Melissa Clark to the breakfast rescue?

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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.



One thought on “Melissa Clark to the breakfast rescue?

  1. Hey Karen…when you do cave and have your lox, try using Greek plain yogurt instead of the cream cheese…and if you can forego the bagel, I use Eli’s Health Bread when I go the lox route, it’s a really tasty whole grain bread…toasted with the plain yogurt, lox and a slice of heirloom tomato with a little sea salt. Yum!
    Another lo-co breakfast we have often is greek yogurt (strawberry, raspberry or blueberry) with fresh berries and Bear Naked granola sprinkled over. The Chobani yogurt is a really nice brand!

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