“Expect problems and eat them for breakfast.”– Alfred A. Montapert
Reflect on a time when you chose staying in your bed for another five minutes rather than having a simple breakfast or at least a piece of toast. What prompted you to act? When your tummy was screaming and the stomach started eating itself at 10am, would you make the same decision again?
There is a dilemma. We are busy. Students are struggling on applications and tests, and consultants can sense nothing but the vertical line (aka cursor) blinking on the screen. Theoretically, we know how important breakfast is; in reality, it becomes marginal.
While we either don’t have time to enjoy the first meal of the day or have no idea of what to eat other than cold cereal and packaged bagel, here are some alternatives that will fit your different needs.
Make these ahead and warm up in the toaster oven or microwave.
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 stick cold butter, diced into cubes
1/2 cup milk, plus more for brushing the biscuits
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 egg, beaten
cornmeal to sprinkle on the baking sheet
Preheat the oven to 425F. Line a baking sheet with foil and sprinkle with cornmeal.
Stir milk, yogurt, and egg together in a small bowl until smooth and set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, salt, sugar, baking powder, and baking soda. Use a fork to cut in cold butter until the mixture becomes pea-sized crumbs.
Pour in the milk mixture and stir until the dough just starts to come together. It will be a little wet and lumpy, which is fine.
Turn the dough onto a floured surface. Shape it into a 1/2 inch thick rectangle (Do NOT knead it) and fold the left and right 1/3 part into the center. Turn the dough over. Do the folding twice more, and this will result in layered biscuits. After folding, shape it, again, into 1/2 inch thick rectangle. Cut the dough into 8 squares, then cut each into two triangles.
Transfer the biscuits to the prepared the baking sheet and brush the top with milk. Bake until the biscuits are golden brown, about 15 minutes. Serve warm.
What to do with a dozen of eggs that were farm-fresh ten days ago, a bag of frozen broccoli, a small wedge of cheddar, and a lonely onion? Frittata! It makes great brunch and helps you clean up the refrigerator.
1 lb frozen broccoli, about 5 cups
1 onion, roughly chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup milk
1 tbsp olive oil
4 oz mild cheddar cheese, sliced
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
salt and pepper
Preheat the broiler.
In a large microwavable bowl, combine the broccoli and 1 tbsp water. Cover and cook on high for 3 to 5 minutes or until just tender. Set aside.
In another bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, and 1/4 tsp salt. Set aside.
Heat the oil in a 10-inch broiler-safe skillet over medium heat. Sauté the onion along with a pinch of salt until softened. Add the broccoli and minced garlic to the skillet. Stir and cook off almost all the liquid on the bottom. Adjust salt and pepper to taste. Dip the paper towel in oil and grease the wall of the skillet. Pour in the egg mixture and continue to cook until the edge is firm and the center is almost set but still running.
Remove the skillet from the heat. Scatter the cheddar and Parmesan on the top. Place the skillet in the oven and broil until bubbling and golden brown but not burned. Watch closely; mine takes only 2 minutes. Carefully take the skillet out of the oven (it is hot!). Let it rest for 10 to 15 minutes before slicing. Serve with more Parmesan if needed.
This is one of my personal favorite recipes for two reasons:
• Coconut and adzuki beans make it very “Asian”.
• It makes wake-up-and-eat possible because it’s prepared in slower cooker.
Coconut Steel Cut Oatmeal with Adzuki Beans
Makes 4 to 6 servings
1/4 cup adzuki beans, soaked overnight
1 cup steel cut oats
3 cups milk
1 1/2 cups coconut milk
1 1/2 cups water (could be substituted with coconut milk for creamier oatmeal)
2 tbsp sugar, plus more if needed
a small pinch of salt
Mix all the ingredients together in the slow cooker and cook on low setting for 8 hours. Enjoy the warm porridge with more sugar if needed.
All the recipes are by Chen, including the images. For more information and recipes, please visit her blog: www.cheninthekitchen.wordpress.com.
By Chen Liu, ThinkTank Learning Admissions Consultant/Academic Counselor