Archives for posts with tag: breakfast

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Raising an open-minded eater, a real omnivore, is important to me. Since M started to eat solids I tried to make his eating experience as adventurous as I could, and soon, around 13 months he started to love eating goat cheese omelettes, salmon with capers, olives, even raw red onions.

Around 24 months, like all toddlers, he obviously entered the phase where he was not so open anymore, although he still had some windows of accepting new foods that were strange to him. Slowly, with his help, I’ve been trying to reconstruct his open-mindedness in eating. One of my worst nightmares would be him turning into one of those people who don’t like sushi “just because”, or the kind of person that eats only at a McDonald’s while travelling to France, or China -yes, there is McDonald’s in China-, or the kind of people who won’t change “their way” of eating even if their lives depend on it. I can not imagine having a son that grows up “blind” to one of the realms of aesthetics: taste. Without an openness to “taste” experiences, I imagine life to be bland and, well, small. And I certainly don’t want that for M.

Anyway, this morning, after asking him what did he feel like having for breakfast -I usually don’t ask him, but decided to let him choose since his Christmas break vacations from Kindergarden started- and listening to his response: “Clams!!!” I froze with surprise and doubts about his election. I was thinking something like scrambled eggs with asparagus, or beet pancakes. But I immediately realized those doubts and judgements about his election were based on my fixed ideas and preconceptions of how breakfast should be like. After all, he didn’t say m&m’s, or ice cream, and I did happen to have a pound of frozen clams. And why should I be surprised if this was coming from the same little guy that once, at 2 yrs old, woke up at 5.00 am asking for a spinach salad with lemon and olive oil. I also realized that if I want to raise an open-minded eater, I have to be more adventurous and open myself.

So this morning, I became proudly aware of how open my almost 4 yr old is getting to be when it comes to eating. Now he’s even giving me lessons. And today, we had clams for breakfast.

Steamed Clams

serves 2

1 lb clams in shells

7-8 garlic cloves, chopped in slivers

1/2 cup of chicken stock (or white wine)

2 tbsp olive oil

1 bunch of cilantro, chopped ( or parsley)

Scrub clams to remove any sand. In a pot, heat oil over medium heat, add garlic and saute for a minute or two. Add cilantro, I usually use parsley, but this morning I only had cilantro. Use whichever you prefer, or have. Toss the herbs for a few seconds and add the clams, pouring the chicken stock, or wine, almost immediately. Cook until all shells open. Discard the ones that don’t. Serve and enjoy!

If you are serving them to a toddler, a big bowl to toss the empty shells is a must, they find this super fun!

 

 

 

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I love fruit jams. I grew up with buttered toast with jam. Not that I have it everyday anymore, but from time to time, I do let myself enjoy the sweetness of jam, either lathered on a piece of brie, or on a slice of ezequiel bread in the good company of pastured butter or coconut oil.

My favorite is plum. I love the color, I love the smell when it’s cooking -yes, I make my own-, and I love it’s sweet, tart taste. The benefit of making your own fruit jam is that you know what’s in there. Commercial jams are seldom what they claim to be, you might buy apricot, or strawberry jam thinking it’s, well, apricot or strawberry, but it turns out they are made with carrots or other industrial byproduct, flavored with a little bit of fruit juice, and they have a ton of sugar and conservatives added. Another benefit of homemade jam is that it lets you take full responsibility of the amount of sugar in it. If you decide to make it ultra-sugary, then at least it was your decision, not somebody else’s -traditionally jam is made with the exact same volume of sugar than the volume of fruit you use, but that’s too sweet for me I like to cut the sugar amount to a third-. Finally, making your own jam gives you the possibility of adding something extra (e.g. basil or rosemary) to make it more special.

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When the plum season started in the summer, I bought a few kilos, we ate most of them fresh, but I saved one to make jam. One kilo of plums got me three jars, which is perfectly enough for about 5 months in our house. I made this batch with ginger. It added spiciness to the wonderful sweet tart of plums.

Plum Jam

1 kilo of ripe plums

300 grams of white sugar

2 tbsp lemon juice

1 inch piece of ginger, grated

Cut previously washed plums in half and pit them. Place them in a bowl and add the sugar, stirring them with a spoon so they all get sugar coated. Add the lemon juice and stir. Let the mixture sit for an hour. Transfer to a pot and start cooking them over medium heat. Add the grated ginger. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer until it reaches the consistency you like. For a thicker jam, let the mixture cool, and repeat the process a few times. Remove from heat and pour the jam in sterilized jars. If you think they’ll last longer than two months, freeze the extra jars, and keep one in the fridge to enjoy soon.

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When I was a kid there was never a box of cereal in the house. At least not the colorful, full of attractive toucans, leprechauns, or rabbits that every 70s kid loved. I remember drooling over the cereal tv ads, begging my mum to get one when we went to the supermarket, and not understanding why at other kid’s houses they did have them. I even thought we were poor because we never had those boxes of cereal, coke or chips. Maybe once or twice I think I got them to buy me a box of apple jacks. But to remember it like almost a party must mean it was something really extraordinary.

I grew up with oatmeal, and sometimes cream of wheat, and loved it. That was our cereal. And now I realize how lucky I was that I didn’t eat bowls of artificially dyed refined flours loaded with sugar for breakfast as a kid.

Now that I am a mum of a toddler, it’s the same, I never keep a box of “cereal” in the house. In order to make things a little easier for my son when we go to the grocery store, I skip the cereal aisles, as well as the cookies, chips and a few other aisles.

The cereals we have are real foods, usually steel cut oats, quinoa or my latest favorite: rice. Recently after an overnight oats craze that I had, I discovered brown rice porridge. It has got to be one of the most calming, comforting breakfasts ever. Since the weather is hot right now I am doing a cold version of it.

I got inspired for the recipe I am sharing here by the flavours of a dessert I used to have a lot when I lived in Monterrey, from a restaurant called Madre Oaxaca. It was a “mousse de arroz con leche y salsa de mango”, that’s the traditional rice with milk treat, topped with a mango sauce and lot’s of cinnamon.

I tried to get those flavours, but also added raw cacao for a chocolatey taste which contrasts with the sweetness of the mango and makes it super yummy.

If you like to have cereal for breakfast, maybe you’d like to give this a try. It’s really easy to make. And if you do, please share your experience in the comments section.

Rice Porridge with Mango and Cacao

1 serving

1/3 cup cooked brown rice

1/3 cup mango cut in cubes

1 tbsp raw cacao nibs

1 tsp cinnamon (you can use half tsp if you prefer, I like it cinnamony)

1/3 to 1/2 cup coconut milk

Add everything in layers to a bowl, starting with the first ingredient, all the way to the last. In the end add the coconut milk. Stir a little with a spoon and eat! You can make it the night before and keep it in the fridge if you don’t have time in the morning, that way you just grab it when you wake up.

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