What do you mean, I can't just drink a quart of raw milk?
For years I struggled to find the perfect combination of whole foods with adequate protein, carbs, and fats to keep me somewhat satiated and civilized until lunchtime.
I've tried various models of proper morning nutrition - overnight soaked oatmeal (steel-cut or oat groats) cooked in a rice cooker, crepes, dutch babies, homemade granola and yogurt, and I've stared at an overwhelming number of compilations of "20 Easy Breakfast Recipes" and "10 Breakfast Recipes with Whole Grains." I've done my research on the breakfast front, spending hours reading all the tips and secrets to an easy, healthy breakfast ready in minutes and bookmarking with every intention to test. I even have recipes bookmarked for breakfast pizza, breakfast soup, breakfast nachos, and breakfast noodles. I had 68 bookmarks in my Breakfast folder and none of them were what I wanted. I don't like anything sweet in the morning (The secret to busting sugar cravings: eat lots of quality protein and fats) or anything too complicated in flavor or preparation. So how did I crack the egg (code) and come to this calm place of breakfast competency?
I found a roommate who cooks breakfast for me every morning at 7am.
When choosing a roommate, it is important to find one with similar likes and dislikes. Does he like to dance to the same few Top 40s songs on blast every single morning? CHECK! Does he like to make and follow endless rules about running a house? CHECK! Will he stay away from your emergency LaLoos Deep Chocolate Goat's Milk Ice Cream? CHECK! Will he serve you sautéed vegetables and fried eggs every morning wearing a white lacy negligée and singing Iggy Azalea's "Work"? CHECK CHECK CHECK!
My hetero-flexible housemate is a dream-come-true; his breakfasts are incomparable. In the springtime when I was dating his roommate James O'Keeffe and first ate Jeff's standard breakfast of steamed vegetables and fried eggs, I was not amused. I thought: "I like interesting and exciting meals with contrasting textures and flavors!" I turned down the meal and would instead spent hours and twenty ingredients crafting a masterpiece with seared radishes and cured pork (below) or other complex messes. The result was worth writing about, of course, and would have impressed those around me - except that the boys had all left for work by the time breakfast was ready.
We keep our kitchen stocked with: onions, beets, carrots, cabbage, hearty greens (kale, collard, chard, beet), butter, coconut or apple cider vinegar, balsamic vinegar, salt. With those items, you'll always be ready.
Wake up. Open your eyes real wide. Stretch your face and your ribcage. Bound energetically out of bed, then make your bed. Chug a pint of water. Turn on some loud hip-shaking music like on our 'Mornings' playlist.
Coffee is a pretty good idea at this point.
I like to use Straus Creamery Organic Butter (available at the Olympia Food Co-op) or Organic Valley. I buy salted butter because it tastes better than unsalted. Ideally, I'd buy unsalted and add good quality salt to my own preferred levels, but as I go through at least a pound of butter every week (sometimes two or three) I've had to draw the line. Compromising is good.
2. Chop onions and add to pan when the fat in the pan is hot (so much that you can feel the heat when holding your hand two inches over). We average one large onion for two people or two large onions for three people. I'm particular about the size; here's my recommended onion size: peel, remove base madness, cut in half, cut horizontally into ½ inch strips, then cut those in half. You'll end up with 1/2 inch wide quarters of onions. Or, you know, cut them however you want.
7. Roll the green leaves into a thick bundle and cut into inch pieces then cut those roll-ups in half. Does that make sense? Basically, you want to avoid the tragic three-inch-piece-of-greens problem that often happens with salads. Chop your hearty greens. Turn up the heat a notch or two and add your greens.
9. Cover the pan and let the greens sweat. Keep lifting the lid and stirring every few minutes.
Do put some time and effort into your breakfast. Don't worry if it doesn't happen every day.