Vegetarian breakfast treats

Christophe’s porridge secrets

Porridge, a very boring and bland food when cooked in water with a pinch of salt, can be turned into a feast with very little effort. The following are just a few suggestions of things you can add to porridge to improve its taste and texture:

  • Nuts and seeds: Sunflower seeds, grated coconut, coarsely ground almonds or hazelnuts, etc.
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  • Spices: a pinch of ground cinnamon, vanilla, ground tonka beans, etc.
  • Dried fruits: raisins, chopped dates or apricots, etc.
  • Other grains: millet, bulgar wheat, couscous, left over cooked rice or quinoa.
  • Try cooking porridge in milk, soya milk, coconut milk, rice milk, etc. instead of water.

Porridge should be cooked on slow heat, stirring often. Don’t even think of putting it in a microwave.
Just to get you started, here’s  on of my favourite porridge recipes:

Vegan gluten free porridge with coconut and dates

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  • 1/2 cup left over cooked rice
  • 1/2 cup of rice flakes
  • 1 tin coconut milk
  • 2 cup water
  • 1 cup dates, chopped
  • 1 pinch ground cinnamon or cardamon (if liked)

Put all the ingredient in a pan, and let it sit for 30 mn (or overnight). Cook slowly on gentle heat, stirring often, until proper consistency is reached. You can add more water towards the end of the cooking if the porridge get too stiff. Sprinkle with grated coconut just before serving.

Crepes

We love crepes (specially the kids :). They turn the most ordinary breakfast into a feast, and in the Britanny region of France, “creperies” (restaurants serving only crepes) are popular places to eat out.
Here’s a general recipe for crepes batter:

  • 1 cup flour. In Britanny, wheat flour is used for crepes with a sweet filling, and buckwheat for crepes with a savoury filling (which are actually called gallettes). We normally use a mixture of wheat and buckwheat, or, as a special treat, a mixture of wheat and chestnut flour.
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup milk
  •  1 pinch of salt
  • enough water or beer to get the batter to the right consistency
  • butter or ghee for cooking. Do not use oil

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl. The batter should be the consistency of fresh cream or slightly thicker.
Heat a large frying pan and put a dollop of ghee or butter (do not use oil) on it. When the butter or ghee starts smoking pour a laddleful of batter in the pan and swirl it over to cover the entire bottom of the pan (there’s a knack to it…) It is important that the pan is hot enough, the batter should sizzle and set right away. Cook on one side until the batter if fully dried and the bottom of the crepe starts to turn a golden brown colour, then turned the crepes over and cook on the other side.

You can use a wide variety of fillings: cheese is the most common savoury, while jam, honey and chocolate are the kids sweet favourites.