Finding a Balanced Breakfast

First things first – check out what’s making it’s home on our balcony.

After Hippo almost tried to eat it and I freaked out thinking it was poisonous, I looked it up – apparently it’s a very common NorCal house spider. Well it’s almost as large as a house – that’s for sure! Just in time for Halloween.

Anyway, onto the food.

For the last couple of weeks, every time I eat oatmeal with peanut butter, my go to breakfast and what fueled my marathon, I sort of gag. So last week, I took a break and had mostly eggs for breakfast – with toast and some veggies.

After a few days of eggs, I wanted to find a savory breakfast that didn’t include eggs or tofu – which is much, much harder than it seems. I have found some recipes for savory oatmeal that I need to try – this recipe for cheezy oatmeal is excellent – but I was hoping for something a bit different.

Enter kitchari. Kitchari is a traditional Indian dish eaten for breakfast or lunch. It’s easily digestible and packed with veggies and warming spices. The dish can be adjusted to meet your dosha’s needs, if you’re into that. I am but I didn’t really check into this time around; I just wanted something that would stick to my ribs without  making me feel bloated. This version of the dish definitely met that criteria. Searching the internet will bring up hundreds of variations, so choose one that works for you and go for it.

Breakfast Kitchari 
adapted from Ayurveda Health Retreat 

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 2 cups brown basmati rice
  • 2-3 cups chopped vegetables (your preference – I used carrot, zucchini, and chard stems)
  • ½ tsp. turmeric
  • 1 Tbsp. curry powder
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. whole cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp. ginger
  • ½ tsp. fennel seeds
  • ½ tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1 ½ tsp. ground basil leaf (optional)
  • pinch of cayenne
  • 1 ½ tsp. salt (to taste)
  • 2 Tbsp. of Earth Balance or ghee (clarified butter)*
  • Water

Method:

Rinse the red lentils thoroughly, 3 – 4 times. Add 8 cups of water and bring to a boil. Turn down to medium and cook for 10 minutes.

Rinse 2 cups of brown basmati rice and add to the beans. Add your vegetables. Cook another 15 minutes, stirring often.

In a fry pan, melt Earth Balance or ghee over medium and add the fennel and cumin seeds. When the seeds are browned, add the remaining spices and cook for one minute. Add to the beans and rice. Salt to taste.

Cook for another 10 – 20 minutes, until desired consistency is reached. Garnish with fresh grated ginger, cilantro, or coconut.

*I know that the properties of Earth Balance are not the same as ghee, but I’m mostly vegan at home and figured this would be close enough.

It doesn’t look pretty but it’s delicious. (Photographing lentils is hard work – especially at 6 am!)

This recipe made enough for at least 4 or 5 days of breakfasts (for me – not including Alex). It’s so convenient having it ready to go in the fridge in the morning. I feel better when I eat clean, and this is a great way to start the day, especially as the weather cools down .

In a fitness update, I wanted to comment that for the last two weeks I have gotten my butt out of bed long before dawn, and gotten to the gym to lift weights. One morning, Alex even decided to sleep in and I went anyway! Part of this is due to the fact that National Novel Writing Month has started, and I need all the extra time I can get to hit 50,000 words so getting the gym out of the way early is essential.

I’ve also been doing yoga and doing shorter interval runs. Over the weekend, I didn’t do much formal exercise, but I walked at least ten miles on Sunday alone – I do love to walk!

Can’t believe it’s already Wednesday afternoon – this week is flying by!

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