“This is a brilliant book filled with whole-grain breakfast inspiration, and so much more. Megan is an entrepreneur, a storyteller, a friend, and my kind of cook (and baker!). With this book, she delivers a range of enticing, seasonally minded recipes to start the day, wrapped with her warm, generous, personal narrative. Breakfast Fried Rice, Huckleberry Cornmeal Custard, California Barley Bowl? She does mornings right.”– HEIDI SWANSON, author of Super Natural Every Day
“Flip through Megan Gordon’s ‘Whole-Grain Mornings’ and you’ll want to eat breakfast from sunup to sunset – charm from cover to cover” – THE BOSTON GLOBE
“Whole-Grain Mornings is an honest story of a woman following her dreams, both in love and business… These recipes are smart, methodical and precise – they’re sure to inspire homemade mornings in your own home”– KIM BOYCE, author of Good to the Grain
Why This Book?
I’ve always wanted to write a breakfast book. It’s the meal we all start with, the meal that ushers us into the day. Even more, I wanted to write a book that reflects the way I do breakfast, acknowledging the fact that what we eat in the mornings looks different on a cold, gray morning in February than it does on a sunny morning in June. A busy Wednesday brings about different breakfast options than does a leisurely Sunday… It’s with this that I hope you continue to return back to the book as the months pass, the seasons change, and friends and family trickle in and out to join you at the breakfast table throughout the year.
What’s in the Book?
From busy weekdays to slow Sundays, I hope Whole Grain Mornings will inspire you to look beyond their average bowl of cereal towards healthy and delicious ways to incorporate whole grains into your morning meals. Featuring food and lifestyle photography along with a guide to the most commonly used whole grains and natural sweeteners – it’s my hope that this cookbook is as visually rich as it is refreshingly useful.
Highlights: Cheesy Chive Millet Grits, Smoked Salmon Crème Fraiche Tart with a Cornmeal-Millet Crust, Cherry Hazelnut Quinoa Bars.
Highlights: Peach Breakfast Cobbler with Cornmeal Thyme Biscuits, Zucchini Farro Cakes with Herbed Goat Cheese, Baked Eggs with Fresh Corn, Leek and Millet.
Highlights: Apple Farro Breakfast Bowl with Cranberries and Hazelnuts, Huckleberry Cornmeal Custard, Baked Pumpkin Risotto.
Highlights: Greens and Grains Scramble, Pear Hazelnut Oat Muffins, Banana Walnut Baked Oatmeal.
Writing this cookbook was a big undertaking, involving a dedicated team of editors, a great food stylist & photographer, lots of recipe testers, and many late nights in the kitchen. If you’re interested in learning more about writing cookbooks, I wrote a few blog posts about it (Not Quite What You’d Think, The Makings of a Cookbook Photoshoot, Meet the Cookbook). And if you’d like to learn more about Whole Grain Mornings in particular, we created a book website with a detailed peek into the book itself! There are many spots to purchase the book — at your favorite local book retailer or online (here, here, here, or here, for instance). If you like the approach to the recipes here on the blog and you’re looking for some new breakfast inspiration, I think you’re going to really like this cookbook.
Winter Comfort Food
I intended on baking holiday cookies to share with you today, but when I sat down to brainstorm all I could think about, truly, was the morning porridge I've been making and how that's really what I wanted to send you away with. The holiday season always seems to zoom on by at its own clip with little regard for how most of us wish it would just slow down, and this year feels like no exception. We got our tree last week and I've been making a point to sit in the living room and admire the twinkle as much as possible. I have lofty goals of snowflakes and gingerbread men and stringing cranberries and popcorn, but I'm also trying to get comfortable with the fact that everything may not get done, and that sitting amongst the twinkle is really the most important. That and a warm breakfast before the day spins into gear. This multi-grain porridge has proved to be a saving grace on busy weekday mornings, and it reheats beautifully so I've been making a big pot and bringing it to work with some extra chopped almonds and fresh pomegranate seeds. While cookies are certainly on the horizon, I think I'll have this recipe to thank for getting us through the busy days ahead.
We returned home from San Francisco on New Years Eve just in time for dinner, and craving greens -- or anything other than baked goods and pizza (ohhhh San Francisco, how I love your bakeries. And citrus. And winter sunshine). Instead of driving straight home, we stopped at our co-op where I ran in for some arugula, an avocado, a bottle of Prosecco, and for the checkout guys to not-so-subtly mock the outlook of our New Years Eve: rousing party, eh? They looked to be in their mid-twenties and I figured I probably looked ancient to them, sad even. But really, there wasn't much sad (or rousing, to be fair) about our evening: putting Oliver to bed, opening up holiday cards and hanging them in the kitchen, and toasting the New Year with arugula, half a quesadilla and sparkling wine. It wasn't lavish. But it's what we both needed. (Or at least what we had to work with.) Since then, I've been more inspired to cook lots of "real" food versus all of the treats and appetizers and snacks the holidays always bring on. I made Julia Turshen's curried red lentils for the millionth time, a wintry whole grain salad with tuna and fennel, roasted potatoes, and this simple green minestrone that I've taken for lunch this week. Determined to fit as many seasonal vegetables into a bowl as humanly possible, I spooned a colorful pesto on top, as much for the reminder of warmer days to come as for the accent in the soup (and for the enjoyment later of slathering the leftover pesto on crusty bread).
If I asked you about what you like to cook at home when the week gets busy, I'm willing to bet it might be something simple. While there are countless websites and blogs and innumerable resources to find any kind of recipe we may crave, it's often the simple, repetitive dishes that we've either grown up with or come to love that call to us when cooking (or life in general) seems overwhelming or when we're feeling depleted. While my go-to is typically breakfast burritos or whole grain bowls, this Curried Cauliflower Couscous with Chickpeas and Chard would make one very fine, very doable house meal on rotation. The adaptations are endless, and its made from largely pantry ingredients. I never thought I'd hop on the cauliflower "rice" bandwagon, but I have to say after making it a few times, I get the hype.
People describe raising young kids as a particular season in life. I hadn't heard this until we had a baby, but it brought me a lot of comfort when I'd start to let my mind wander, late at night between feedings, to fears that we'd never travel internationally again or have a sit-down meal in our dining room. Would I ever eat a cardamom bun in Sweden? Soak in Iceland? I loved the heck out of our tiny Oliver, but man what had we done?! Friends would swoop in and reassure us that this was just a season, a blip in the big picture of it all. They promised we'd likely not even remember walking around the house in circles singing made-up songs while eating freezer burritos at odd hours of the day (or night). And it's true.
Oliver is turning two next month, and those all-encompassing baby days feel like a different time, a different Us. In many ways, dare I say it, Toddlerhood actually feels a bit harder. Lately Oliver has become extremely opinionated about what he will and will not wear -- and he enforces these opinions with fervor. Don't get near the kid with a button-down shirt. This week at least. He's obsessed with his rain boots and if it were up to him, he'd keep them on at all times, especially during meals. He insists on ketchup with everything (I created a damn monster), has learned the word "trash" and insists on throwing found items away on his own that really, truly are not trash. I came to pick him up from daycare the other day and he was randomly wearing a bike helmet -- his teacher mentioned he'd had it on most of the day and really, really didn't want to take it off. The kid has FEELINGS. I love that about him, and wouldn't want it any other way. But, man it's also exhausting.
We recently had our favorite day of married life yet. When I tell you what it consisted of, you may worry or chuckle. Sundays used to be sacred in our house in the sense that it was our one day off together. We'd often read the paper, get a slice of quiche at Cafe Besalu, or take walks around Greenlake or Discovery Park. But now Sundays are generally when I work the farmers market for Marge Granola, and Sam helps me set up and take down each week, so they've taken on a very different feel, one more of work than leisure. So a few months ago, after mildly panicking that we no longer had any routines or days off, we reclaimed Saturdays as 'the new Sunday' and last weekend set the bar pretty high. The day began really cold: in the high 20's and graduated, eventually, to the 30's. We decided it'd be nice to just stay inside; Sam had a little work to do and some letters to write. He had a few articles he'd been wanting to read. And I'd been thinking about this lasagna recipe, so I puttered around the kitchen roasting squash and slicing garlic. The afternoon ticked on slowly. Sam made us baked eggs for a late lunch and I tried unsuccessfully to nap. I think it was the calmest we'd both felt in a long time. I'm lucky to have found a man who loves spending time at home as much as I do. While we both love going out to see friends, traveling, and having people over to our place, we also gain the most, I'd say, by doing simple things around the house -- straightening up, making a meal. organizing records or books or photos. Especially in this season of cold temperatures and early-darkening skies, it's what I crave the most. And last Saturday closed in the best of ways: we opened a bottle of "wedding wine" (thanks to my neurosis and fear we'd run out, we over-ordered wine when planning for our wedding) and dug into generous slices of this very special vegetarian lasagna, a hearty layered affair with caramelized onions, a sage-flecked tofu ricotta and a simple, savory butternut squash purée.