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food: coconut steel cut oatmeal

this is a pretty long overdue post… i actually drafted this back in february and just didn’t get around to finishing it.
but, i did definitely want to share the recipe with you all because i thought it was a good one…

eating breakfast is an ongoing struggle for me.  i know its important, but i also know that laying in my bed until the last possible moment is important a lot of days too.
and because i know that productivity first thing in the morning isn’t a consistent strength for me, i have been working on ways to make it easier on myself.

juicing has been a big help for me.  i make juice the night before for the next morning, sometimes for 2 days… and i clean the juicer, put everything away and just have to grab a juice on my way out the door in the morning.
but honestly (and maybe TMI),  my insides can’t handle juice every day of the week.  its also a lot of sugar and so i try to juice two or three times a a week and thats it.

and i’m really breakfast picky.  my stomach is sometimes demanding and finicky in the morning.  i generally don’t like sweet breakfasts, it has to be savory… and in the past, the more carbs the better.  and i don’t love eggs.  so i’m a tough customer when i’m in a rush.

i came across this recipe for steel cut oatmeal that can be premade and reheated and decided to give it a shot.  i was pleased with the results…

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Here’s the recipe I was working from:

  • ½ cup unsweetened coconut, toasted lightly
  • 1 cup steel-cut oats
  • 1½ cups water
  • 1½ cups coconut milk (canned)
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1-2 tablespoons sugar or preferred sweetener (optional) {i used maple syrup}
  1. Place steel-cut oats, water, coconut milk, and salt in a medium-size saucepan over medium heat. Stirring occasionally, bring ingredients to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 20 minutes until thick and creamy.
  2. Stir in vanilla extract. Taste for sweetness, and add sugar if desired depending on your individual tastes.
  3. Spoon into individual bowls and sprinkle with toasted coconut. Serve.

*I made a few changes (of course) as follows:
– used a carton of So Delicious Coconut Milk drink instead of the coconut milk from the can & water.  It worked with no problems.
– I also stirred in a spoonful of chia seeds during the cooking process to add some extra goodness.
– and i didn’t toast the coconut because i’m lazy.
– for the “sugar” i used maple syrup.
– oh, i also added a pinch of cinnamon.

instead of serving right away, i put it into 1 cup mason jars, let cool and refrigerated until i was ready to enjoy.  (made 4 jars)

and then it’s as simple as removing the lid (metal bad) and microwaving for a minute until its heated through.
ta-da!

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food: breakfast

i have long complained of a lack of decent breakfast in the suburbs.
it seems to me there is only 2 choices.
either is greasy and disgusting like IHOP or a greasy spoon… or its a chain restaurant like milestones or browns or whatever and so painfully uninspired.

i crave the breakfasts of the city.
vancouver is a breakfast city.
every saturday and sunday, restaurants are packed to the brim and lined up outside with devotees.

there is no room in the vancouver breakfast scene for a mediocre offering.
it simply would not survive.

vancouver-ites crave healthy options.
we’re more fruit than greasy hashbrowns.
turkey sausage options is a must.  turkey bacon is so 2005.
and if your eggs aren’t free range, then you have some explaining to do.
salmon finds its way into everything, beyond the west coast special smoked salmon benny… its in omlettes and other applications that we see as so normal, but tourists find quirky.

yes, vancouver loves its breakfasts.
and yes, we are snobs about it.
the coffee must be from fair trade organic beans… and if its not french pressed, well, it’ll do… if thats all you have.
are your potatoes local?  they’re in season, you know.
is the bacon house cured with no nitrates?  and what farm are the pigs raised on?  is it within 100 miles of here?

i joke, but not really.
we are a city of food snobs.  but i can’t fault us for it.
we expect the best quality when dining out and don’t settle for anything less.
and i think if more people thought about their food that way, we’d be in a better place as a society.
respect for food translates into respect for yourself.
it stands to reason that if you have standards about what you’re eating, you won’t find yourself scarfing fast food or junk food.  you’ll take the time to think about the chemical cocktail of what you’re actually consuming.

but as usual, i digress.

until recently, whenever i wanted breakfast out, it always ended in frustration.
like i said off the top, its all either super unhealthy or super lame.
option 3 is chinese.  there is some spectacular dim sum around my area.  but again, super unhealthy.  i honestly can’t eat it anymore, it just makes me ill, no matter how good it is on the way down, it culminates in the rest of the day being miserable and full of regret.

breakfast is also tough for me because i’m not really an egg lover.
the idea of an egg on its own… like sunny side up, is gross to me.
eggs done up, like an omelette… okay…
eggs smothered in hollandaise sauce?  well, now i’m interested.  but i still like them poached hard so the yolk doesn’t dilute my delicious sauce.
as well, since i ditched the bread, eggs are even less interesting.  i mean, wasn’t the best part sopping up the runny yolk with your toast?

basically my breakfast of choice was often toast, meat and fruit.  not a big potato lover, especially when its those “breakfast french fries”.  if its deep fried, its not a hash brown, okay?

to me, my favourite breakfast ever is in waikiki.  at the Kani Ka Pila Grille poolside at the outrigger reef on the beach.
i ate here almost every morning for 10 days and bitterly regretted the days i chose other destinations.

the devil that tempted me most here was the coconut toast.
try to imagine… as a (now recovered) carb fiend and a coconut obsessed girl, this was my perfect breakfast.
in fact i was quite certain i could happily live off this and only this until the end of days.

she is a thing of beauty.
the empty being that is white bread… but hawaiian white bread.  which has a lovely inherent sweetness in it…
slathered in coconut oil and coated with fresh coconut and then grilled face down on the flat top.
the result is chewy and sweet and bready and crunchy and so aarggsaiuffhauouilsagbndsNGDKSJBN

i was obsessed.

my other breakfast obsession at this place was their banana pancakes.
weird, because i’m not a real banana lover.  nor am i a pancake lover.
but its safe to say that the hot macadamia nut syrup was the clincher.

naturally, the fact that everything was served with a luscious piece of papaya was just icing on the cake.
i adore the tropical fruit in hawaii.
(you know as opposed to all those other things in hawaii i just hate, lol)

anyways… back to local.

i have finally stumbled upon a suitable option right here, only a few blocks from my house.
the place in question is Cora’s and they call themselves breakfast enthusiasts.  which i dig.

but most of all, i dig that there’s nothing deep fried in the whole joint.
and that everything comes with an absolute mountain of fruit.
i love that there’s a fruit cocktail of the day that changes constantly.
i love the slight quebec twist on all the foods, heavy on the crepes.
i just straight up love this place.

the only negatives about it is that i find the wheat-free options few and far between.
i’ve resorted to modifying items, like getting a benny without the english muffins…
this is the mushroom & brie benny.  but i like the asparagus one too.

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but sometimes i get tired of modifying menus.
so i just cheat on my no-wheat and regret it later.
this is one of my other faves.
its delicious lean sausages wrapped in cheese & buckwheat crepes.

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i can never finish this meal.  i get through 2 sausages and half my fruit and pack up the rest for the next day.  two breakfasts in one, and not an egg in sight.

thanks cora’s for making me believe the suburb breakfast can make the cut.

food: paleo pancakes

monday is my sunday this week.
meaning its all about pajamas and couch love and a big breakfast.
and today, i had a hankering for pancakes.

i’ve been getting more brave about the coconut flour cooking.  and i came across a recipe that had great reviews for some coconut flour pancakes and figured i may as well give it a shot.

like all my recipes, qualification number one was that i had everything on hand in my pantry or fridge.
check.
so here’s the recipe… i’m not going to type out how to make a pancake.  if you can’t figure out how to make that go, then i’m not sure a recipe will help you in life.

Paleo Pancakes for 2 people

  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp coconut syrup (i used agave syrup)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  1. beat together eggs, milk, vanilla & syrup until frothy.
  2. add dry ingredients
  3. beat/mix until well combined with no lumps
  4. make pancakes

i served mine with sausages with blueberries & maple syrup inside.  (they came from costco and are a delight)

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the pancakes turned out quite lovely.  great texture and light coconut taste to them… myself & the husband really enjoyed them.
they’re definitely not an everyday food, but as a special treat every now and then, i give this recipe a gold star.