I’m a morning person but not the sort that wakes up ready to take on the world as soon as my feet hit the floor. I prefer to ease into the day, starting with preparing breakfast at home, then slowly and deliberately enjoying each bite. Breakfast is by far my favorite meal because it can be savory or sweet, hot or cold, early in the day or later in the evening, when in the mood for breakfast at supper time. This habit sets the tone for my entire day so I take my breakfast ritual somewhat seriously.
Despite those intentional practices it’s easy to fall into a bit of rut when it comes to breakfast. Being a big fan of the morning meal I’m always looking for ideas to keep my menu fresh and appealing. Enter Whole-Grain Mornings cookbook by Megan Gordon (2013, Ten Speed Press).
The sixty-five seasonally arranged recipes in this cookbook feel both fresh and new as well as familiar and comforting. Especially comforting on a cold winter morning is a steaming bowl of Morning Glory Oats, where shredded carrot, raisins, warm spices, unsweetened coconut flakes and orange zest meld deliciously with creamy steel cut oats. I tossed in a few toasted walnut pieces to add a bit of crunch.
For a more savory take on breakfast the Greens and Grains Scramble perfectly incorporates seasonal greens from the farmers market with the whole grain of your choice (barley or farro, for example) to accompany scrambled eggs. Top with some hot sauce and cotija cheese to a bit of extra spice and another layer of flavor.
Are cookies an acceptable breakfast alternative? Yes, if they are these Nutty Millet Breakfast Cookies that are almost biscuit-like in texture and pair perfectly with a cold glass of milk.
My favorite use for farro (thus far) is this Warm Farro Breakfast Bowl with apples, dried cranberries and hazelnuts served with a generous helping of Greek yogurt and drizzled with local honey. This bowl is the perfect blend of textures, chewy, crunch and creamy all at once.
As evidenced by all the green flags you see in the book picture above, there are dozens of recipes I’ve yet to try, like the Oven-Baked Asparagus, Pea, and Farro Frittata (just waiting for the first asparagus of Spring), Kale Polenta Squares, Triple-Coconut Quinoa Porridge, Zucchini Farro Cakes (as soon as Summer’s here) and a Peach Breakfast Cobbler with Cornmeal Thyme Biscuits that looks as if it would be the perfect dish for a leisurely Sunday brunch. If you think you might like to love breakfast a bit more, I’m certain you’ll enjoy Whole-Grain Mornings quite a lot.
When shopping for new books to add to your collection, please consider a purchase at any one of my favorite Triangle indie book sellers: The Regulator Bookshop in Durham, Chapel Hill’s Flyleaf Books, Quail Ridge Books & Music in Raleigh or McIntyre’s Books in Pittsboro’s Fearrington Village.