Soul Searching Twenty-Something Seeks Food Love: Settles For Food Like Most Days

Soul Searching Twenty-Something Seeks Food Love: Settles For Food Like Most Days

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Lazy Saturday Brunch


This Saturday is particularly special to me, because I don't have to be at work at six o'clock in the morning (which is the unfortunate norm).  So what does a perky little puppy like me do on a Saturday morning?

Well, I start off by ignoring my alarm clock and dozing for an extra half an hour.  And then, I realize that I'm super hungry.  I'm normally super hungry, this is my usual state of mind.  Next, I realize that I have time for a nice mellow breakfast/brunch, rather than scarfing down some cheerios, then eating a banana in the car, if I'm lucky.

And, lastly, I realize that I still have two little yams (sweet potatoes) left in my pantry from our last delivery from suburban organics.  They are nutritionally dense little nuggets, that most of us would recognize from our grandmother's  marshmallow and cranberry-laden Thanksgiving sides.  If you are lucky, you have a few great pubs or burger joints that will let you upgrade to sweet potato fries (also tasty, and potentially slightly more nutritious than their white potato equivalent).

But you are luckiest if you are enjoying sweet potatoes in a delightful hash like I was this morning.  It is just about the easiest and tastiest warm breakfast you can prepare for yourself.  And what a nutritional boost it gives you!  Check out the stats from World's Healthiest Foods.
If you are using organically grown sweet potatoes, PLEASE leave the skin on when you make this recipe!  Just give them a quick little scrub.  It will add even more goodies to your breakfast, as well as a delightful texture and flavor.  However, if your potatoes are not organic, I recommend peeling and washing them.  No amount of creepy wax or pesticide residue is worth a few exta nutrients.  And that is one more excuse to buy organic!

So you start off with beautiful, (hopefully) organic yam/sweetpotatoes and you chop them up.  My husband prefers little round disks whie I prefer little cubes.  I think the cubes stay crunchier, he says the disks cook faster.  Turn them into little shoestring fries, if you prefer. . . Size, shape, they don't matter.  At least not in the world of Potato Hash.  Other instances, it might matter.

All you need is a medium sized skillet and a touch of oil (you can get away with canola or olive oil, but I say, go for a nice tasty, high-quality EVOO). Throw in your little potato bits and fri them up on med-high heat until they are your desired texture.  I like them a bit on the crunchy side, so I tend to cook them up for just about 7-8 minutes, using the skillet-toss technique of rotating. 

Not feeling like throwing food in the air and hoping it lands back in your well-placed skillet?  Then just push them around with a wooden spoon.  But sooner or later, the excitement and allure of throwing your food will call you and you should answer.  Worst case scenario: a few tasty bits will wind up on the floor.  Sweep them up and move on.

Sweet Potatoes have a lovely flavor all on their own, but feel free to season as you like.  I use just a light sprinkle of coarse ground sea salt and a generous pinch of cumin.  I think cumin is just about the tastiest thing you can put on your potatoes.  Feeling a little autumny?  Tost a sprinkle of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves into the mix.  Dying for a sweet treat?  Try tossing your hash in a little bit (now, don't go overboard) of brown sugar or maple syrup (REAL maple syrup, please leave the fake butter-flavored, food-colored, sugar goop to the masses). 

The best part of this Breakfast Hash (other than its ease) is it's flexibility.  You can spice it as you like, or eat it as is.  You can make your potatoes into any shape that you like.  You can eat it for breakfast, but we enjoy it for dinner at least once a week, too. 

Sometimes, we will chop up other veggies (peppers, mushrooms, onions, and carrots have been all popular choices) and add some ground not-meat to it.  (We like SmartGround, but I've had it with Boca crumbles, too)  Hell, you can toss in ground beef, turkey, or lamb, as well, if those things fly in your house.  Add a bit of brown rice or other grain to add some bulk to the dish and create a great one pot wonder for a very filling meal.  This morning, I just browned a pair of Morningstar Veggie Sausages to add a bit of extra protein to my brunch.  I paired it with a glass of orange juice (which I FOOD-LOVE) mixed 1:1 with mandarin seltzer (I love the bubbles, but don't need champagne at 10:30 in the morning) for a great breakfast spritzer.
So in ten minutes time, this morning I was able to enjoy an awesome breakfast with fresh organic produce and yummy little sausages, absolutely NO meat, eggs, or dairy, and very little fat.  Don't feel tempted to just cut out the oil though, because a little bit of fat does a lot.  Without it, your body will be unable to fully process all the beautiful nutrients that you are feeding it.  There is a reason why we add a light touch of vinaigrette to our lovely salads (although there is a such thing as TOO much of a good thing.)

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