“Break-the-Fast” Morning Peppers, Onions and Mushrooms!

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If you are one of the morning people who have to jump up early, grab a coffee and toast or a quick bowl of cereal, jump in the car and race off to work or school, this breakfast isn’t for you. But you could cook it for dinner, and in fact most people would do just that.

For me, giving up most wheat, cutting back on grains, letting go of some extra weight that I do not need and having some time in the morning for reading, writing or cooking before I work allows me the pleasure of eating vegetables for my own break-the-fast. Although this may seem strange or un-appetizing to some, for me this works very well, giving me energy to start things off AND allowing some of those extra pounds to start melting away.

If you MUST have meat for breakfast, this works very well with sweet or hot cooked sausage chopped and added as well, or a chunk of toasted artisan whole-grain bread for dunking. Who said breakfast has to be cereal or eggs…and god forbid…pop-tarts, or granola bars that truly are NOT food to begin with!

Always in my recipes here, the emphasis is on fresh ingredients, sensuous flavours and textures, AND simplicity of preparation and time requirements. I learned much about this kind of immediate and simple preparation from my former Italian mother-in-law Maria, and my father-in-law Bill who would whip up the most savory and sensuous delights in a large pot or cast iron skillet with an ease and imagination that still is fresh in my memory altho he is gone now, and she is in her 80’s and we live far apart. And I must admit, with the multitude of cookbooks that are in my collection, I always loved the recipes tucked in the treasure  “Under the Tuscan Sun”  by Frances Mayes…meals prepared with the freshest whole ingredients in season and with a minimum of kitchen time. And of course, ultimately shared!

Ingredients:

3 medium Italian frying peppers, sliced thin, 1-medium vidalia onion sliced thin, 2-3 garlic cloves chopped, 2-3 cocktail tomatoes IMG_5354seeded and chopped, i portobella mushroom cap sliced, fresh basil (or dried if fresh is not available), olive oil and a splash of canned chicken broth handy if necessary for “unsticking”), salt and pepper.

Preparation:

Heat large skillet. Add a light coating of oil. When quite hot, add peppers and onions, stirring constantly..do not brown or burn. When peppers and onions have a “sheen” from the olive oil and the releasing of their moisture, turn down the heat a bit and continuing to IMG_5356watch and stir. This will take some minutes to bring them to a semi-carmelized kind of state, but still firm Add a little salt and pepper to taste…keep stirring periodically. When softened, add the mushrooms and garlic, stirring (don’t burn!). When mushrooms are cooked, add the chopped tomatoes, s splash of broth or water and the chopped basil..cook gently until the tomatoes fall apart and the basil is wilted. Taste and taste again to adjust seasonings to your pleasure. Serve in a pretty dish. (I added a sprinkle of parmesan as well).

IMG_5357It is important to be attentive to your cooking when involved in “Sensuous Cooking”… multi-tasking while going back and forth to the stove (like cooking and doing FB at the same time), or cooking and stirring with the phone cradled between ear and shoulder or even with a headset can surely spell disaster for your ultimate culinary delight and pleasure. For me, preparing food in this way is a kind of sensory art form..yes..it is like making art…and it deserves your attention and presence and focus. For me, this is also like a meditation..a “Be Here Now” experience..and very grounding. And of course when you eat REAL food, you become grounded as well as body, Brain, and spirit have the best fuel to propel you into your life.

Take time, take TIME when you can to feed yourself well, and sensuously! And by all means when you can, SHARE the feast!   IMG_5358

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5 responses »

    • I am using the sweet elongated Italian frying pepper, not a hot variety altho if you want the heat, you can add red pepper flakes at the end to suit you, or sprinkle a little cayenne on the finished dish, which I often do. Cayenne is very good for us!

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