My husband and I often share meals. However, the same food might look quite different, as I strive to add more plant-based foods. When I say that, I mean real food, coming from the earth, not what you might find in the supermarket (natural food or not) in a box, can or frozen. I am not referring to Impossible or Beyond burgers or anything like that.
This post was sparked by the morning cereal (porridge) that I make. The base recipe is simple:
2/3 cup organic steel cut oats
The other 1/3 cup is millet and buckwheat groats
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
2 Tablespoons pumpkin seeds (optional)
2 cups water
1 cup plant milk of choice
1 cinnamon stick, optional
Add all this to your Instant Pot and cook on high pressure for 3 to 4 (if you like it softer) minutes, with a natural release.
This makes 4 good size servings.
For serving, this is where things diverge:
My husband has his cup and a half of porridge served with 2 to 3 tablespoons of raisins, a sprinkle of Burlap & Barrel (or other) mesquite powder, a teaspoon or more of Burlap & Barrel royal cinnamon, 2 tablespoons of walnuts and 1 tablespoons ground flax. If he is lucky, there might be a drizzle of Just Date date syrup. (I am obviously no food photographer and his breakfast looks better in person, I think.)
My most recent bowl of this porridge couldn’t have been more different than my husband’s. In my attempt to eat 30 different plant foods each week, I like to load it up at breakfast, when possible.
On top of my perhaps 1 cup of porridge, I added 1 cup cooked dinosaur (or lacinato) kale, topped with a sprinkle of organic onion flakes and organic minced garlic (probably about 1/2 teaspoon of each) 2 tablespoons chopped preserved (fermented) lemons, 1/4 cup cooked mixed (oyster and crimini) mushrooms, fermented red onions, a sprinkle each of Burlap & Barrel black urfa chili and cured sumac and a grind of cloud forest cardamom (did you know that cardamom is good for your heart?), and then some gomasio (seaweed and sesame). I might have also added 1 to 2 teaspoons of tahini. And grated fresh turmeric and ginger are optional. This is a mix and match dish, however I suggest adding something fermented as often as possible which includes miso. My favorite commercially available miso is South River Miso and favorite small batch miso is from Shared Cultures.
When we eat split pea soup, Rick likes his much thinner than I do. To my soup, I often added cooked frozen peas and a whole host of other vegetables, including mushrooms (Rick is a fungophobe which means he dislikes mushrooms a lot) and greens.
We have been married for 30 years, and I keep attempting to get Rick to eat more vegetables and fruit. I am still in the “trying” stage. I don’t see him ever eating my porridge for breakfast. He also thinks that tacos for breakfast is an anomaly. But not in my world. I often eat savory food for breakfast to get my body off to a less rocky start with higher glycemic foods that might boost my blood sugar such as dry cereal and milk (certainly not dairy milk) so always read labels.
Somehow we have made it this far, although I believe that the lack of more “plant foods” might be attributing to more health issues as we mature. I feel as young and good as I did 20 years ago but I take different care of myself. Practicing breath work at least 4 times each week and yoga 3 to 4 times a week, plus walking when the weather permits.
I can tell you from my experience that your body often rewards you when you treat it “right” with healthful plants, in copious amounts, plenty of sleep, time in nature, good relationships, good breathing and relaxation time, and regular exercise and activity that you enjoy. It’s fairly simple, if you ask me but I am not the one running away from the arugula. Oh…and did I add that having gratitude and being kind and compassionate, starting with yourself changes your physiology in a positive way?
If you can do one good thing for yourself each day, let it be eating more plant foods from the earth, including mushrooms and sea vegetables. You can find many nutrition-based recipes in my cookbooks, especially Nutrition CHAMPS which is based on the most healthful foods that you can eat.
I am wondering which bowl of porridge would you prefer eating?