|a little color coming through on my morning drive|
Why I Wake Early
Hello, sun in my face.
Hello, you who made the morning
and spread it over the fields
and into the faces of the tulips
and the nodding morning glories,
and into the windows of, even, the
miserable and the crotchety –
best preacher that ever was,
dear star, that just happens
to be where you are in the universe
to keep us from ever-darkness,
to ease us with warm touching,
to hold us in the great hands of light –
good morning, good morning, good morning.
Watch, now, how I start the day
in happiness, in kindness.
~ Mary Oliver ~
(Why I Wake Early, 2004)
|Ducks enjoying the light on Back Bay Cove, Portland|
Another benefit of waking early is getting to be a little creative with my breakfasts, cooking up extra for lunch or dinner, or just experimenting. This morning I made a dish that I plan on cooking up for the family on Thanksgiving: Quinoa and Cannellini beans with an eggplant, spinach, and brussels sprout curry of sorts. The combination of quinoa and cannellini beans is one of my favorites -- their flavors pair so well together, and they both offer good amounts of protein and iron in the morning for some fuel. Brussels Sprouts provide a huge amount of vitamin K and C, B vitamins, iron, calcium, and even some omega-3 fatty acids. I never had brussels sprouts growing up, and I know a lot of you out there have some resentment towards them. But they are tasty if cooked correctly -- tender, with the ability to store bits of flavor between their leaves. In my humble opinion, they're pretty cute, too. I can never get enough of eggplant and its ability to soak up spices, and a couple hand fulls of spinach make the curry feel complete.
Maybe another strange thing about me is that I would eat this for breakfast, lunch, or Thanksgiving dinner. It's that tasty. I wanted to have a quinoa dish on my table this Thursday because my family enjoyed it so much last year. Loaded up with veggies and spices, I know this is one dish I'll be coming back to for seconds.
Veggie Curry with Quinoa and Cannellini Beans
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large eggplant, cut into small pieces
- 10 Brussels sprouts, de-stemed and halved
- 1 onion, chopped
- 4 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 3 cups of baby spinach leaves, loosely packed
- 1/2 cup quinoa
- 1 can of cannellini beans, rinsed, or 3 1/2 cups cooked cannellini beans
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons curry powder, divided
- 2 teaspoons ginger, divided
- 1 teaspoon paprika, divided
- 1 teaspoon salt, divided
In a medium sized stock pot, heat up 1 cup of water. In a large skillet or saucier pan heat the oil over medium heat. When the oil starts to sizzle a bit, add the eggplant, brussels sprouts, and onion, along with 1/2 cup of water, and cover. By now your water should be boiling: add in the quinoa and cannellini beans, cover, and let this pot do it's thing for about 15 minutes, by which time the quinoa should be cooked. In the meantime, give your veggies a stir every now and then, until the brussels sprouts are fork tender. Into the veggies, add the tomato paste, garlic, and then 1 tablespoon of the curry powder, 1 teaspoon of the ginger, and 1/2 teaspoon of paprika and salt. Give things another stir, and let the flavors marry for another 5 minutes. Then, turn the heat off, and add the spinach. Add the rest of the spices to the quinoa and cannellini bean mixture, and stir. By now this should be done, so turn off the heat. After a few minutes, the spinach should be wilted. Stir to combine spinach with the rest of the spices in the dish. Serve the quinoa and cannellini bean as a bed for the veggies, and enjoy. Serves 2 for breakfast. I'm thinking of tripling the recipe as a Thanksgiving side dish.
When do you enjoy waking up in the morning? Would you eat part of your Thanksgiving meal for breakfast?
Happy Thanksgiving, friends.