Integral to the girl-boss industrial complex is the notion that waking up early makes you morally superior. I have fallen victim to this mentality in the past: If I just wake up an hour earlier, I can finally journal or meditate or exercise my way to becoming a better person!
But I genuinely enjoy an early rise when I can manage it. The soft light of daybreak stretches out before me not with opportunities for productivity, but with chances to savor the quieter, slower moments that are otherwise so hard to come by.
Put another way, what gets me out of bed is the promise of a stellar breakfast. But each day affords its own unique window of time, so here is an example of a weekly routine that can help you achieve your own morning dreams.
Monday through Wednesday: Make breakfast ahead
Mondays come with a “Succession” hangover. Tuesdays and Wednesdays are devoted to securing a solid desk lunch. So if I want to sit and enjoy my breakfast early in the week, I find it’s easiest to make something ahead on Sunday.
Yossy Arefi’s bircher muesli takes only 10 minutes to prepare, but it needs at least an hour in the fridge for the oats to soften, and it sits ready in the fridge for up to four days. (For a vegan version, try using a coconut yogurt and your preferred nondairy milk.) Ali Slagle’s vegan big-cluster chocolaty granola, which will keep for two weeks at room temperature, can be eaten like cereal and leaves some very slurpable chocolate milk in your bowl.
Thursday and Friday: Scramble something
Fifteen to 20 minutes is just enough time to make a vegan breakfast scramble: This recipe infuses tofu with the warm, sweet-and-savory flavors of breakfast sausage, while this scramble, boldly seasoned with soy sauce, cumin and turmeric, is great with some stray vegetables tossed in and piled into a tortilla.
Saturday and Sunday: Take your time
On a leisurely weekend morning, you can make a big plate of Kay Chun’s zesty huevos rancheros or a stack of Gena Hamshaw’s fluffy vegan pancakes, no matter when you wake up. I can’t think of a better way to start a day.
Whether you have 10 minutes to throw something together or an hour to linger in the kitchen, these flavorful breakfast have the power to convert the deepest sleepers into (sort-of) morning people.
One More Thing!
I used to host a series on New York Times Cooking’s Instagram called “Recipe Matchmaker,” in which followers submitted their highly specific recipe requests (think “zucchini recipe that isn’t bread or fritters” or “beans, but in a sexy way!”) and I’d pair them with dishes from our database. I’d love to bring that back every now and then here in The Veggie.
So let’s give it a try: Send your (brief, please!) request to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Recipe Matchmaker,” and I’ll feature a few of them in next week’s newsletter.
And if you love this sort of culinary concierge service, I highly recommend you check out my colleague Nikita Richardson’s newsletter Where to Eat: New York City, where she answers restaurant-specific reader questions once a month (she just did one this week!). It’s a real treat for New York Times subscribers.
Thanks for reading, and see you next week!
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