With the winter upon us and the cold as chill as an arctic wind your morning meal should be warming, balancing and enough to fill the belly comfortably. It has been said that one should eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner as a pauper; meaning to have your more substantial meals earlier in the day and a light, vegetarian dinner before retiring for the night.

The difficulty is that most people are in such a hurry to get to work in the morning that a cup of coffee and a bagel is all there is time to grab and eat. This just causes a rise in blood sugar with the eventual crash within a few hours, right about the time you had to finish up that important report or stand before your peers and present your findings. Then CRASH, down comes your blood sugar and your energy seeps out to lie like a puddle on the floor at your feet.

You should have had a breakfast that will sustain you throughout the morning until lunch time rolls around. And to that end I present a number of recipes for your breakfasting pleasure. For the soft grains a 1.5 quart crockpot is necessary, but relatively inexpensive to purchase at your local supermarket.

Maple Quinoa Pudding

Serves 2
3/4 cup uncooked quinoa * 1 cup coconut milk * 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup, or to taste * 1 tablespoon vanilla extract * 1/3 cup dried apricots, chopped and soaked * ¼ cup roasted peanuts

1. Heat 2 cups of water in a large saucepan over medium heat until boiling, and stir in quinoa.
2. Cover pan, reduce heat to low and cook until quinoa turns translucent, for about 20 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, combine the coconut milk, maple syrup and vanilla extract together in a bowl.
4. Stir the coconut milk into the quinoa and blend well.
5. Spoon quinoa into a bowl and top with apricots and some of the apricot juice, then the peanuts. Serve warm.
 
 

Tempeh Bacon 
Makes 24 slices
8-oz pkg. tempeh, sliced into 24 very thin slices * 1 teaspoon Ume Plum vinegar * 1/4 cup tamari soy sauce * 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar * 1 teaspoon dark agave syrup * ¼ cup water * 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin * 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil

1. Lay tempeh slices in 2 13- x 9-inch baking dishes. Bring soy sauce, vinegar, agave syrup, cumin, and ½ cup water to a boil in small saucepan.
2. Boil 1 minute, then remove from heat. Pour over tempeh slices. Let cool, then cover and chill 2 hours, or overnight.
3. Preheat oven to 300°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Carefully transfer tempeh slices to prepared baking sheet, and discard marinade.
4. Brush slices with grapeseed oil, and sprinkle with paprika, if desired. Bake 10 to 15 minutes, or until beginning to brown. Flip tempeh slices; brush with oil, and bake 5 to 7 minutes more, or until crisp and dark brown.
 
 

Eggs McMochi
Serves 2

4 slices cinnamon raison or plain mochi * 2 cups cooked kale * 2 eggs over easy or to your liking.

1. Heat up the waffle maker. Slice the mochi and lay it in the waffle iron. Cook until done.
2. Meanwhile, cook your eggs as you like them.
3. Lightly butter the mochi, then layer the kale and eggs on top. Salt and pepper to taste.
4. Serve warm.

 
Grain Congee Variations

I. 1/2 cup short grain brown rice * 1/2 cup barley * 1/4 cup hijiki, soaked * ½ teaspoon sea salt * 5 cups water.

II. 1 cup whole oat groats * 1/3 cup raisins * 5 cups water

Place ingredients in a small crock-pot and cook overnight or throughout the day on low heat. You can also soak ingredients covered overnight in a heavy saucepan. In the morning bring to a low boil, reduce heat and stirring often, simmer until water is absorbed.

Serve with:
1.            A variety of cooked greens such as kale, spinach, collard greens, or Swiss chard.
2.            Cooked beans, fried tempeh or tofu.
3.            Roasted pumpkin seeds and/or sesame seeds.
4.            Sea vegetables.
5.            Sautéed onions, ginger and garlic.
6.            Baked sweet squash.
 
 

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
1 cup raw, shelled pumpkin seeds * tamari soy sauce.

1. Heat a small, heavy skillet over medium high heat and add the pumpkin seeds.
2. Shake or stir often and cook until evenly browned.
3. Spoon into a bowl and add a few drops of tamari soy sauce. Stir well to evaporate the liquid and coat the seeds. Set aside to cool.
 
 

Sesame Tahini Sauce
2 cloves raw or roasted garlic * ½ cup Tahini * 3 tablespoons tamari soy sauce * 2 teaspoons maple or agave syrup * 1 tablespoon brown rice or apple cider vinegar * ½ cup green or kukicha tea * 1 teaspoon chili oil (optional) * 3 green onions, sliced.

1.            In a small food processor combine the garlic, Tahini, tamari, maple syrup, vinegar and tea.
2.            Puree until smooth, adding more tea as needed for consistency.