A malady of meal monotony

It’s the hungry time, or more accurately around here, the time of year when I’m so overcome by root vegetable fatigue and bored with the same options in the pantry/at the store/on the menu that I resort to pretending I’m just not hungry rather than making the same thing one more time (I’m looking at you, kale).

This isn’t news to anyone, I am well aware. Hell, there’s the whole tradition of fasting for Lent that conveniently falls right when you’re either running out of food or the will to eat what’s available, depending on your circumstances.

There have been a few signs of the impending break – a bag of local arugula, the assorted raabs in the produce rack this week, the first handful of rhubarb stalks*… so we’re close. But you know what comes just before things get better? The low point. It’s ugly and full of popcorn for dinner and avocado toast for, well, breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Mmmmm, avocado toast.  Yes, let’s focus on the couple of bright spots in the monotonous landscape of early spring eating around here.

  1. Avocado toast. How did this combination elude me for so long? Nevermind, I’ve been making up for lost time the last couple years. The recipe is pretty much right there in the name. Toast bread. Spread generously with butter, top with half an avocado, well smashed, and salt. Don’t skimp on either the butter or the salt. You can get all fancy with egg or cheese or other embellishments, but I’m a purist.
  2. Leftover oatmeal muffins. An equally enticing name, but there’s an actual recipe here, and it’s a keeper. I pretty much follow this, but my morning porridge is equal parts steel cut oats and buckwheat groats so that’s what I use. I second Molly’s suggestion of walnuts and dark chocolate chips – I prefer 2 parts walnuts to 1 part chocolate. Also, I can’t have regular dairy so I sub some goat yogurt thinned but doubt that has any noticeable effect. If you try these, don’t be alarmed if the batter seems impossibly thick; I was sure it was all wrong the first time I mixed them up.
  3. Emerald City Salad. Yes, there’s kale and cabbage here, but it’s is one of the few ways that I’m still finding those vegetables appealing. I use a wild rice blend and the vegetable mix is a bit different each time based on what we have around, but generosity of feta and toasted sunflower seeds are key.
  4. Grammy cake. Not exactly a staple, but perhaps a lifeline. Dean’s birthday was last week and he’s a chocolate birthday cake kind of person. This simple old-fashioned recipe fit the bill perfectly. Dressed up with a little chocolate sauce and ice cream for a celebration or straight up for an unfussy treat. (I saved this recipe after borrowing the book from the library last year, but just found this post that I could have nearly written.)

What’s been sustaining you of late?

* Who spotted the beginnings of the flower stalks in my photo here a few days ago? I had no idea, I’ve never seen it happen.

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