July 09, 2010

Breakfast ruts | lentil burgers | Goodwill finds

From elementary school through college, I never ate breakfast. I just couldn't handle anything in my stomach early in the morning. My appetite was fine — even hearty — the rest of the day, but NOT in the morning. Maybe it was the anxiety of school that affected my eating habits, but whatever the reason, breakfast didn't exist as a meal for me.

At some point I learned that "breakfast is the most important meal of the day" and took it to heart, and I've been eating breakfast ever since. BUT, breakfast tends to be my least creative meal of the day. I'm always in one breakfast rut or another. I'll go for long stretches eating only homemade granola, or only oatmeal, or only one kind of cold cereal. (That would be Nature's Path Organic Flax Plus Multibran Cereal (whew), to which I'm sadly addicted.) Well, when I recently had my back molar removed, I couldn't eat the usual crunchy flakes, and I fell into a new rut. Every morning I've been scarfing down bananas, blueberries and yogurt. You'd think I could at least change up the fruit, but nope, that's the nature of ruts — they stay the same.

I WILL change the fruit. I'll try. But at least I have changed the yogurt. Sometimes it's Whole Soy plain, but right now it's So Delicious Coconut milk yogurt in vanilla or plain. The first taste was weird, but now I love it. So I guess I'll be in a coconut milk yogurt rut for a while.

Two-year-old Miss E spent the night with us, and in spite of my own personal rut, I always like to have something special for her breakfast. She usually wants pancakes but I wanted to try the French toast recipe from 30-Minute Vegan, and I'm glad I did. It was fantastic. I made it with thick slices of wholegrain bread, and served it topped with blueberries and pure maple syrup. Of course, I also had yogurt with bananas and blueberries. :D

My son makes all sorts of things for breakfast (though not always at what one would consider the normal breakfast hour), and one day I was lucky enough to stumble upon some delicious tofu scramble with tomatoes, sweet potatoes, onions and kale.


Dinner on a hot night

It was 96˚ as dinner was about to be prepared last night, but I'm not complaining. I've been wishing for temperatures like this to counteract the long months of dreary dampness. I'm not used to living sun-free for such long periods of time, and I love having the sunshine and heat. There wasn't much humidity so I didn't find the heat oppressive. That said, I also didn't want to slave over a hot stove for a long time or heat up the kitchen with the oven. What I wanted was lentil burgers, and since there was a lot of leftover quinoa in the refrigerator, I made lentil-quinoa burgers. Lentils cook really fast and the quinoa was already cooked. With the addition of chopped onion, carrots, fresh basil, paprika, chipotle powder, granulated onion, dry breadcrumbs and hickory-smoked salt, the burgers were easily thrown together and cooked on a cast iron pan. I ate mine in a sandwich with a little mustard, hot sauce and tons of salad greens on top.

The burgers were served with lightly steamed dinosaur kale and peppers. And salad.


Latest Goodwill finds

If you've been reading this blog for a while you know I love thrift store shopping. I don't go that often (maybe every few weeks) but I usually find something I want (e.g. mandoline, bundt pan, popcorn popper, skirt). On our last trip to Goodwill my husband found an oak coffee table. We're living in a furnished rented house with a huge living room and not a lot of furniture, and we've been wanting a coffee table. For $14.99, we now have one. It's not the gorgeous round one I recently saw at Crate and Barrel, but it will do for a year. I also found a 3/4 sleeve black stretchy cotton Gap top which I love.


  1. I love breakfast, it's my favorite meal. I am not always super imaginative with my breakfasts either though. I usually have oatmeal with nuts/nut butter and some fruit on the side. I could never skip breakfast. I always feel like I'm starving when I wake up in the morning.

    The lentil-quinoa burgers look yummy!

  2. Oh breakfast ruts, I know all about them! For a year or more, I think I had the same smoothie mix almost everyday. I'm so thankful for all of the meal ideas I've been introduced to while traveling, it's really helped me to open up to new things. It's a funny coincidence that I just wrote a post all about breakfast :)

  3. Nothing wrong with a good rut! I have the same issues with breakfast, my tummy cannot handle too much food early in the morning. I envy people who can get up and eat a good breakfast scramble or a nice breakfast wrap. *sigh*

    Your patties look perfect! I'll have one on wheat with a bit of vegan mayo please... :D

    That table was a steal! Score!

  4. Your food photos are spectacular! I am hungry now for everything in this post, especially some blueberries and So Delicious vanilla coconut milk yogurt. (Or maybe some bananas and So Delicious chocolate coconut milk yogurt!?!)

  5. Your lentil burgers look tasty! I am like your son and often eat un-breafasty foods for breakfast:)

  6. Kiersten,
    I look forward to breakfast, too, I'm just not very creative in my breakfast food selection. And for some reason, I don't really mind the repetition.

    Oh right, I forgot to mention my summer smoothie addiction. I looked up your breakfast post and it was so cool — I'd advise anyone reading this to take a look!

    Yes, ruts take the guesswork out of meal prep. :) I used your idea and had a leftover burger (there are a LOT of leftover burgers. sigh.) with mayo for lunch.

    Thank you so much! That coconut milk yogurt is so light and delicious, I'm really looking forward to tomorrow's breakfast. Which reminds me, I need more blueberries and bananas!

    I would eat just about anything for breakfast as long as I didn't have to cook it myself. :D

  7. I don't think a rut is a "rut" if you don't mind it, lol. If it ain't broke, don't fix it, right!? Your breakfast of late looks good to me! Really, how can you go wrong with fresh lovely blueberries?

    I know I say it every time, but I am always jealous of your Good Will finds. You have such good luck!


  8. Andrea I can't say I envy your non-breakfast morning routine - but I daresay you've made up for it and have cornered the market! That french toast looks amazing. Not to mention that scramble! You coulda fooled me!

  9. Those burgers look fantastic. I know you said that you throw things together, but do you have some direction for them? I am afraid that mine would simply fall apart...how do you keep them so uniform?

    Love the pics - great blog!

  10. Courtney,
    Maybe you're right. I do like my current "rut" so I'm keeping it for a while. I've said it before, too, I only talk about the lucky finds. :)

    Yes, I think I've made up for all the breakfasts I didn't eat, but not with a lot of creativity!

    Life is,
    Thanks for your comments! I really did throw them together because I didn't have time to measure and write out a recipe. Sorry about that. I would estimate about equal amounts of cooked lentils (drain excess water) and cooked cold quinoa. Add a chopped onion, grated carrot and the seasonings/spices of your choice. Add enough dry breadcrumbs to create a "springy" texture that holds together well and form patties. Sauté in a small amount of oil. I think there are lots of recipes for burgers made from beans or lentils on the Internet that you could use as a guide.

  11. Thank you for your prompt reply. I have been checking out recipes for burgers, as we are planning them for dinner tonight. I am just beginning my vegan adventure and live in a house full of carnivores. So it has been a bit daunting to say the least.

    Thanks again and love your posts!

  12. I'm also a little addicted to that particular Nature's Path cereal haha. Everything looks fantastic! I will definitely need to make lentil burgers sometime. :)

  13. Hi - recently came across your blog, am now following! My 10 year old son hates eating breakfast, which stresses me out. I always look forward to breakfast with eagerness! He'd rather eat leftover pasta or mashed potatoes, etc. in the a.m. I think French Toast is one of my favorite things ever - so of course I think yours looks great.

  14. i was the same way about not being able to stomach breakfast, up until late high school (around the time i went vegan), when i forced myself to get used to eating before school. now i'm very particular about breakfast--has to be really nutritionally balanced and i have to eat it within about an hour of waking up, otherwise i get a stomachache and my whole day is thrown off. i'm all about ruts too.

    nice thrifty finds! i don't know where i'd be without thrift stores.

  15. Life is,
    You're welcome. If you want to find lots of recipes for burgers and other meat subs, take a look at Vegan Dad.

    I'm glad you mentioned the cereal — Now I don't feel so alone in my addiction.

    We all have our own idea of what one should eat for breakfast, but maybe the most important thing is to just eat something nourishing. I guess I think leftovers are fine for the morning meal. Maybe you could offer some blueberries with the pasta! :D

    Nutritionally balanced is the best goal for any meal. I like a breakfast that isn't too heavy, and doesn't require a lot of effort. Breakfast ruts work well for me since they don't require much planning. :D

  16. You really do have a knack for finding the best thrift store finds! I am totally envious. On those occasions when I do go over here, I never find anything! Your breakfast sounds good (I'm sure I'd like it--for a day or two, but then I'd need something else!). ;)


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