.

Really, that’s all it takes.  And the result is a slightly sweet, not as thick, more almond-flavored, light-feeling beverage.  I go with unsweetened because I usually end up using it in recipes where I want to tailor the flavor a little more, but you could absolutely add a date, sugar, vanilla, or any other number of flavorings to the blender to sweeten it.

Home-made Almond Milk
Makes about 6 1/2 cup servings

20140121_220607

Ingredients:

1.5 cups almonds
3.5 cups water
Small bowl with a lid
1 air-tight container
Cheesecloth or a nut milk bag
One medium or large strainer
A blender
Optional flavorings: date, sugar, cinnamon, vanilla extract

Directions:

1.  Put the almonds in the small bowl, and fill with water until the almonds are covered.  Put the lid on, and let the almonds sit (on your countertop is fine) at least overnight.  The longer you let them sit, the creamier your milk will be.  I have let them sit for 2 days, but I probably would not exceed that.

20140124_200715
2.  Pour the almonds into your strainer to get rid of the old water (thought you were gonna drink that, didn’t you?).  Put the strained almonds into the blender.  Add the 3.5 cups of fresh, filtered water.  Add any flavorings you want.  Blend for about 5 minutes.
3.  While it’s blending, set up your squeeze station.  I balance the strainer into a bowl like so:

20140124_161609

Then, line the inside of the strainer with the cheesecloth.  The strainer will do the job of sifting through the almond pieces, but you’ll want to cheesecloth so you can take out the drained mixture and squeeze the hell out of it.
4.  Pour the blended almonds into the strainer.  If your strainer is big enough, you could pour the whole thing in and let gravity do the work.  If it’s not, you can do as I do and pour in a little bit at a time, let it sit, and then press down on the mixture with a spatula when I get impatient.
5.  At some point, the dripping will start to slow down as the almond meal starts to clog the pipeline.  That’s when you do this:

20140121_215532

Take the cheesecloth out of the strainer, wrap everything up so no almond milk will spill out of the open sides, and use whatever amount of muscle you may have to squeeze the life out those poor little almonds.  Voila, almond milk!
6.  OPTIONAL:  if you have any moral qualms about discarding all the leftover almond bits, you can repurpose them and make almond meal!  Just preheat your oven to 200 degrees, spread the mixture out on a baking sheet, bake for about 2 hours until dried out, and then pulse it in a food processor for a little bit.  This can replace flours in baked goods or bread crumbs in pretty much any other dish!

Home-made Almond Milk
 
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 1.5 cups almonds
  • 3.5 cups water
  • Small bowl with a lid
  • 1 air-tight container
  • Cheesecloth or a nut milk bag
  • One medium or large strainer
  • A blender
  • Optional flavorings: date, sugar, cinnamon, vanilla extract
Directions
  1. Put the almonds in the small bowl, and fill with water until the almonds are covered. Put the lid on, and let the almonds sit (on your countertop is fine) at least overnight. The longer you let them sit, the creamier your milk will be. I have let them sit for 2 days, but I probably would not exceed that.
  2. Pour the almonds into your strainer to get rid of the old water (thought you were gonna drink that, didn't you?). Put the strained almonds into the blender. Add the 3.5 cups of fresh, filtered water. Add any flavorings you want. Blend for about 5 minutes.
  3. While it's blending, set up your squeeze station. I balance the strainer into a bowl, and then, line the inside of the strainer with the cheesecloth. The strainer will do the job of sifting through the almond pieces, but you'll want to cheesecloth so you can take out the drained mixture and squeeze the hell out of it.
  4. Pour the blended almonds into the strainer. If your strainer is big enough, you could pour the whole thing in and let gravity do the work. If it's not, you can do as I do and pour in a little bit at a time, let it sit, and then press down on the mixture with a spatula when I get impatient.
  5. At some point, the dripping will start to slow down as the almond meal starts to clog the pipeline. Take the cheesecloth out of the strainer, wrap everything up so no almond milk will spill out of the open sides, and use whatever amount of muscle you may have to squeeze the life out those poor little almonds. Voila, almond milk!
  6. OPTIONAL: if you have any moral qualms about discarding all the leftover almond bits, you can repurpose them and make almond meal! Just preheat your oven to 200 degrees, spread the mixture out on a baking sheet, bake for about 2 hours until dried out, and then pulse it in a food processor for a little bit. This can replace flours in baked goods or bread crumbs in pretty much any other dish!