Tag Archives: Breakfast

Breakfast Toast with Labneh, Roasted Strawberries and Hazelnuts

I tend to eat the same thing for breakfast everyday, for about 5 years, until I get bored of it (clearly I don’t get bored very easily!) While I haven’t totally given up on my Double Coconut Granola with yogurt and fruit, I am having a brief, but passionate, dalliance with labneh.

Labneh, also called “yogurt cheese”, originated in The Middle-East thousands of years ago. It continues to be a daily staple there, showing up for breakfast drizzled with olive oil and a sprinkling of za’atar to dip your pita into, as a spread for sandwiches at lunch and in mezze platters at cocktail hour. It is made by straining the whey off yogurt, past the point of even Greek yogurt. Thick and tangy, it is extremely smooth, delicious and very versatile. 

If you have a Middle-Eastern market near you, they often sell it. In Ottawa they make excellent labneh at Damas Supermarket. If you can’t find it, you can make it easily at home. Just mix a bit of salt and fresh lemon juice into plain yogurt. Place it in a strainer lined with cheesecloth, set over a large bowl, to catch the whey. Put it into the fridge to 24-48 hours. If you are planning to use it as a dip, 24 hours will be sufficient. If you want to use it as a spread, 48 hours will give you a thicker product. I have tried straining Greek yogurt as well as regular yogurt, and I prefer the final texture of plain regular yogurt. Just use full fat yogurt. It will keep in the fridge for up to two weeks.

I decided to pair my morning labneh with strawberries, toasted hazelnuts andf a drizzle of honey. Winter strawberries need a bit of help. I sliced them in half, mixed them with a spoonful of sugar and roasted them for 30 minutes. Leftover roasted berries will keep in the fridge for a week. Toast up your bread of choice. Something dense, and seedy to hold up to the weight of the labneh would be a good idea. Finish with a drizzle of your favourite honey and get ready to face the day.

Click here to print recipe for Breakfast Toast with Labneh, Roasted Strawberries and Hazelnuts.

Apple Cinnamon Overnight Oats with Maple Apples

We have been eating overnight oats for breakfast, lunch and dinner this week, as I have been testing different variations. So far, no one has complained. This version is adapted from a Cook’s Illustrated recipe. They sweetened the oats with brown sugar but I switched it for maple syrup. I also added chopped apples to the oats while they were cooking. Their recipe used shredded apples but I found that I liked the texture better with little bites of diced apple.

The final change I made to their recipe was to sautee some apple slices in a bit of butter and maple syrup, because, well… butter and maple syrup on apples! It’s a fancier version, and those sliced apples look so pretty on top, but feel free to leave it out if that’s not how you roll. No judgement here.
The night before, bring 3 cups of water and a good pinch of salt to a boil. Remove from heat and add 1 cup steel cut oats. Cover pot and let it sit on the counter all night. In the morning , add apple cider or juice, milk, cinnamon and some diced peeled apples. Cook for 5 minutes. Let sit for a further 5 minutes. Top with sauteed maple apples and some toasted almonds or pecans.

Drizzle with extra maple syrup because you deserve it.

Click here to print recipe for Apple Cinnamon Overnight Oats with Maple Apples.

 

 

 

 

Banana Coconut Overnight Oats


When I was growing up, oatmeal meant Quaker Oats Instant Oatmeal in the package. We had an instant hot water tap, (the water never really got all that hot) so there wasn’t even any cooking involved. My mom would buy the variety pack, but my sisters and I only liked the maple and brown sugar, and I think we probably added extra maple syrup and brown sugar. My poor dad got stuck eating the unwanted apple cinnamon flavour. I recall that the dried apples always got stuck in your throat.

Fast forward a whole bunch of years and, “We’ve come a long way baby.”Now I’m eating oatmeal made with steel cut oats that you actually have to cook!

So, a little oats primer here. Whole oats, that have been cleaned and hulled, are called groats. They are a little too coarse for oatmeal. Groats that have been coarsely chopped are known as steel-cut oats (bowl on the left). Groats that are steamed and pressed are called rolled oats or old-fashioned oats (bowl on the right). Instant oats are pre-cooked, dried, and then rolled and pressed slightly thinner than rolled oats.Steel-cut oats have a wonderful nutty taste and chewy texture, but they take 40 minutes to cook, and who has time for that? Enter the overnight method. I learned how to make these from those clever folks over at Cook’s Illustrated.

Bring 3 cups of water and a teaspoon of salt to boil. Please don’t omit the salt. Your oatmeal will taste flat and lifeless. Take pot off heat, stir in 1 cup of steel-cut oats , cover pot and let sit overnight while you sleep. In the morning add 1 cup of coconut milk, bring to boil, reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until oats are softened but still retain some chew and the mixture thickens slightly. This will take about 5 minutes. Cover the pot and let sit for 5 more minutes. The oatmeal will continue to thicken as it rests.

Mix in sliced bananas, shredded coconut and vanilla extract. Top with banana chips for some added crunch.


Mornings got a whole lot better around here. Stay tuned for an apple-cinnamon version with maple syrup!

Click here to print recipe for Banana Coconut Overnight Oats.

Jammy Eggs

for breakfast 2There are some that believe #putaneggonit is a fad on its way out. I disagree. Topping anything with an egg makes it more delicious and I plan to keep on doing it, trendy or not.Egg sliced 3I was topping latkes, breakfast sandwichesturkey hash, and turkey burgers, with a fried egg, but lately I’m into jammy soft boiled eggs. The whites are set but the yolks are still slightly runny and almost the consistency of “jam”. So yummy.for breakfast 3The method is simple

Once you start, you’ll be topping everything with jammy eggs.

I started with a salad. There is no recipe for this one. Just use what you have and like. If you’re like my friend Sandy, you may need more specific details! Here’s what to do:

Start with a whole raw chicken. Liberally sprinkle it with kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper and paprika. Roast it in a 375°F oven for 1 hour and 20 minutes. Once it’s cooled slightly, take all the meat off the bones and dice it up. Or, even easier, just buy a rotisserie chicken from the supermarket.

Make Pickled Red Onions.  Cut a few ears of corn off the cob and sauté corn in olive oil and sprinkle with a bit of salt. Slice up some celery, radishes and green onion. Slice a ripe avocado and squeeze some lime juice over it. Sprinkle with salt and a tiny pinch of red pepper flakes.

Wash some lettuce. I used romaine, radicchio and Belgian endive. Arugula would be excellent too.

Make a vinaigrette: in a glass jar, add 1 teaspoon dijon mustard, 1 teaspoon honey, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, 1/4 cup red or white wine vinegar. Put lid on jar and shake well. Add 1/2 cup olive oil, and shake well to emulsify.

I plated each salad individually, but feel free to put it all on a large platter. Put the eggs on unbroken and let each person cut it open to watch the custardy golden yolk appear.unbroken egg

Egg sliced 1

Click here to print recipe for Jammy soft boiled eggs.

 

 

 

 

Egg-in-a-hole-Avocado Toast

4 toasts 2
Egg-in-a-hole used to be one of my favourite meals as a child. I loved taking the little round piece of toast and poking it into the center of the egg, watching the runny golden yolk ooze out. I had completely forgotten about this egg dish until Tieghan Gerard, over at Half Baked Harvest, had the genius idea to turn it into a new way to eat avocado toast.

She topped hers with mashed avocado, corn, nectarines and feta cheese. We are not quite in nectarine season here, so I decided to roast some little cherry tomatoes with the corn. Mine got a topping of ricotta salata, basil and cilantro. A squirt of hot sauce or some pickled jalapeños would also be quite delicious if that’s more your jam. What you'll need

tomatoes and corn ready for roastingThe tomatoes and corn spend about 20 minutes in a hot oven, getting all golden brown and delicious. This gives you time to mash the avocados and make the egg-in-a-hole toasts.avoeggs in hole2 toasts 1This is comfort food at its finest. It would make a beautiful brunch, but I love it best for dinner. There is something a little bit indulgent about having breakfast for dinner. 1 toast

Click here to print recipe for Egg-in-hole Avocado Toast.

1 toast yolk broken 1 625 sq