Thursday, April 18, 2013

Creamy Tahini Breakfast Polenta

creamy tahini breakfast polenta

I love breakfast. I love the ritual of it, the smell of my first cup of coffee, the morning light, of having that moment to settle into the day just as it begins.

However, this romantic dreamy breakfast fantasy is not much of a reality. At least not in my life. I'm lucky if I manage to make a cup of coffee and finish it before I run out the door. I'm having an especially good day if I have time to eat an orange or a few spoonfuls of yogurt (straight from the container). Usually I'm running on caffeine for the first three hours of the day before I manage to shove a bagel or a granola bar in my mouth.

Gone are the days when I used to awake at 6 am, eat a balanced breakfast, then head to the gym before going to work. I have no idea how the hell I managed to pull that off without drugs or magic. These days, if I manage to pull myself out of bed at 7 am it's a freaking miracle.

So breakfast doesn't always happen for me these days. Sometimes I get up early like an adult and eat an egg on toast, but most days I just stare at the contents of my fridge in vain for something that I can whip up and eat in five minutes, cursing myself for not having made breakfast ahead the night before. However, the other week I whipped up a batch of this creamy breakfast polenta, and for a few days, I had breakfast all ready to go. No more staring sadly into the fridge, no more running out the door on an empty stomach. I felt like a pro.

Of course, as soon as I ran out of it, I fell back into bad habits. I'm not fretting - it's all about finding a good morning rhythm. Eventually I'll fall into a better one, that involves coffee, breakfast, and enough extra time to check my Twitter feed. Maybe I'll even start doing pushups and planks - but let's not get too ambitious just yet. For now, let's just eat some polenta.

breakfast polenta with berries & tahini polenta with tahini & raspberries

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Thai Green Curry + Vegetarian Thai Green Curry Paste

vegetarian Thai green curry

Several weeks back, when Toronto was experiencing Winter's Last Hurrah and the idea of spring was seeming more and more like some cruel joke, I found myself in the north of the city with my friend Anna, both of us hungry for a warm dinner. It was rather fortuitous for us, then, that we also happened to be walking along a strip of Yonge Street populated with Asian restaurants and noodle joints. It still took several minutes of wandering (not including a stop for sweets at an Iranian bakery) before we could decide which kind of hot and spicy dinner we were craving, but eventually we walked into a fusion restaurant and ordered some Thai green curry.

I have to say, if there's something in this world that can both warm your Canadian-winter-beaten soul and brighten your senses, it's a Thai curry. Most comfort food I grew up with was of the heavier variety - mac'n cheese, potato soup, scalloped potatoes, hamburger soup - it was hot, filling, and always delicious, but it also almost always made you want to take a 4-hour nap afterwards.

But a Thai curry...it's comforting, but it also has the ability to set your mouth on fire (depending on how adventurous you are) and it's rather difficult to take a nap when it feels like a part of your body is in flames. (I recently ate an entire Thai green chile on a dare, which caused me to experience such intense sensations that I cried against my will, shoved crackers into my face, then stood in the hallway and emitted a noise that can only be described as that of a baby dinosaur who's been abandoned by its mother.)

Suffice to say, the dinner Anna and I had that day (which also ended in a snowstorm) made me realize the deficiency of Thai curry in my life, a lack I henceforth decided to remedy.

I have since made this recipe three times, so I think I have thus far done a good job of remedying my Thai curry deficiency. I hope it brings some slightly fiery comfort to you as well in these early wet days of spring.

vegetarain Thai green curry Thai green curry