In This Small Kitchen: The Breakfast Rut

Somehow, this week morphed into breakfast week, so I figured I’d just run with it (in spite of barbecue being a more apt theme). I’m the type of person who needs breakfast to wake up. Coffee is essential. But breakfast forms the other part of my 7am equation.

Unlike at lunch or dinner, at breakfast I’m content to eat the same meal again and again, at least for a time. So far in 2013, I’ve been devouring multigrain porridge, made with plenty of whole milk and a good pour of maple syrup (pictured above). Before that, the open-faced fried egg sandwich had been satisfying me week in and week out. Before that came a phase where perfect grilled cheese sandwiches graced my plate every day.

And then, suddenly, after weeks or months or years, I’m just done. Eggs are out. Toast is out. A bowl of cereal? Laughably unappealing. And right now, I’m breaking up from porridge, though it treated me well all winter and spring. I’m zooming headlong into a breakfast rut, and I’m desperate for morning meal inspiration.

So, I’m curious, what’s your breakfast ritual? (By the way, if the answer is smoothies, I’m dying to hear about your favorite combinations and blenders. I’m a new-ish convert, and, well, you know about the zeal of the convert.)

Do you get in breakfast ruts?

P.S. A birthday breakfast for days when the morning meal must be super special.


  1. This happens to me. I usually opt for a few days of take-out–bagels or deli egg sandwiches. Pretty soon I’m happy to eat anything homemade again.

  2. I love breakfast, it is my favourite meal of the day and I also love to mix it up. At the moment toast, ricotta, mixed berries with cinnamon is my favourite… My other favourites are mashed avocado on toast with a poached egg and bagels with cream cheese and jam 🙂

  3. ok…i’m a smoothie queen. love them. but you need to purchase a bit – but you’ll have stuff to make for a while.

    into a blender (no measurements – just eyeball most of it):

    plain yogurt (i like greek yogurt but it’s expensive. reg. ok too)

    some kind of gentle sweetener

    handful of raw kale (much better than spinach for taste)

    froz fruit (i froze peach slices last year and use a combo. i love froz. mango and blueberries)

    2 scoops of solgar vanilla whey (very low sugar and high protein)

    maybe a tablespoon? of toasted brewer’s yeast

    a slug of toasted wheat germ

    and then a quick pour of a veggie/fruit juice combo (naked juice sells one or at your health food store)

    whirl. drink. yum.

  4. Breakfast parfaits are really yummy–plain goat milk yogurt, fresh ripe berries, banana, homemade nutty granola, some honey or maple syrup… For savory, I love a breakfast sammie made of toasted english muffin with butter or Earth Balance, a fried egg, some veggies (sauteed greens and caramelized onion are lovely), sharp cheese or mashed avocado, maybe some Vegenaise or pesto depending on my mood. I also like to drink smoothies, and a favorite one combines goat milk yogurt, almond or hemp milk, spinach, banana, and frozen berries. Another tasty blend with lots of protein combines almond milk, spinach, almond butter, flax meal, banana, and some ice cubes. Sometimes I’ll throw in some supergreens powder, protein powder, spirulina, maca, cinnamon, nutmeg, or other nutritional- and/or flavor-boosting ingredient for good measure.

  5. Right now, standard breakfast is a sliced banana, a personal container of yogurt (really digging Liberte right now, but usually something lightly sweetened and 2% or whole milk) and for texture, a sprinkle of whatever breakfast cereal is around at the office mixed up in a bowl. Cheerios and honey bunches of oats are good, raisin bran is weird. Looking forward to local berries in NY to switch it up.

    I used to be a boxed cereal and milk queen, but after 20+ years of it every day for breakfast, I’m over it. I hear you on the breakfast rut front.

  6. I need change in my breakfast. Our typical swiss breakfast is bread, butter and marmelade (all homemade), or birchermüesli. But I also like porridge, or fruits and yogurt. Pancakes or muffins on special weekends. Our breakfast is always sweet.
    Still, when I’ m home alone, on a free day, I like to wait until I’m really hungry and then make tomato-Tuna penne. And eat it in font of old SATC episodes. But don’t tell anyone please 🙂

  7. Don’t be afraid to put tofu in your smoothies! You can’t taste it, adds creaminess without all the super sugar of yogurt. Or plain Greek is good. Avocado is another nice addition 🙂

  8. I like to freeze mango and then blitz it up with yoghurt, vanilla, cloudy apple juice and spearmint for a really easy smoothie.

  9. Good bread, usually multigrain, toasted and rubbed with olive oil and topped with slices of avocado and a dribble of hot sauce. I love it because it’s savory and keeps me full without feeling sick (I can get queasy first thing in the morning). Reading all of these comments has made me crave sweet breakfast- hope I have something in the fridge for tomorrow morning.

  10. I’m Italian so our breakfast routine is a little bit different. We definitely stick to sweet breakfast rather than savory. I usually have biscuits or some toasted bread spread with little jam or butter with tea and a fruit yogurt. Simple and light, yet really filling and delicious! I have to admit I’ve always been intrigued with American or English style breakfast, like savory bagels or casseroles, but actually I haven’t tried none so far… 🙂

    xo, Elisa

    • Thanks for sharing, Elisa! I remember when I visited a friend in Italy, we dipped biscuits into Nutella. A little too sugary, but I feel you on the European-style lighter breakfast.

  11. I must be on the same jag as you. Right now I have been trying to perfect hot breakfast cereals. I roast nuts, put in a sprinkle of flax seeds, seseme seeds, this week I bought chia seeds to try, and we have some quinoa, though I don’t know if that will work. Cut apples, banana. Hot cereal.

    • We are on the save wavelength for sure! I’ve been experimenting with chia as well – and I always use nuts (walnuts or pecans). Haven’t tried roasting them yet though…good idea!

  12. I have to eat breakfast every morning, too. My favorite on-the-go breakfasts include smoothies or greek yogurt and granola, or a slice of banana bread or a small muffin with a smear of peanut butter. If I am at home, I like an open-faced egg sandwich with avocado and sriracha.
    I’ve gotten smoothie-making down to a science, girl. Mine always include some sort of green, a frozen banana, and a small handful of other fruit – usually frozen but sometimes fresh, if that’s all I have. Start with a couple handfuls of spinach (I find kale is too fibrous, unless you have a vitamix) and a scant cup of water (or orange juice, or dairy or non-dairy milk, whatever). Blend it up to get the greens all broken down and smoooooth. Then, add your frozen fruits and blend away. (If you use frozen fruit, you don’t need to use ice; the frozen fruits also add a creamy consistency.) Thin as necessary with liquid of your choice, sweeten to taste with agave, honey, or nada. If I need this to hold me over a while, I add greek yogurt and I am satisfied till noon!

  13. English Muffins. I keep them at work and they’re so darn easy. But I do love a nice yogurt/granola/fruit parfait to get me out of the carbo loading.

  14. My current smoothie is coconut water, 3 dried figs, handful of spinach or kale, frozen banana/mango/pineapple, chia seeds, and half an avocado. I drink half and put the other half in a mason jar for the next morning.

  15. We love “Superfood Smoothies” and have made A TON. Today we had the cookie dough one which has none of the same ingredients as the real stuff and absolutely tastes like it!

  16. I eat soup for breakfast…It’s hot, filling, and keeps me from attacking the vending machine around 10:00 am… I make a big pot on Sunday’s when I’m home, portion it into small portions and have all weeks worth ready to go… What I don’t use, I freeze to pop in the microwave anytime…

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