Sleepy Head-proof No Cook Breakfasts

Until the first snow, I will be kvetching about heat. It’s just how I am. Now for the big news: Breakfast is the most important meal of the day! You’ve heard it a thousand zillion times and it is true. Many of us like to loll in bed in the mornings as long as we can before we head off to the daily grind. In order to get a good start on the day and make it until lunch time without junking out, guess what? You need that most important meal of the day! Grab and go does not mean going through a fast food place and grabbing some kind of template full of fat sodium something. Grab and go does mean stopping at the snack machine in your office building and grabbing a bag of chips and a soda. Grab and Go DOES MEAN: grab a something good, yummy, full of protein, low in sugar and sodium meal that you can throw in your backpack or briefbag and eat on the train/bus or at your desk as your computer boots up and your endless emails load.

My Number One favorite Grab and Go is Overnight Oats. Fix the night before and let it do its magic while you sleep. In the winter I flavor this with chunks of apple, cinnamon, walnuts, dried cranberries. In the summer – nuttin’ honey except for some fresh chopped peach or assorted berries on top. Make this with Irish/steel cut oats and add honey, maple syrup, stevia, splenda, whatever. Make it with milk, almond milk (sweetened or not), soy milk, cashew milk. Add some chopped walnuts or almonds. Put the ingredients into a tight sealing plastic bowl type container and throw in the fridge.  Next day grab it and your spoon. Yeah, it is that easy and that good.

Breakfast Number two is a cantelope half, peeled, and set down into one of those tight sealing plastic bowl containers.  Fill with low fat low sugar Greek yogurt of your choice. Sprinkle with chia seeds, almonds, walnuts, some berries.

Breakfast number three: Yogurt with Granola and Jam. Again, in that wonderful plastic bowl, dump out your favorite flavor of low fat and sugar free Greek yogurt.  Take a serving of your favorite granola and dump on top then, drizzle with (if you want to, sugar free) your favorite jam or lemon curd.

Now, aren’t those simple? Recipe for Vegan Overnight Oats below:

1/3 cup rolled oats (Irish, steel cut, or gluten free)
1/2 cup non-dairy milk
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
Sweetener to taste if desired
2 tablespoons fresh peach, chopped Or fresh berries
2 tbs. chopped almonds or walnuts

1.Combine all ingredients for the overnight oatmeal in a small plastic container and mix well with a spoon. Cover and let sit in fridge overnight, or for at least four hours prior to serving.
2.Top with a chopped peach and the reserved nuts if you wish. If you decide to microwave, save putting on the fruit until after heating.

public domain clipart

public domain clipart

Quick Summer Lunch

No picture, I haven’t made it yet for today, on my way to get the ingredients. But here is a real haiku for you about the salad:

summer tomatoes
small green cucumbers, happy
luncheon – tummy smiles.

Summer is here and it is sooooo hot, the average life span of a popsicle is about 15 seconds. Yes, I have air conditioning but I still like to cook as little as I can get by with. Call it a….Vacation away from the kitchen. No children in the house so that makes things simpler.  Actually, I took this to a friend’s and her kids loved it.  Depending on pasta type or optional ingredients added, this can be vegan or vegetarian or gluten free.

Wonderful summer tomatoes and small crisp, sweet cucumbers are also showing up at local markets. I am having to resort to local markets because a line of storms obliterated my garden. And I am envious of you all who have a kitchen garden.

Now, for super simple healthy lunch or, dinner if you like. No quantities are given. It’s a “do your thing” recipe. And, it is a keep it simple salad…nothing elaborate or stylish here, just good tastes. The best kind for summer.

You’ll need:
pasta – fettucine, rotini, elbow, whole grain, gluten free, whatever.
tomatoes – one per serving (depending on size)
cucumbers – one per serving (depending on size)
green onions – to taste
splash of rice wine vinegar
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Dash of sugar or sweetener
Optional – finely chopped basil, freshly grated parmesan, pine nuts, splash of olive oil.

Instructions:  Cook desired servings of pasta al dente, rinse with cold water and drain. Meanwhile, skin or peel tomatoes and cukes. Very coarsely chop tomatoes and cukes. Add to pasta along with salt, pepper, rice wine vinegar. Toss and let sit about 15 minutes for tomatoes to juice out and flavors to blend. Sprinkle green onion and optional ingredients on top and lightly toss. Serve with some crusty bread if desired. Dig in.  NOTE:  I peel or skin tomatoes or cukes this time of year because the peels can be tough and bitter.

WARNING: This salad will not taste the same if you use those mushy store bought tomatoes or big last season waxed cucumbers. if it’s all you have access to, well, then do your best.

Japanese Cabbage Salad

Hot and sticky summer is here. I usually keep Japanese pickled veggies in my fridge all year, but this time of year, in addition to the pickles, there are usually several containers of salads – American, potato, pasta, layered, congealed, vegetable and of course, always a Japanese salad. This cabbage salad is a favorite and super easy. the miso adds a tasty variation on the flavor and is good for you too! This salad sounds a lot like cole slaw and indeed, some shredded carrots are good added to this for color, flavor, and nutrition.  Of course, you can make a smaller version.  It keeps well and I like it better the second day.  This was given to me by a friend in my past and is from the Hakone area.  Good with meats, as part of an all salad meal, or I like as a lunch with steamed rice.  NOTE:  I use chopsticks to toss and mix food items to keep vegetables from bruising.

There was a yakinuku (grilled meats) restaurant near where I was staying at the time in Japan.  I ate there with regularity.  With great courtesy, this recipe was shared with me by one of the chefs shortly before I returned to the US.    I think he was charmed by my Southern American accent!

どうぞめしあがれ (douzo meshiagare  y’all!)  Eat well said by the cook to the eaters…

Cabbage Salad
1 tbs. white or yellow miso paste
2 tbs. soy sauce
Juice and zest of 1 lime
2 tesp. Rice wine vinegar
1 tsp. sesame oil
1/2 c. safflower or other neutral vegetable oil
6 cups thinly sliced green cabbage
3 thinly sliced green onions
Toasted sesame seeds

In large non-reactive bowl, whisk together miso paste, soy sauce, lime zest and juice, rice wine vinegar, sesame oil and vegetable oil. Toss cabbage in ingredients and let chill for about 1 hours, tossing several times. Garnish with sesame seeds when serving.  OPTIONAL:  Can add thinly sliced fresh snow peas, red cabbage, shredded carrots

cabbage salad 2

 

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