Mark Bittman posted a piece yesterday in his NYT The Minimalist column titled Your Morning Pizza. In it, he praises the untraditional breakfast — breakfasts that contain foods like “black olives, quinoa, miso, dried tomatoes, sesame oil, bok choy, wheat berries, roasted carrots.” Bittman has decided that everything is fair game for breakfast. I agree.
I have long allowed my children to eat leftovers from the night before for breakfast. It makes more sense to me to send my boys off to school having eaten a bowl of leftover rice or pasta than after having eaten boxed cereal (not that they don’t eat that on occasion, too). Bittman says in his piece that to most Americans, it doesn’t seem appropriate to start making what amounts to dinner at seven in the morning. It’s one thing to eat leftover pizza, pasta, roast chicken, soup, whatever; it’s entirely another to start cooking them while your tea or coffee is still brewing.
Why is that? I’m sure part of the reason is time. There often isn’t a lot of time in the morning to cook a meal. Cereal and bagels are quick. But other foods can be quick, too. How long does it take to make a grilled cheese sandwich? Five minutes? Why isn’t a grilled cheese considered breakfast food in most homes? It is in my house, even if my husband does look at me like I’m a little kooky when I make it for my 6 year old.
Why not a quesadilla made with yesterday’s taco night leftovers for breakfast? Why not a big bowl of peas? (My 9 year old has had that on occasion before school.) Why not a salad? Think of how much easier it would be to get more vegetables in your family's diet if all vegetables were fair game for breakfast.
I’ve already been allowing leftovers for breakfast in my house. But I think it’s time to rethink breakfast even further. Reading Bittman’s piece makes me want to do a full week experiment. For the next week, everything is fair game in my house for breakfast — as long as it’s healthy and I have the time to make it, of course.
Anyone want to join me in the experiment? Let me know in the comments section below. I’ll let you know how the experiment went in my house a week from today.