I’m pretty sure I nearly gave myself diabetes last week. We were in Portland, where the folks are unabashedly friendly, drive sloooow, and know how to cook. Lex took the train down from Seattle and cozied up with me, Tom and Ryan in our Airbnb nest just off of Division Street.
For five solid days, we ate our way through the city: simple and deeply satisfying chicken and rice (with tiny packets of fried chicken skin on the side and extra dipping sauce) at Nong’s Khao Man Gai, an incredible dinner at Ava Gene’s heavily supplemented with pastas from the Flour + Water Pasta tome, a kimchee pork sandwich at Lardo, cinnamon-topped, jam filled, peanut butter dusted donuts at Blue Star, endless ice cream tasters at Salt and Straw, seemingly bottomless noodles of the glass and rice variety at Sen Yai, and the best, buttery paratha ever at Bollywood Theater. And that’s just the half of it.
Needless to say, I was in desperate need of a detox upon our return home. The weather kindly obliged and we arrived at SFO to a Saturday afternoon bathed in sunshine. We popped the pup in the way back of the car and headed to the beach. I think Joni said it best:
Oh, California! California, comin’ home. I’m gonna see the folks I dig. I’ll even kiss the sunset pink. California comin’ home.
Light and sustaining breakfasts are a must when trying to rid oneself of the after-shocks from a food-induced coma. I tend to gravitate towards simple, sunny-side up eggs, but opted to forge a different path this time and mixed up a batch of maple chia pudding. It takes all of maybe 30 seconds to shake together in a quart sized mason jar. Then, in order for the chia seeds to work their pudding powers, the mixture takes a long nap in the fridge. I make my pudding at night and eat it for breakfast the next day (and days after that) topped with fresh fruit and maybe a dash of cinnamon.
Morning Maple Chia Pudding
Makes 4 servings
2 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk
2 tablespoons real maple syrup
1/2 cup chia seeds (3 ounces)
pinch of sea salt
dash of vanilla extract or seeds from one vanilla bean (optional, omit if using vanilla almond milk)
In a one quart mason jar, combine the almond milk with the maple syrup. Close the jar and shake to combine. Add the chia seeds and salt to the jar, close again and shake well. Refrigerate until very thick and pudding-like, at least 4 hours or overnight, shaking or stirring occasionally.