Teff Porridge with Roasted Strawberries and Citrus

There is nothing like a little trip to get me inspired back in the kitchen. Eric and I managed to overlap work trips – Eric to Kenya for an Engineers Without Borders project and my own trip to Burundi. At the end, we snuck in two days in Copenhagen to relax, eat, and explore.

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We walked about 15 miles each day and ate so well – everything from smorrebrød to piles and piles of lumpfish roe. The Danes place an emphasis on quality and freshness, which is apparent everywhere you go. One of my favorite meals was lunch at GRØD, a tiny little spot devoted to porridge. My barley-otto with celery root and lovage was delightful so of course I had to buy the book.

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This recipe, though, is not from the book. It is the result of a welcome-home shopping trip to Mr. Piña that included super-on-sale strawberries and a bag of teff grains. Inspired by GRØD, this breakfast porridge hits all the right notes – wholesome and grainy, subtle hints of sweetness and acid, and a crisp textural crunch. Perfect for a weekend or those days you wake up at 5am from jet lag.

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Teff Porridge with Roasted Strawberries and Citrus

*You can use any citrus here, really. I had all kinds of yummy stuff on hand – pink lemon, blood orange, minneola tengelo, and cara cara orange. The same goes for nuts – I toasted a combination of pine nuts, almonds, cashews, and pumpkin seeds.

1/2 cup teff grains
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup chia seeds
1.5 cups water
1.5 cups milk of your choice
1 tablespoon maple syrup
pinch of salt

2 pounds strawberries, trimmed and sliced
slices of whatever citrus you like
toasted nuts and seeds
toasted coconut flakes

Preheat oven to 350. Arrange the strawberries on a baking pan. Cut the ends off the citrus fruits and squeeze the juices over the strawberries. Arrange very thin slices of citrus over the top. Bake for an hour.

In a pot, mix the teff, oats, and chia seeds with the milk and water. Bring to a boil then reduce heat. Cook for 5-10 minutes until it reaches the consistency that you want. I like it a bit runny still. Towards the end, add the maple syrup and salt and stir to combine.

In a dry pan, toast the nuts, seeds, and coconut flakes. They will all toast at different rates so best to do each type individually.

Top the porridge with the strawberries, nuts/seeds, and coconut flakes. You can cut the rinds of the citrus slices and add those as well.

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Tropical Breakfast Bowl

think winter is almost over. I’ve almost permanently switched over to a spring coat, and I have worn capri tights more often than my winter leggings when running lately. And speaking of running, I have been running outside! I think the last time I stepped on the treadmill was two full weeks ago. Most importantly, champagne mangos are showing up at the grocery store.

So, with signs of spring and thoughts of warmer places, I made this 2-grain, 3-seed tropical breakfast bowl on Saturday. Eric said it reminded him of mango and sticky rice that we gobbled up in Thailand, and while it wasn’t inspired by that treat, it did certainly hit those notes.
Tropical Breakfast Bowl

Eric and I took the time to plan a year of trips while we still have the Southwest Companion Pass, which expires at the end of this year. We have some fun stuff coming up, including a weekend in the Florida Keys, camping in the Sawtooths in Idaho, and a week-long trip to Austin (Eric has a conference there) and San Antonio. We’ve decided to put off all international trips (except trips to Mexico on Southwest) until next year. My feet are seriously itching for something exotic, but we must take advantage of 2-for-1 domestic plane tickets while we can.

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Anyway, back to breakfast.

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Tropical Breakfast Bowl

The mention of two grains and three seeds above may be confusing, but buckwheat is actually a seed, not a grain. As for the coconut cream, often times a can of coconut milk will be separated into a thick cream on one end of the can and a watery milk on the other. If your can is not separated, just use the combined milk and add it to taste.

*Serves 3-4

1/2 cup steel cut oats
1/2 cup bulgar wheat
1/2 cup buckwheat groats

2 tablespoons coconut cream
1 tablespoon maple syrup

1 mango, cut into cubes
1/2 pink or ruby red grapefruit, peeled and cut into cubes
1/2 orange, peeled and cut into cubes
1 banana, peeled and sliced
1 tablespoon flax seed powder (or whole flax seeds are fine also)
1 tablespoon chia seeds

Cook each of the grains separately in double the amount of water (ie, for 1/2 cup steel cut oats, cook them in 1 cup water) until all the water is soaked up and the grains are tender. Mix all the cooked grains in a bowl and, while still warm, add the coconut cream and maple syrup. Stir around until the coconut cream is melted and thoroughly combined. Taste and add more sweetener if you prefer.

Top with fruit, flax, and chia seeds.

Avocado Toast

This isn’t so much a recipe as an idea I picked up in Australia when I worked for a small coffee and sandwich shop. I have no idea why they hired me. I had no experience as a barista. I couldn’t answer the phone because I couldn’t understand Australians and they couldn’t understand me  (though in person, communication was fine). One time, someone ordered a “kiddie cappuccino” for their 5-year-old. Choosing not to be judgmental, I made what she asked, a pint-sized cappuccino – espresso topped with a touch of steamed milk and lots of foam. When the kid, however, spit it out and started crying, she informed me that a kids cappuccino was merely cold milk topped with foam. I think I cried harder than the kid. Needless to say, many lessons were learned at that coffee shop, but they paid me cash and let me eat free sandwiches, so it worked for me.

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Anyway, Saturday and Sunday mornings, we’d serve breakfast, and when my coworker and I came in early to start prepping for the day, we’d make ourselves some avocado toast. Each morning, we would have to run to the nearby bakery to pick up the day’s bread, which was always fresh, soft, and cut into inch-thick slices. We always had access to amazing ingredients, too – freshly sliced, quality meats, cheeses, and all kinds of delicious homemade spreads. Sadly, I learned the shop went out of business a few months after I was back in the States, but I still enjoy an avocado toast every now and then.

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Avocado Toast

1 ripe avocado
1/2 cup greek yogurt (I used 2% Fage)
handful of arugula
nice, crusty whole grain bread
salt and pepper

Scoop out the insides of the avocado and mix it in a mixing bowl with the greek yogurt. Use a fork to mash up the avocado pieces.

Toast your bread in a toaster or in the oven. Top it with the avocado spread, arugula, and a sprinkling of sea salt and black pepper.