Breakfast With Desi

First things first, this is not really my own recipe, nor is it really a recipe because does oatmeal qualify as one? But it’s a post I’ve been meaning to put up for a while now because someone wise once said that breakfast is the most important meal of the day.

At our home I make most meals, but Desi zealously keeps charge of breakfast. That’s because he has a Seinfeldian love for cereal, and at any time you can find a dozen different kinds in our pantry. Not cheerios mind you, but healthy ones with words like “multigrain” and “wholegrain” and “bran” in their names

Every morning, or sometimes even in the afternoon if he happened to eat something else for breakfast, Desi will pull out a huge bowl, mix four different kinds of cereal in it (for their different textures), and then chop up a melange of fruit and nuts to add to it.

Over all of that he will pour some vanilla soymilk and then take 15 minutes to enjoy every bite, usually with the morning paper.

It’s something I, as someone who has never fallen in love with cold cereal, simply do not get. Ergo, Desi simply does not trust me to get it right.

But on weekends, oatmeal usually replaces the cereal and that is where I get interested. What’s not to love about oatmeal for breakfast? Kissed with golden maple syrup and crunchy with sunflower seeds, Desi’s healthy and delicious oatmeal is the perfect start to the weekend. It contains 7.5 grams of dietary fiber, about a fourth of your daily requirement, and 6.6 grams of protein, besides a ton of other nutrients like potassium, vitamins, folate, magnesium, manganese, thiamin and zinc. Good stuff.

This recipe makes two Desi-sized servings because he likes his breakfast huge. But about a fourth is just right for me.

Desi’s Oatmeal

(Makes four servings)


1 cup rolled oats (I sometimes use steel-cut oats which are even healthier but they take much longer to cook, about 20 minutes)

1 banana, cut into rings or chopped

6 almonds, minced

6 walnut halves, minced

6 pecan halves, minced

1 brazil nut, minced

2 tbsp dried blueberries

2 dried apricots, minced

1 dried fig, minced

1 dried date, minced

2 prunes, minced

1 tbsp sunflower seeds

1 tbsp pumpkin seeds

2 tbsp maple syrup or agave nectar

1 cup vanilla or plain soymilk

Mix the oatmeal with 2 cups of water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer and cook about 5 minutes or until very creamy. When the oatmeal has thickened, add the soymilk, stir together and warm through, then turn off the heat.

Divide the oatmeal into two bowls and divide equal amounts of the remaining ingredients between the two bowls. Stir well and eat hot.

You can add or subtract all kinds of goodies from this, based on your taste. Desi also often sprinkles some flaxseed and wheat germ into his oatmeal, and when I have strawberries around I add those because strawberries and oatmeal go so happily together.

(Nutrition facts per serving: Calories 277; Total Fat 8.7 grams (Saturated Fat 1.2 grams, Polyunsaturated Fat 4.3 grams, Monounsaturated Fat 3.1 grams), Cholesterol 0 grams; Carbohydrates 59.9 grams; Dietary Fiber 7.5 grams; Protein 6.6 grams)

(C) All recipes and photographs copyright of Holy Cow! Vegan Recipes.

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  1. Sheela says

    Hey Vaishali,

    Yummy tummy:)
    Breakfast looks really delecious. I am an addict for healthy breakfast and anything quick is even better.
    Healthy breakfast to me is like training your mind not to indulge in unhealthy snacks during the day.
    It works most of the times but does fail every now and then 😉
    Will try your oats recipe and let you know….

  2. says

    Such a healthy choice! I love it.
    I try to stick to cereal but often slip to making ‘thalipeeth’ (incl. sabudana thalipeeth) and paratha.. oh dear! Oh dear!

  3. says

    Wow that looks scrumptious! I especially love dried fruits like figs in my breakfast (when I can afford them), and they are apparently very good for you too.

  4. Samarpita says

    Ok,weekend project for sure. Looks very tempting. And the photographs are straight out of a coffee table book. Love the sunshine in all the pics.

  5. says

    Divya, thanks!

    Sheela, Yummy tummy is right. :) And I absolutely agree with you that a healthy breakfast keeps you on track for healthy eating through the day.

    Manasi, ooh, thalipeeth. You are making my mouth water!

    Latha, thanks!

    T, Yes, figs are really great for you — delicious and loaded with potassium and fiber.

    Samarpita, thanks. The credit for the photos goes to Desi as always, and I’ll be sure to share your message with him. :)

  6. says

    We love our breakfast – but have never taken to cereal. Fibre is anyway out for me , so sometimes I have just cornflakes with bananas chopped and mixed with cold milk and sugar – a childhood memory which comforts me. Hubby has oatmeal porridge once a week but cannot stand muesli and the like….sigh

    Those are such nice combinations of fruit and dry fruit – who says cereal has to be boring!

  7. says

    I think this is one of my favourite posts in this blog. I read it, I drooled and am now fixated on cereal with cold soy milk and frozen blueberries for breakfast. Of course I would have expected nothing less from the inventor of the pre- breakfast. Thank you Desi and Vaishali. You brightened my day.

  8. says

    Vaishali, this is my hubby’s breakfast for all the weekdays except Sat & Sun. And now that I have made him hooked upon this healthy breakfast. Good for me and him too. I too add all the nuts, fruits and seeds in his oatmeal daily.
    Must show him this post to make him feel happy :)

  9. says

    AMA, yes, he’s quite the breakfast cook! :)

    Priya, Shantee, Thanks!

    Miri, Cornflakes are an old memory for me too– time was when that was the only cereal one could get in India :)

    Notyet100, Thanks!

    Tibik, thank you, and when I told Desi you remembered he coined pre-breakfast he was positively flabbergasted and flattered :)

    Sanjeeta, thanks. Great minds really do think alike! :)

  10. says

    Hi, great site, fabulous recipes. Aside from the seeds, this oatmeal is virtually identical to what we make — same fruits, most of the same nuts. (Of course, we couldn’t couldn’t come up with any of your dinner recipes in a million years.) One difference is we use fresh figs and dates rather than dried ones. But we live in Santa Monica; i realize it’s more difficult to get fresh figs and dates in other parts of the country. Thanks again for all your recipes. David

  11. says

    David, thank you. Fresh figs and dates would be wonderful, but as you guessed we don’t usually get those here and when we do they are often prohibitively expensive. Sounds delicious, though.

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