Melissa Clark to the breakfast rescue?
With much reluctance, I abandoned my usual bagel and lox breakfast this week (see Oatmeal vs Lox). I’ve been grumpy about it, but I stuck with it… all week.
The first two days I went with cereal. Special K Cinnamon Pecan Cereal, to be exact. Then I tried instant oatmeal but it was so boring I didn’t even finish a bowl. I know, I know – instant oatmeal’s terrible. But who wants to cook in the morning? So back I went to cereal.
It’s astonishing how very much I miss my warm bagel with just a smidge (never a smear) of whipped cream cheese – topped with a fresh, thin layer of lox. Simply astonishing I can actually pine for a breakfast item.
A friend saw my Facebook post bemoaning my lox loss and wishing for a tasty oatmeal recipe and sent this:
“Hi Karen, I’m an oatmeal lover and couldn’t resist sharing my current favorite recipe. While the oatmeal is cooking I toss a handful of dry coconut flakes into the mix (they soften and the taste blends into the porridge). To serve I crumble walnuts (for protein and crunch – but any nut will do) and fresh organic blueberries, and then I smother mine with rice milk. (For added health, sprinkle 1 tbsp of ground flax seeds- good for hormonal balance). Yum. and Happy Spring!”
Doesn’t that sound great? Aren’t you inspired? Despite my lox mourning, even I had to admit this sounded delicious, so I dutifully printed this out and went shopping.
And promptly FAILED.
No, I didn’t cave and buy lox. The problem was coconut flakes – I didn’t have any and clearly, they were vital to this recipe. But Trader Joe’s doesn’t stock coconut flakes and Fresh Market was out. (I find this puzzling – is there some Passover or Easter coconut tradition I don’t know about?)
Worse, I was so flummoxed by my inability to purchase coconut flakes from 2 different stores that I totally forgot to buy fresh blueberries.
Now very frustrated, I banged a bowl of Special K onto the table, sloshed in some milk, and opened the New York Times Dining Section. To my surprise, I found inspiration. Nope, not for breakfast; instead, I was inspired by Melissa Clark’s calzone article. Check out this piece of potential lo-co cooking heaven:
“For the dairy eschewers in my life, I whipped up a calzone without any cheese at all. Instead, I piled garlicky mashed white beans and caramelized fennel and onions into pizza dough, baking it until golden. It was full-flavored and soft-centered, not a traditional calzone but a delicious tart-like creation unto itself, and one that I’ll make again.”
Now thinking I had a plan for dinner, I was doing a bit of research on Ms. Clark’s blog for an ingredient suggestion. (Two issues: first there’s no actual recipe in the article, so that’s a dilemma. And second, I hate fennel so am wondering what to use instead.) And guess what I found? An amazing post about homemade Coconut Orange Muesli. (Note: as that recipe link is no longer on Melissa Clark’s blog, here it is as a Goodreads link.)
It seems I’m destined to work on ditching my lox jones.
If I can just find some coconut flakes, I’ll have 2-count-em-2 oatmeal recipes to try.
Just please stop laughing at the fact that I’m so far gone lo-co-wise, that I’m now writing about the IDEA of lo-co recipes – and haven’t actually made them.
Illustrations by Christine Juneau.