Friday, October 10, 2008

Vegan MoFo Day 10: Breakfast Should Always Include Salt and Tomatoes

So I originally typed the title of this post as "Breakfast Should Always Include Santa and Tomatoes." Not exactly what I was going for.

Tonight I am nauseous as all hell, so even though I beat back the hoardes of dishes earlier today (not motivated by desire to cook, actually... I lost my wedding ring on Tuesday and have been looking EVERYWHERE for it, including the sink full of dirty dishes) I didn't cook dinner tonight. I'd planned on making something because I went to a very mellow party at the house of one of the guys in my research group, and I kinda knew ahead of time that there wasn't going to be anything vegan there. But I broke the number one rule of veganism: ALWAYS bring something! And instead I just brought myself. And then I drank like three glasses of Diet Coke on an empty stomach. This may be part of why I feel so awful now.

Point being: no dinner tonight, so I'll tell you a little about my breakfast instead. These days, my very, very favorite thing to have for breakfast is a salt bagel with Tofutti cream cheese and sliced tomatoes on it, courtesy of The Bagelry in Santa Cruz. Some times I make up excuses to take the bus into town in the morning just so I can really get one of these bad boys for breakfast.

But on most days, I am lacking in time (it takes about 30 minutes round trip on a really good day, because that is just how the bus system goes) or energy or money or excuses and I can't get down there for a bagel.

Well, the other day, I found out that my favorite dirty hippie store* carries freshly baked Bagelry bagels! Not the salt variety, but that's okay... I grabbed a couple of whatever was there and brought them home and NOM NOM NOM. I love bagels so much, but seriously, the majority of bagels in MA and CA suck suck suck. The Bagelry bagels RULE, though.

When I ate the first of these delightful take home bagels, I very nearly put Earth Balance on it. Then I remembered that I had a container of Tofutti cream cheese kicking around from when I made tiramisu cupcakes for these awesome Japanese exchange students who I worked with over the summer. I was sure it would've gone bad, but no, it was still fresh and beautiful. So I slapped that on the bagel, lightly dusted the surface with kosher salt, and added some slices of tomatoes from my CSA.


I ate the same thing for dinner that day and breakfast the next morning. Man, do I ever love bagels.

Sadly, this meant I was suddenly out of bagels and that I had to eat something else. Then this morning I realized that I could do the same thing... wait for it... wait for it....


Man, this is what they pay me for. Thinking outside of the box has never tasted so good!** I have super yummy multigrain bread from a local bakery (Kelly's, where nothing is vegan except the bread, but the bread is so good that it's still worth going there) and I toasted that up and used it. Delightful! All in all not quite as good as a bagel, but definitely wonderful in a pinch.

It's going to be hard for me not to get into a rut of eating this for breakfast every morning now that I've figured it out... I have so many tomatoes from the CSA and I will seriously just eat them like candy if I don't use them for something like this. And salt? Oh, salt. Salt and I are very close. And toast? Toast is in my top ten foods of all time. Actually, if you ordered food by the frequency with which I eat it, toast is probably the number one thing I eat. Perfect breakfast!

Okay, that's my story about breakfast. I've been enjoying adding recipes to these posts, so I'm going to stick one in for something I made the other day. Someone on the PPK posted about making pumpkin sage cream sauce. Such was my enthusiasm that I didn't even read the entire thread to find out what she'd put in her version... I just turned the interwubs off and was like TIME TO COOK! My sauce turned out amazingly well all the same, and tasted very good served over soba.

Pumpkin Sage Cream Sauce
makes about 3 cups!

2 tiny pumpkins (Jack Be Little variety are exactly the right size) or 1.5c pumpkin puree from another source
1 can of coconut milk (~14 oz.)
20 leaves fresh sage, or about 1tbsp dried ground sage (vastly inferior)

1. If using real pumpkins, skin those puppies and pull out the guts and seeds. Cut the remaining flesh into chunks no bigger than 1'' cubed.
2. Steam the pumpkin chunks until soft, about 7 minutes. It's preferable to have them slightly too mushy than slightly too hard... if they're still hard at all, the pumpkin is undercooked and is not going to taste awesome.
3. Once the pumpkin is soft, put it in a food processor with the rest of the ingredients. Process until smooth.
4. Put sauce on the stove on medium low until it heats up a bit. Put on pasta or other sauce carrier of your choice. Hooray!

You should admire my restraint because I did not put shallots in this sauce. I put shallots in EVERYTHING.

*Aka health food store, I guess. Santa Cruz is home to at least three excellent local dirty hippie stores, and I love them all. I can't really think of them as health food stores, since they're the only place I buy food other than the farmer's market.

**Actually it has.


Jeni Treehugger said...

Sliced Tomatoes with a sprinkling of Salt on toast is one of my faves. I often have it for breakfast. It's a very typical Spanish breakfast. I can't get Bagels but I can imagine how good they'd taste.
I hope you find your ring I really do.

Jeni Treehugger said...

Oooh, just thought - Do you wear rubber gloves when you wash the dishes?
Look inside them if you do - my ring came off like that once and I only found it when I went to put the gloves on the next day.