Delicious Homemade Breakfast Ideas.

Breakfast time is one of my favorite meal times, and I am a firm believer in having a proper breakfast.

It is the first meal of the day, so why not make it special. Yes, I know we are all rushing out to go to work or school but even plain old cereal or oats do not take a lot time to assemble, can be prepared in advance and adding different toppings makes them more visually appealing, tastier and healthier if the toppings have added benefits. Toppings such as nuts, seeds, baobab powder and fruits, fresh or dried, add to both flavour, texture and nutrients that are essential to having a healthy body.

Traditional breakfasts were heavier and filling to provide the body with adequate fuel to farm or do labor intensive chores. They could be leftover dinner, steamed or roasted yams or porridge. These days, a cup of coffee or tea with a muffin is all some will take before heading to the office. Breakfasts these days also include more fry ups than steamed or boiled foods that people would eat in the past. I am no food purist, I believe there is room for what one wants to eat, as long as your meet your daily nutritional requirements.

In our household we like having cereals during the week, and a wider spread over the weekend when there is no rush. A small leisurely homemade brunch. The kids like their Weetabix and Hubs likes oats or muesli, or smoothies and I like oats or porridge. This is had with milk/ yoghurt. Toppings differ according to individual preferences (and moods) but our usual ones (not all at the same time though), are chia seeds, sesame seeds, black seed powder, hibiscus powder, cocoa powder, baobab powder, peanut butter, raisins, coconut flakes, sprinkles, fruits, and honey. Beverages are Coffee, tea, cocoa for the kids and fresh juice.

I sometimes soak the oats overnight, other times cook them on the stovetop and even in the microwave if pressed for time. They are an ideal weekday breakfast as they are filling but do not give one a feeling of heaviness and go so well with any accompaniment you choose.

Oatmeal porridge smothered with a nectarine, coconut and pineapple sauce, with a drizzle of honey and a pinch of nutmeg.
Oatmeal porridge made with milk, and served with sesame seeds, peanut butter and chia seeds.
Oatmeal with crushed pineapple, coconut flakes and nuts, garnished with chia seeds and honey.

Weekends are for breakfast potatoes, pancakes, sausages or bacon, potato hash, fresh juice, eggs and fruits.

Maizemeal, besan and wheat flour pancakes.
Fluffy American style pancakes with an orange chia butter sauce.
Simple Kenyan style pancakes with fruits on the side and a homemade blueberry compote on top.

Breakfast potatoes either pan fried or baked with onions, peppers, sausage and tomatoes are an ideal weekend brunch dish.

Pan fried hash of cassava, capsicum, tomatoes, onion, garlic and crumbled sausage.

Traditional foods can be had at any time too right?

Simple boiled maize, just needs some salt and pepper, or butter if you please.
Roasted sweet potatoes, baked beans and cheesy scrambled eggs are tasty and filling.
Steamed arrow root, spicy slices sausage and baked beans with a fresh vegetable salad is a another great option for a breakfast that is tasty, healthy and filling.
And I cannot forget that Kenyan breakfast staple, the Mandazi. A tasty beignet that goes well with tea, coffee or hot cocoa.

Here are a few more tasty breakfast recipes already shared on the blog:-

What do you like having for breakfast?

Easy Baked Beef Kebabs.

This is a simple recipe of marinated minced beef, skewered and baked to perfection for your tingling tastebuds. They do not take long to make, you can flavor them as you wish, and baking them means no big pile of dishes to clean up at the end. A win for a busy Mum!

Kenyan style kebabs are usually dipped in eggs, breadcrumbs or all purpose flour then fried. These baked version ones are less laborious, do not have the eggy taste some people do not like, and they are healthier as they use less oil.

Ingredients:-

  • 500 g minced beef
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • I tsp Garlic powder
  • 1 grated onion
  • 1 small bunch finely chopped coriander
  • 1 tsp Paprika
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp plain breadcrumbs
  • Some vegetable oil.

Method:-

  • In a large bowl, mix all the ingredients well and refrigerate for a while.
  • You can be preparing your other meal components at the time.
  • If using wooden skewers, do not forget to soak them for about 15 minutes so they do not burn in the oven.
  • Preheat your oven to 200 degrees Celcius and line your baking tray with foil.
  • Using clean hands, shape your mince in a ball on the skewer then press it to lengthen it a bit along the wooden skewer. Arrange them on the prepared baking tray. Spray them with some vegetable oil then bake for 20 minutes.
  • Remove the tray from the oven carefully, turn the skewers and brush with oil on the other side, then return them to bake for another 20 minutes or until ready.

Once ready, let them cool a bit then remove them from the skewers and serve with your sides of choice.

We had them with some pan roasted parsley potatoes, a vegetable salad and a simple yoghurt sauce. (Natural yoghurt flavoured with garlic, mint, salt, black pepper and some lemon juice).

Tasty, colourful, healthy and filling!

This is definitely worth a try. The kids will love it and so will you!

Yummy Sweet Potato and Pea Mash.

Hey there, my name is Waithera and I have an insane addiction to sweet potatoes.

A lot of my food recipes on this blog have sweet potato in them in one way or another. I love them so much, I put them in almost everything.

Lucky for me, my family loves them too and this recipe is one of our comfort food staples. It is so simple, easy and quick to put together. Healthy, colourful and tasty too.

Ingredients:-

  1. A small bunch of sweet potatoes, I picked the smaller ones as they are easier to peel.
  2. 1 cup of fresh green peas.
  3. Some fresh mint, dry will do too, a pinch will do.
  4. A tbsp of unsalted butter.
You can use any kind of sweet potato you have. The sweet potatoes here are whiter, fleshier and harder than the orange fleshed ones found in the States. ( I find our local ones tastier too).
Peel, clean and chop your sweet potatoes and boil with some salt and pepper.
Boil your green peas and blend with the mint till mushy.
Once the sweet potatoes are ready and soft, drain and add the pureed peas. Add the butter. Mash together and mix well, remember to check for seasoning.
Mash till smooth or to your liking.

You can serve this tasty main with any side you want. Chicken, beef or even goat curry, or some vegetables.

We had ours with a Kenyan style beef liver stew and buttered cabbage and courgette. The flavours matched together really well.

Try it and enjoy!

How do you like your sweet potato?

Dogs Gone Wild.

We had an incident the other day when this little Miss Tonella, who I have talked about here, got into a tangle with the other dogs. Scratch that, not a tangle but a full blown dog fight!

Backstory: We have three dogs in the compound; two female, one male. The male is generally polite, likes chilling but very playful, and loves the kids. The two females do not see eye to eye. They have to always remain separated. So we have one on one side of the compound, and the other two on the other side with three gates so they cannot reach each other.

The one that’s by itself is called Anatalina, she is playful, likes attention and sheds a lot. Rex the male, gets along with both pretty well, but he and Tonella (the one that bit my exercise mat) are tighter buddies. So he will stroll to where Anatalina is, sniff around a bit ( I guess his way of saying hey to her), then wander back to the garden after a few minutes to frolic and chill with Tonella. I think he is a charmer, covering his bases with the girls, letting them know he’s cool with each of them, LOL.

A Rex lookalike.
Photo by Vladislav on Pexels.com

Do you ever get a sense of foreboding? When all is quiet and tense, you are just waiting for something to erupt but not sure what it is?

There was a lapse the some evenings ago, when one of the smaller gates was left open. Anatalina’s territory is on the kitchen side, so she always keeps me company when I am cooking. I had gotten started on dinner but she had not come to the window yet to do her doleful eyes act in her attempt to get some treats from me.

See those doleful eyes? How do you resist such a look?
Photo by Lum3n on Pexels.com

I should have really gone to check but I didn’t think much of it. A few minutes later I heard loud barking and a shout. H rushed out of the house to check what was happening. I stayed back with the kids so they would not follow him.

Sure enough, Anatalina being the smart girl she was, saw the open gate and walked through into the garden, where Tonella pounced on her and the fight began. By the time H and one of guys on duty got to the dogs, Rex was part of the fight! Imagine a snarling jumble of three adult dogs, tangled and rolling in the grass, nipping and barking. Chaos, I tell you, CHAOS. Because of the commotion, the neighbours’ dogs began barking too! It was quite a noisy racket.

After a few minutes of loud clapping, physical effort, and I guess Tonella’s really painful injuries, the dogs separated and all went back their bloody ways. Each retreating to their own areas, panting heavily. Their ears were bleeding, all scratched up and they were all whining in pain, it was not a pleasant sight. H did some dog first aid and called the Vet who told him what to do, till he would be able to come over the next morning.

The dogs are all much better now, thankfully. The vet came and checked the injuries, treated them accordingly and all three got a clean bill. Their ears are healing well, and hopefully all of us in the compound have learnt our lesson now and will not leave the gates open.

That incident made me search a few sites on what to do when this happens and below is a short list of some sites that offer good information:-

I sure hope we will not have to go through this again, but if it happens at least we will be better informed.

Perception.

What are some of the things we do, that influence how we perceive each other? That make us able to discern what is good for us and what is bad?

We are relational beings, always interacting with each other in various ways. There are things about us, that we do or say, that make people love us or hate us, ignore us or pay attention to us. I find it all fascinating.

Photo by Cristian Dina on Pexels.com

Social media has changed how we interact; and by extension exposed us with our faults, prejudices, strength and weaknesses to those who follow us. It has changed how we perceive each other, and how we perceive ourselves. Some people blame social media for bullies, rising intolerance, superiority complex and a certain braggadocio, but is it not us in all our true colours – showing us who we really are, in a quicker and more visible way.

There is a popular quote by the famous African American poet and author, Maya Angelou that says, “When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.” This was in context of physical interaction but can still be applied in our online interactions. Yes, people can pretend online at first, but when attentive, you will see some signs of their true selves.

Let me use a romantic relationship as a simple example. In college, there was a Psych course we did to get an easy ‘A’. The course was titled “Courtship and Marriage.” I did get my ‘A’ but the amazing thing is years later when preparing for marriage and in marriage life, all we learnt back then rang true. The lovely lady who taught us used to go on and on about how courtship is important. And it is.

Ideally, courtship is when prospective partners discuss their goals and what they want their future life to be like. Decisions such as who is responsible for what, how many children to have, where to live, how to make financial decisions etcetera etcetera. But, she also taught us, this is the time to examine your prospective partner’s behaviour, and decide if this is the kind of person you want to live with. Self examination is obviously paramount, but that does not mean you should assume your partner is perfect. How does he or she behave when angry? Do they throw fits of anger when things do not go their way? How do they treat other people around them? How do they treat animals/ pets? How do they talk about and interact with their family? What kind of friends do they have? How are their personal boundaries? What is their attitude about money? Personal hygiene? What are their views on gender roles and responsibilities. What do they do for a living? Have you been to their workplace, do you know any of their colleagues? What are their career and personal aspirations? Who are their role models? I could go on and on. Thing is, red flags are always there; we choose not to see them. We ignore our intuition and that little niggling feeling that all is not well, and even lie to ourselves that it is not that bad, we can live with it, or hope our partners will change once we get married.

Photo by Flora Westbrook on Pexels.com

How we treat each other in our religious communities, neighbourhood and professional settings also influences how we perceive each other. How do we behave towards those who wield power over us? Or those who we deem to be inferior to us? Are you a boss who bullies or a boss who cares and listens? How do you treat your domestic help? Do we pay those who work for us well? How do you treat those who are in the service industry?

How we choose to behave in all these instances, give others an idea of who we really are, than who we claim to be or not. And once we show our true colours, it is up to others to decide if they want to interact with us or not. We cannot afford to assume we can live without each other, we cannot. Once you are in that situation, you need to look inward and examine yourself.

Communication is paramount in such instances. Expressing ourselves freely and allowing others to express themselves, accepting feedback about our flaws with an open mind and deciding to work on ourselves, will create positive perceptions in us and about us. When we perceive things positively, we become confident, optimistic, are able to create solutions and work with each other in a more harmonious way.

How we perceive ourselves and each other affects how we relate to one another deeply. No man is an island. We cannot live without interacting with each other. And we need to challenge ourselves to focus on positive interactions and not dwell on the negative perceptions we have of each other. We need to respect each other, solve problems together, build a proper world together to ensure our survival on this planet; we all have a role to play that is determined by how we look at ourselves, and interact with each other. Our strengths can help others overcome their weaknesses, our differences should make us appreciate our diversity and learn how to adapt to it.

Photo by Gabriela Palai on Pexels.com

It all begins with working on ourselves as individuals. Believing in who we are; that we are capable and worthy human beings. Accepting our imperfections but also looking for ways to reduce them or live with them.

How is your self perception?