a breakfast kick of sorts

You must bear with me for a moment or two.  I am on a breakfast kick of sorts.

Normally, when I’m on such a breakfast kick, I revolve my mind around oats and yogurt and muffins.  And things like that.

But then, this week, a friend told me that she was just diagnosed with Celiac Disease.  That she would miss her beloved raisin bread and melty chocolate chip cookies the most.  And then, also, she would mourn the loss of her morning bowl of warm and creamy oats.  That’s when I realized (by golly!) that I needed to do something about this.  The raisin bread and cookies, I’ll tackle later.  But with so many gluten free grains to choose from, I knew she could quite easily find a breakfast that would once again make her feel right at home in her own kitchen.

If you’ve ever been into feeding your backyard birds or even if you’ve ever been to an animal feed store, you know exactly what millet looks like.  It’s one of the most popular seeds used for feeding birds, especially in the US.

A tiny, seeded species of cereal crops, this grain is completely gluten free.  The flavor is mild and subtly sweet, making it ideal for things like rice pilafs or tabbouleh.  Or–in my case–breakfast.

This isn’t as fast as throwing together a morning bowl of oats.  But there are some shortcuts.  You could easily double (triple?) the batch and have breakfast for the upcoming week.  If you really find yourself enjoying it, it might be worth purchasing some millet grits, which are ground more fine, making them quicker to cook up in the morning.  This is delicious with walnuts on top or served in an almost empty peanut butter jar, which will offer the most ultimate, creamy pleasure.

Whether your health demands that you go gluten free or not, millet will quickly win your heart.  And your breakfast.

Warm and Creamy Millet

(Serves 1)

This breakfast takes about 25 minutes of total prep and cooking time, which is why I highly recommend making it in bulk and refrigerating the leftovers for the following day.  😀

  • 1 cup lowfat milk + 1/4 cup water
  • cinnamon and nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup millet
  • dash of salt
  • 1 very ripe banana, sliced
  • 2 Tbsp. raisins
  • toppings: walnuts
  1. In a medium sauce pan, bring milk, water and spices to a bowl.  Add millet and a dash of salt.  Stir, cover and reduce heat to medium low, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching.  Cook for 15 minutes.
  2. Add banana and raisins.  Continue cooking for another 5 minutes or until millet has reached desired consistency.  Top with walnuts and ENJOY! 😀
QUESTION: Are you adventurous with trying new grains or do you have your tried and true favorites?

sleeping well

Six o’clock is the absolute earliest that I should ever wake myself up.  Not that I’ll always have that choice, of course.  But this is definitely the time that I feel the most productive without feeling overtired.  This morning, I considered waking up earlier—say, 5:30—but somehow that sounded tragically early, and so I slept in until 6. 

Sleep.  It’s a beautiful thing.  :mrgreen:

I woke up refreshed, feeling ready for my first day of Preclinical Training. 

Breakfast

  • Thomas’ whole wheat bagel
  • 1 T. almond butter
  • 1 T. PB&Company Bees Knees peanut butter (ah-mazing)
  • 1 small banana

Lunch

I was excited for lunch today! 😀

I tossed together a boat load of mixed greens, cucumbers & tomatoes from the garden, fresh bottled beets (also from the garden), avocado, kidney beans, EVOO and sea salt!  It was such a delightful mix of flavors.

On the side, I packed some chilly grapes and kashi crackers.

I also had this to look forward to.  There’s something about finishing off a meal with a hunk of dark chocolate that I find deeply satisfying. :mrgreen:

Packed and ready!

In my purse, I also stashed away some almonds and a peach for the afternoon.  I noshed on it while discussing ‘diabetes’ and ‘carbohydrate counting’ in preclinical training. 

Fun snack.  Fun discussion.

Dinner

One of my aunts sends me a yearly subscription to Eating Well magazine.  It’s one of my favorites, because it completely highlights on—surprise, surpise—eating well!  It focuses less on simply reducing overall calories and focuses more on fueling your body with deliciously fresh foods.  I love it.

Anyways, this recipe for Black Bean Croquettes has been staring me in the face for a while now.  Tonight was the night to cook these babies up!

These were good, but I feel like they could definitely use something.  I’m thinking that this ‘something’ should mean garlic powder, cayenne, and a touch more salt (but that’s probably because I used the low-sodium black beans.)

I still enjoyed them.  Especially with ketchup. 😉  I foresee cooking these in a smaller sizes, sandwiching them inside a whole wheat hoagie roll, and bathing them in tomato sauce.  That might be amazing. 😀

(just as a side note, someone who made these before had commented that you could make them gluten free by using gluten-free bread in place of regular bread crumbs)

 Black Bean Croquettes
recipe from Eating Well Magazine

  • 2-15 oz. cans of black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 c. frozen corn kernels, thawed
  • 1/4 c. plus 1/3 c. plain breadcrumbs, divided
  • 2 c. finely diced fresh tomatoes
  • 2 scallions, sliced
  • 1/4 c. chopped cilantro
  • 1 tsp chile powder, divided
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 T. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 avocado, diced
  1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.
  2. Mash black beans and cumin with a fork in a large bowl until no whole beans remain. Stir in corn and 1/4 cup breadcrumbs. Combine tomatoes, scallions, cilantro, 1/2 teaspoon chili powder and salt in a medium bowl. Stir 1 cup of the tomato mixture into the black bean mixture.
  3. Mix the remaining 1/3 cup breadcrumbs, oil and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon chili powder in a small bowl until the breadcrumbs are coated with oil. Divide the bean mixture into 8 scant 1/2-cup balls. Lightly press each bean ball into the breadcrumb mixture, turning to coat. Place on the prepared baking sheet.
  4. Bake the croquettes until heated through and the breadcrumbs are golden brown, about 20 minutes. Stir avocado into the remaining tomato mixture. Serve the salsa with the croquettes.

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I am so tired tonight.  I managed to fit in a brisk 3-mile dinner walk which gave me some pep, but I could definitely use a good eight hours of sleep tonight!  I don’t have to go in for training tomorrow, but I do have a lot of homework to complete!!

Question: What is the ideal time for you to wake up?  Depending on when I go to bed at night, I’ll usually feel my best by 6 or 7 in the morning.