Breakfast

Asparagus Souffle

asparagus-souffle
Eggs are the natural food to eat for an Easter celebration. Today we have eggs in the supermarkets all year long, but in fact, in the wild, eggs are seasonal. Birds don’t lay eggs during the winter because they may not survive the cold. So in times past, when everyone got their food from the land, the coming of spring was a time of celebration in part because eggs were again available.

For me, the most exalted celebration of the egg is to make a souffle. Here the egg becomes a delicately-flavored cloud that almost melts in your mouth.

Souffles are not difficult. I whipped this one up this morning. If you follow my instructions carefully, you can do it too.

If I were having guests for Easter brunch or dinner, I would serve this as the first course, for guests to enjoy alone on the plate. Just a celebration of springtime asparagus and the first eggs of spring. But I’m just eating them myself for my own enjoyment.

Just a few notes before the recipe:

* the recipe calls for cheese. I used parmesan, but you can use any cheese you like, or no cheese at all.

* usually shuffles call for wheat flour to make a roux of wheat and butter. I used a heaping tablespoon of arrowroot instead (you can buy it at any natural food store). It worked beautifully! Better than wheat. If you want to use flour, use 2 tablespoons.

* the standard recipe calls for milk. I substituted half cream and half water because it has fewer carbs. I think you can probably use any milk or milk substitute.

* you can also make this with any vegetable you like. Just follow the same directions.

Each souffle contains one egg, so it’s not really a whole meal. I just ate two for lunch. A nice salad would make a great accompaniment, or a pile of asparagus!

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Fresh Pork Belly Bacon

fresh-bacon-x

 

I love bacon. I love the flavor, I love the crunch of crispy thick-cut bacon. But I don’t love the refined sugar, the refined salt, the nitrates, or the long list of combustion by-products from the smoking of the meat. And so I haven’t been eating it. I even found some sugar-free bacon, but it was still smoked and salted.

A couple of weeks ago I was delighted to find fresh pork belly in the meat case at my local natural food store. Pork belly is that piece of the pig that is used to make bacon. I’ve been hearing about pork belly on food shows on TV and have even eaten it a time or two in a restaurant. But I could never buy it before.

I bought a package and brought it right home, of course. I just put it in a pan and crisped it up like bacon, and it was delicious! Just plain. No sugar, no salt, no smoke. Just the pork. Then I put some black pepper on it. Mmmmmm. My favorite black pepper bacon.

With fresh bacon in hand, I went online looking for ways to prepare it. And found nothing. I found lots of ways to take the pork belly and smoke it with sugar and salt, but no instructions for flavoring pork belly as bacon.

Here in the South there is something called “side pork” which calls for dredging strips of pork belly in flour and savory seasonings, like garlic salt. That isn’t what I was looking for.

So here I will just tell you…

My local natural food store now sells pork belly. I can get a big piece of it and cut it myself and, since they have a fresh butcher counter, I can get them to cut it for me as “thick-cut bacon” (about 1/4 inch). That’s the way I like it.

I just put it in the skillet on medium high heat and let it cook until crisp.

You could add salt or pepper if you want. Last week my natural food store was handing out free samples of pork belly they had cooked like bacon with brown sugar, salt, and coriander seeds. Yum! Bacon with maple syrup is another popular flavor.

So you really can flavor it any way you want.

There are many recipes online for preparing pork belly in different ways, but for now, it’s my morning bacon.

Here are some places online to buy pork belly if you can’t get it locally. I pay $8/lb for Duroc pork belly and that gives me a week of bacon for breakfast. Online it’s more expensive. I’d start by asking at your natural food store.

D’Artagnan Berkshire Pork Belly
Berkshire Pork Belly






Amazing Pumpkin Pancakes

pumpkin-pancakes

These pancakes are amazing because you only need TWO ingredients to make a real pancake! Just eggs and pureed pumpkin, plus pumpkin pie spices of your choice. But just the eggs and pumpkin themselves make a real pancake that looks like a pancake, tastes like a pancake, and has the texture of a pancake. Totally gluten-free. And you can make them in a minute. And this little recipe gives you a whole tall stack of pancakes!

If you add freshly grated nutmeg you don’t even need any sweetener, because the nutmeg is sweet. I just made these for breakfast and the aroma of nutmeg is wafting into my office still.

I described these pancakes the other morning on Toxic Free Talk Radio when I interviewed chef Danny Boome, host of the new season of Good Food America. He raved about the nutrition benefits and called them “autumn in a plate.” I agree.

A friend of mine made a batch and loved them.

Now you can use canned pumpkin if you must, but remember the can linings contain BPA, which is an endocrine disruptor. It’s so easy to roast your own pumpkin, please give it a try. Roasted pureed pumpkin keeps well in the refrigerator, and then you have it on hand for pancakes any morning, or to use in other pumpkin recipes (see below).

OK. Here’s the recipe!

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Sweet Potato Scrambled Eggs—My Favorite Breakfast

eggs-sweet-potatoes

This is one of those dishes that is just perfect in every way. I love it so much I can wait to have it be breakfast so I can eat it! It contains carbs for quick energy, protein for longer stamina, and fat to last until lunch. I have energy to work all morning.

It’s so simple and takes about five minutes to make in the morning. But it requires some prep.

There are two things you need to make in advance:

  •  baked sweet potatoes, baked to the degree that they are cooked but still have firmness, not baked until they are soft and sweet.
  • ghee, which works better than butter for this (but you could use butter too).

Since these are now staple foods for me, I just make them as needed and have them waiting for me.

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