Spinach Three Ways and British Steamed Tomatoes
Ah, morning. Even if I’ll be doing the same things I did yesterday, it is a chance to start them over, do better, and feel like this library/essay/walk to town just might be more exciting than it has been the last 150 days. So how can I begin this day of infinite possibilities with a bowl of cereal?
“When you wake up in the morning, Pooh,” said Piglet at last, “what’s the first thing you say to yourself?”
“What’s for breakfast?” said Pooh. “What do you say, Piglet?”
“I say, I wonder what’s going to happen exciting today?” said Piglet.
Pooh nodded thoughtfully. “It’s the same thing,” he said. – A. MILNE, Winnie-the-Pooh
Yes, Winnie-the-Pooh understands that what we eat, especially in the morning, is intertwined with what kind of life we build for ourselves.
My first breakfast in England featured the two side dishes I will be bringing back with me: steamed spinach and steamed breakfast tomatoes. Below are three ways to make the spinach (which really can and should be eaten with any meal), and one way to make the simple, healthy, but incredibly delicious breakfast tomatoes.
British Breakfast Tomatoes
Any number of tomatoes you desire (probably 2 per person)
Step 1. Fill a pot ¼ way up with hot water. Allow to boil. Prepare a small steaming colander
Step 2. Add the tomatoes whole to the colander in the pot, (you should just remove the small circle where the stem attached at the top of the tomato). Put a lid on top and cook for about 10 minutes, or until the tomatoes are soft, slightly wrinkled, and the skin begins to come away from the flesh
Step 3. Peel away the skin, if it doesn’t want to come off, they weren’t cooked long enough
Serve whole with a sprinkle of salt
Spinach Three Ways (for any time a day)
Between 2 and 3 cups of spinach (it will shrink as it cooks)
2 tsp. olive oil
The foundational step will always be to steam the spinach. I put it into a small steaming colander, and then put the colander into a pot filled ¼ way up with water, then put on a lid and steam for only 1 or 2 minutes. Goal is to have it half cooked, because you’ll giving it a quick fry in the pan later.
And now? Infinite possibilities
Simple Chili Spinach
2-4 green finger chilies
(After steaming the spinach)
Step 1. Heat a pan on medium, add 1 or 2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil to a pan and add between 2 and 4 chopped green finger chilies (I typically would add 3 – just depends on how spicy you like your food) Allow the chilies to cook for a minute
Step 2. Add steamed spinach and salt, stir and cook together for 30 more seconds, and serve
Simple Garlic Steamed Spinach
1 small clove garlic
optional tsp. lemon juice
Step 1. Add the 1 or 2 tsp. of extra virgin olive oil to a pre-heated pan. Add the chopped garlic clove and cook on medium for 1 to 2 minutes (depending on heat of the pan), or until any of the pieces begins to turn gold
Step 2. Add the spinach and salt, stir and cook together for 30 more seconds, and serve
Spiced Onion Spinach
1 green finger chili
½ tsp. cumin seeds (or ¼ tsp. cumin powder)
¼ tsp. red chili powder
¼ tsp. turmeric
(After steaming your spinach)
Step 1. Chop the onion and put it into a pre-heated pan or pot with about 2 tsp. water. Allow to cook for 1-2 minutes on medium.
Step 2. Add the 2 tsp. of extra virgin olive oil and the cumin seeds (if using cumin powder, don’t add it yet. Just add the oil) Allow to cook 1 minute more, then add chopped green chili. Cook 1 more minute
Step 3. Add all the spices, and stir with salt to taste.
Step 4. Add steamed spinach, stir and cook together for 30 more seconds, and serve
Bonus recipe, a quick way to make scrambled eggs more interesting!
½ tsp cumin seeds
Just add the cumin seeds to 1 or 2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil once the oil is hot enough to make the seeds ‘pop’.
Then scramble your eggs into the cumin seeds like you normally do.
Voila! Excitement for breakfast!