For the longest time—and by that, I mean most of my life—I skipped breakfast. I enjoyed eating big lunches and bigger dinners, but I was never a morning person so I could not fully enjoy an early daytime meal.
As a kid, I would only munch on a cool bowl of Froot Loops or sip on a steaming cup of Nesquik/Swiss Miss before hopping off to school. As a teenager, I skipped breakfast altogether and would just snack on hotdogs, fries, and Coke during recess (admittedly, I was a junkfood junkie of the worst kind). In college, I discovered the unadulterated joy of drinking coffee—from espresso, to cafe cortado, to flat white.
In no time at all, my love for caffeinated and highly-acidic beverages caused hyperacidity. Our family doctor informed me that in order to curb the ill effects of hyperacidity, I should never skip any meal. Again. Ever.
I told the doctor I wasn’t big on breakfast. She told me to go to a little cafe in Salcedo Village and order eggs Benedict. If I don’t change my mind, the tab is on her.
I got hooked.
Now, I have made it my personal cause to get more people to eat breakfast. It really is the most important meal of the day for me because I have noticed a steady increase in focus, productivity, and general perkiness ever since I made it a daily habit (it only took me 30+ years to realize that). Having a full stomach early in the morning also allowed me to make smarter meal choices as the day progresses as I don’t seethe in hunger every time I see a cheeseburger or a pint of ice cream.
No time? No problem. This month, breakfast is king. I’ll be featuring weekday breakfast meals that can be cooked in 30, 15, 10, and 5 minutes.
Love eggs benedict but hate having to line up to get a table in a nice cafe? Bid early morning brunch reservations goodbye and whip up a nice plate of smoked salmon eggs ben in 30 minutes. Don’t know how to make hollandaise? I got you, chief.
Got picky kids who won’t eat breakfast? Tame the wildlings with crispy waffles drizzled in maple butter, Nutella, and lightly toasted sliced almonds. With a bit of advanced prep, you can cook this in 15 minutes.
Got a triathlete-in-training spouse? Fuel your iron(wo)man up with roast beef hash over bacon, sweet potatoes, purple yams, tri-colored peppers, and onions. Get your ingredients ready the night before so you can sizzle it up in 10 minutes. Whenever I swing by Marketplace, I buy at least 500g worth of roast beef. It’s perfect for quick sandwiches, last minute meals, and contemplating the meaning of life.
Running late for work? Whip up a classic BLT in less than 5 minutes. Make your sandwich sing with lemon aioli and fresh, crispy arugula, and excellent bread. Trust me. You’ll never drive thru a fast food joint again.
What about lazy Sundays, you ask? See, that calls for a cranberry scone made with Echire butter and topped with molasses sugar and walnuts. Now that’s worth waking up obscenely early for.
What to wash it down with? A tall glass of acai smoothie with amaranth and frozen fruits. Mornings have never been sweeter.
Thick cut bacon, skin removed and cut into ¼” thick slices
Hearts of romaine
Heirloom tomatoes, sliced
The Ojai Cook Lemonaise
1 clove garlic, crushed
1. Fry bacon on cast iron pan until crispy. Turn off heat and remove bacon.
2. Swirl garlic in bacon fat for a few seconds.
3. Drain pan of all bacon fat. Toast ciabatta on pan.
4. Rub ciabatta with roasted garlic. Spread Lemonaise. Add bacon, heirloom tomatoes, and arugula.
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Easy 5-step recipes featuring the freshest and most exciting ingredients from Rustan's Supermarket.