How to Make Bircher Muesli (Overnight Oats)

How to Make Bircher Muesli (Overnight Oats)

A change of season heralds a change of breakfast in my kitchen. I’m no longer getting up in the dark, scurrying around before 7am in the half light, trying to keep warm with a large bowl of porridge. Instead the sun is my natural alarm clock and it bathes the kitchen in a gentle, welcoming light that greets me when I pad out of the bedroom in my dressing gown. This sunnier outlook calls for a lighter, more energetic breakfast.

Bircher muesli, or overnight oats, is the original muesli, invented by Swiss physician Maximilian Bircher-Benner for his patients in the 1900s. His recipe requires the oats to be soaked in milk for a period of time to soften them, making them easier to digest, as oats had not yet been made “quick” by manufacturing processes. Soaking is no longer required for muesli, but creating a breakfast inspired by Dr Bircher-Benner is a tasty, nourishing and wholesome start to the day.  Continue reading

Mother’s Day Breakfast: Yoghurt with Toasted Quinoa, Nuts and Fruit

Yoghurt with Toasted Quinoa, Nuts and Fruit on Simple Provisions

Breakfast isn’t often sophisticated. It can be satisfying, sure. Or hearty. Maybe even a treat. But sophisticated isn’t a word that gets used for breakfast regularly. It is, however, the correct term to describe this dish when presenting it to your mum this Sunday for Mother’s Day.

It’s a very simple recipe, but don’t let that fool you. This plate is full of texture and dances a fine line between savoury and sweet. With persian flavours and several surprising elements, it is both interesting and delicious to eat as well as beautiful to look at.  Continue reading

Anytime Eggs

Anytime Eggs

If you have an egg, you have a meal. Eggs are wonderfully flexible and will happily lend themselves to an otherwise boring dish to make it a tasty feed. A scrapped together mess of lentils and leftover veggies becomes a treat with a fried egg on top. And yesterday’s rice gets a second life when fried with onion, sloshed with soy sauce and served with a well-seasoned, chopped omelette stirred through.

My fondness for eggs has grown in direct correlation to my increased access to fresh eggs. Living in a country town means I now have friends with chooks and I am gifted a dozen eggs relatively regularly. The difference in colour and flavour of these eggs to the ones sitting on supermarket shelves is vast. Cracking an egg and seeing a bright buttercup yolk is enough to make me very happy. Turning those eggs into simple but beautiful meals is even better.

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Perfect Scrambled Eggs with a Twist

Perfect Scrambled Eggs with a Twist

It’s the dawn of a new year, and first things first: breakfast. All promises for better living and resolutions to drop bad habits need fuel to come to fruition and what more appropriate way to start fresh than to crack a few eggs and give life to a delicious breakfast.

I have been making scrambled eggs badly for ever. I longed for fluffy eggs with a velvety finish. Instead I’d serve up edible but inelegant eggs that needed a generous serve of crispy bacon to divert attention from the dry yellow mess cowering on the toast.

And then we moved to the country, where new friends have productive chooks and old friends come to stay the night. So with the ingredients at the ready and a desire to cater delicious breakfast for our guests, I set out to learn how to make perfect scrambled eggs.

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Homesick Toast

Homesick Avocado on Toast

I have fully embraced the New York breakfast of boiled dough spread thick with an inch of cream cheese.

Bagels fuel the working week in NYC. Every Tuesday at work there is a long meeting that uses bagels to lure people in. We take turns in bringing the bagels, which means we start each meeting dissecting today’s batch, comparing them to the reigning favourite provider. If you bring sub-par bagels, you put productivity in jeopardy. These chewy rolls demand respect, and I’m happy to give it to them.

But sometimes, I miss Australian breakfasts.

A thick slice of toast smothered in creamy avocado and spiked with fresh herbs and citrus is happiness on a plate to me. It tastes like home, or, more specifically, a menu item at one of my favourite cafes in Melbourne. So when I feel a longing for Australia, I make Homesick Toast.

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Summer Quinoa Porridge

Morning routines are hard to change.

It’s the time of day most prone to auto-pilot, and is therefore reliant on a series of repeatable steps that do not require much thought, yet are likely to get us to our required destination on time. If part of a routine is changed, some other part also has to shift. It’s the balance of nature – our morning routines are a finely tuned system that self correct when something new is added.

My routine is in flux. I’m trying to give up the ghastly practice of reaching for my phone as soon as I wake up. I’m swiping and tapping a screen to life before I can even open both eyes fully. I squint at my email, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to catch up on what’s happened back home in Australia during the day they’ve just finished and I’m about to start. It’s a connection to home, which I love, but when I stop and think about how I’d like my morning to be, it doesn’t involve attaching myself to a device as soon as I come to.

I could follow Winston Churchill’s routine and rise at 7:30 but stay in bed to eat breakfast, read the papers, and dictate to a secretary till 11. This is followed by a weak whiskey before lunch, which does sound quite appealing.

Or I could give Benjamin Franklin‘s routine a try, but that would involve getting up at 4am then washing, eating, and thinking about what I would accomplish for the day until 8am, then work. Early is fine, but not that early.

Whatever new routine evolves, it has to involve food (though not in an Ice Cube kind of way).

Breakfast is my favourite meal of the day. In winter I love a steaming bowl of porridge made with soy milk for a hint of nuttiness and laced with cinnamon. It’s like a warm hug to start the day right. I’m craving a summery version of this fortifying and hearty start to the day. And maybe if I can make food the strongest habit in my morning, the screen addiction will subside.

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