The Long Stretch

Written by Chef Dawn Tyson

Call it the long stretch of eating & drinking.

It begins Thanksgiving night when right after the meal with family and friends you let out a “sigh’ and unbuckle your pants. It continues with the leftovers – “what can I do with a 26 pound turkey carcass?” The possibilities are endless. Who can resist those creations of the “great Thanksgiving sandwich” with all the leftovers on a roll – turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, ham and macaroni and cheese?

Then there are the parties – your office party, your friend’s office party (they have an open bar), your neighbor’s office party (theirs is at the Bronx Zoo) and maybe even your church?

We try new recipes for guests that come over like dark chocolate and peanut butter brownies drizzled with a salted caramel. We try to learn about the “new cocktail” that uses fermented pomegranates and kiwi because it looked cool in that magazine article. It’s the season of over indulgence.

New Years Day arrives, the parties are over and you are a bit heavier.

Now is the time to start anew for the New Year. You make resolutions to run the New York Marathon or become a vegetarian. Believe me, I don’t knock anyone for setting his or her sights on something new and different but, take it easy. All I’m saying is take it one day at a time. All long lasting changes take time.

On New Year’s Day, my good friend cleaned out her whole house of everything containing meat, sugar and anything processed. About a week later, I was having dinner with her at Five Guys Burgers and Fries. Like I told her over our burger meal, “everything in moderation.” Don’t be discouraged; move onward and upward. Begin checking things off your “bucket list”, loose those last 10 pounds (again), and die your hair for the first time – do whatever you have been thinking or dreaming about.

If you resolve to eat healthier this year, here is a recipe for your morning menu. I have made this “gruel” for many people and they love it. This hearty recipe will provide you with enough fuel to get through the morning without cheating. It is just a great way to start your day. Enjoy!

Chef D’s Morning Gruel

bef27e50dee624a3f9dbb3f4035b51d31 cup Hominy corn
1 cup steel cut oats
½ cup quinoa
2 cups coconut milk (can substitute milk – 2%, 1% or skim – even almond milk)
3-5 cups water
Brown sugar
½ teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Toppings – mango, papaya, raisins, toasted walnuts, toasted slivered almonds, cooked apple, pears, dates, bananas – whatever you like.

Put the hominy corn, steel cut oats and quinoa in a bowl and fill with 3 – 5 cups water and leave for 5- 6 hours (or overnight. Be sure the grains are completely submerged and there is enough water to leave it overnight. Add a teaspoon of salt. Leave grains in water overnight. In the morning (after the 5-6 hours) pour coconut milk in a pot and boil on medium / high heat. Drain the water from the grains. Pour grains in the pot with the coconut milk. Continue to boil on a medium burner for about 20 to 30 minutes. Sweeten with sugar to taste. Stir constantly to prevent lumping.
Add nutmeg and cinnamon. Let simmer over low heat for 5 minutes. Serve – add your toppings

Keep it Cookin’
Chef Dawn
For more recipes and meal planning ideas follow Chef Dawn on Twitter @dawn_chef

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