As a kid, I really only wanted cold cereal for the prize inside. I liked little presents. (I still do.) I’m less keen on mushy cornflakes and marshmallows floating in milk, or whatever it is they’re putting in cereal these days.
Before making a purchase, my mom would always ask, “Now do you want this for the cereal or for the prize inside?” She was totally on to me.
These days, there are a few cold cereals I will eat, but that usually only happens once or twice a year. Plus, they don’t put any surprises in cereal boxes for adults. What’s up with that? Would it kill them to throw in some cute stationery, tiny kitchen tools, or mini bottles of hot sauce? Now, that’s some cold cereal I would buy. 😉
The fact is I’m much more inclined to make a warm breakfast – something savory and filling.When many people think of hot breakfasts, their minds venture to oatmeal. But polenta is a terrific alternative. The polenta that I use is finely ground, which means it cooks very quickly. (I use a brand called de la Estancia. If you use a different brand, be sure to check the package. You may need to vary your liquid and/or cooking time.)
Oftentimes, I have creamy polenta on its own with a dab of vegan butter or Ethiopian seasoned oil. But if you really want to lean into those cozy feelings, you’ve got to go all in on the polenta breakfast platter.This polenta breakfast is topped with Brussels sprouts that have been thinly sliced and browned in a skillet, until they have that wonderful smoky edge that makes Brussels sprouts sing. (I often roast Brussels sprouts in the oven. However, when you thinly slice them, they cook up on the stove in almost no time at all. Got to love that in the morning.)
The polenta and sprouts are joined with vegan breakfast sausage links. For this recipe I’ve gone with Field Roast breakfast sausages, but any vegan breakfast sausage will do. You just want something with a chewy texture and bit of smokiness. (Having this for dinner instead? This meal would also be great with sliced and browned Field Roast apple sage sausages.)Finally, you know what all of these foods like? Maple syrup. A little drizzling over the sausages, Brussels sprouts, and creamy polenta brings it all together – one harmonious bite after another.
It may not be a decoder ring, mini magnifying glass, or temporary tattoo, but perhaps there’s a prize inside of this breakfast after all.
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