Monday, October 13, 2008

VeganMoFo: The sweet versus savory breakfast conundrum

Sorry about the lack of picture again, but let's face it; toast is not very photogenic.  You might have guessed it from my previous statement, but I did in fact have toast this morning for breakfast.  Not that it was totally boring, mind you. One slice had a generous helping of crunchy peanut butter, and the other had roasted garlic hummus with tomato slices.  Hopefully such a simple meal gets bonus points because the bread is homemade.

But what is this breakfast conundrum? I often wonder whether or not I will be appealing to my sweet or savory side in the morning, and sometimes I have to appease both.  Usually, toast is my fall-back, but I can easily vary it with different toppings.  The two mentioned above are regulars, but I also have been known to just eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, have toast with chocoreale (at least, until it runs out), or spread with tofutti cream cheese and toasted a second time with raspberries on top.

My other usual breakfast is much more filling and consists of steel cut oats.  Early this year, I read this post over at the Fat Free Vegan Kitchen blog, and I figured that I should give steel cut oats a try. Up until then, I had only had steel cut oats after soaking them overnight in soymilk and then just heating up the bowl in the microwave in the morning.  As low key as this method was, it made for some chewy oatmeal.  After reading the post, I decided to try steel cut oats in a more authentic manner.  I had several unsuccessful stovetop attempts, but I finally found out that the slow cooker method works best for me.  It is great because I can just set it up while I do homework and just randomly stir it every hour or so.  The method that I used came from here. Note: my slow cooker takes longer than the time listed because it is rather old (aka it was a wedding present of my parents, which I got to claim after they got a new one last year).

But what do I do with all those oats after I cook them? I simply let them cool and stick them in a tupperware container.  When I cook 2 cups of oats, I get enough cooked to last me for a week.  Morning preparation is easy. I just scoop some out into a bowl and pour a little soymilk on it because it will have congealed a lot.  Zap it in the microwave for 1 minute or so then take it out and mash it up with the spoon so that the oatmeal clumps break apart.  I add in my other flavorings (lately, I have been favoring ground flax, maple syrup, and raspberries) and heat it up for another minute or so. Stir vigorously and enjoy!

So as you can see, my breakfast choices lean on either the sweet or savory side. I have been known to make pancakes, but only when I have a lot of time to spare.  Cinnamon rolls would also hit the spot, but the infamous pumpkin ones of Don't Eat of the Sidewalk fame have yet to be made. (Perhaps I'll finally do it this weekend when I am at home for Fall Break aka get all the loads of homework done that you have fallen behind on.)  As for other savory items, I do love my scrambled tofu, but I usually fix it for dinner and rarely for my morning meal. I prefer to get a huge helping of fiber/grains as opposed to protein.

And, to make up for the lack of photos, I will leave you with the (mostly) whole grain bread that I have fallen in love with.  It is a hybridization of several have cake, will travel recipes, though the identities of them have become unclear over time.

(Mostly) Whole Grain Bread

2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup bread flour
~1/2 cup rolled oats
~1/2 cup 7 grain mixture (I found it in the bulk bins at my local (very hippie) health foods store.)
2 tsp vital wheat gluten
2 tsp soy milk powder
1 1/4 cup water
2 Tbsp molasses
2 Tbsp canola oil
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp yeast

I use a bread machine (stolen from my parents as well due to a lack of use), so I just toss in the wet ingredients, then the dry (make sure to put the oats and grains in first so that they are mixed in better), and finally the yeast on top.  Don't for get to set it to a whole wheat setting so that it kneads it properly. Sit back, relax, and become hungry as your place fills with the amazing scent of baking bread.

 I am too lazy (and have too much homework aka Physical chemistry and German exams this week) to write out what to do sans bread machine. Go to the above mentioned have cake, will travel blog, and you will find some wonderful directions there.


Jeni Treehugger said...

I use quick rolled Oats - they take about 5 mins to cook on the stove top. I've never heard of steel cut oats! But yeah, I LOVE porridge for breakfast!!

Rach-ums said...

If I had a bread machine I would so make that! mmm... said...

oh yes you have to try DEOTS' rolls, they're so worth the trouble. damn, now I'm craving them too.