Other than Oatmeal for Breakfast: Mollie Katzen’s Sunlight Cafe #weekendcooking

Weekend Cooking buttonWeekend Cooking is a weekly feature hosted by Beth Fish Reads, linking up food-related posts. Click here for links to this week’s Weekend Cooking posts on Beth Fish Reads and other blogs.

cover image of cookbookOn weekdays, breakfast for me is usually dry cereal that’s easy to eat in the car (e.g. Quaker Oat Squares) and black coffee. Also, orange juice fortified with calcium and vitamin D, if I have time. I’ve had Mollie Katzen’s Sunlight Café for years, but the recipes usually seemed too time-consuming, even for weekend mornings. Especially when my husband could whip up a big breakfast of pancakes bacon, and home fries for the whole family without looking at a cookbook, in less time than it took me to decide which new pancake recipe to try!

I have found a few favorite recipes from this very appealing cookbook, though. Really, they ALL sound delicious, just time-consuming. Her Vanilla Ricotta Muffins are pretty much the best ever (although I suspect I might like this Cherry Vanilla variation even better) and the Egg “Muffins” – hand-held, eggy, muffin-shaped rounds that the author describes as “highly portable” (a big plus for someone who eats breakfast while driving to work) are also incredibly tasty. I’ve also used the Spring or Summer Frittata recipe (with scallions, roasted garlic, zucchini and crumbly cheese) quite a few times.

But it wasn’t until I overbought on gluten-free grains over the holidays (more than we could possibly use unless we hosted a couple of large dinner parties every day for a month) that I decided to experiment with more interesting breakfasts for myself, and tried out these oat-free breakfast recipes. The leftovers were great lunches to take to work, too.

photo of food in bowl
Masfouf (Couscous with pine nuts, pistachios, and dates)
photo of food in bowl
Orange-Pecan Skillet Millet — Mollie Katzen’s Sunlight Cafe
photo of food in bowl
Wild Rice with Cherries and Hazelnuts (I substituted dried cranberries and pine nuts) from Mollie Katzen’s Sunlight Cafe
photo of food in bowl
Inspired by the recipes in Mollie Katzen’s Sunlight Cafe –Buckwheat from Bob’s Red Mill with dates, walnuts, grated apple, and apple pie spice, and Demerara sugar.

Like all of her earlier cookbooks, Mollie Katzen’s Sunlight Café has no photos, but copious notes, asides, and readable mini-essays about taking pleasure in food and eating. If you’re looking for vegetarian breakfast or brunch ideas that use a huge variety of fresh ingredients, this is a must-have cookbook. There are a good number of gluten-free recipes in it, but it’s probably not great for people on gluten-free or low-carb diets.

Disclosure: I own my own copy of Mollie Katzen’s Sunlight Café.

Sunlight Café
Katzen, Mollie
Hyperion, 2002
304 pp.
$29.95 US/$44.95 CAN

17 thoughts on “Other than Oatmeal for Breakfast: Mollie Katzen’s Sunlight Cafe #weekendcooking”

  1. Oh I need this book! I love Molly Katzen and I love breakfast better than any meal! I just pinned the recipe for the vanilla cherry ricotta muffins too – can’t wait to try them! Thanks for bringing this to our attention!

  2. I like how you used all the different grains. I eat gluten-free too but am not as adventurous with the grains. I do like Quinoa and have had good luck with Bob’s Red Mill GF Steel Cut Oats.

    1. There are quite a few vegan recipes in addition to the grain combinations that I mention here (Bean Porridge, Flash-Cooked Vegetables, Scrambled Tofu, etc.) but a lot of the recipes also call for eggs and/or dairy. I think a vegan/vegetarian household would find a good number of recipes to use in this cookbook, though.

  3. I too love Mollie Katzen. I have this book tucked away somewhere … I’ll need to dig it out. I love these ideas … I’m getting a little tired of my alternating steel-cut oats and yogurt with fruit.

  4. I also love the idea of fancy breakfast feast, but I find it so time consuming that I never do it. I’m energetic in the morning and I want to use that time to get things done. I do love it when someone makes one for me though.

  5. If you find these comments annoying well you’re not alone. I felt the same way in the pass but then I realized what it was all about. They are called backlinks. You may not realize this this fact but comment and URL posted on your blog will jointly benefit our Search engine performance. I don’t delete them from my site anymore. Google’s algorithm places a heavy weighting on the number of websites that are linking back to your website. These are backlinks or inbound links. Google’s logic is pretty simple: if other sites are referencing your site, then it must be a relevant and trusted site with relevant content. Feel free to post your link on my site.

  6. Oo, interesting. And they don’t look particularly traditional in ingredients which is great (I find cereal can get boring sometimes). It’s easy to say you’ll have a ‘better’ breakfast on the weekend – actually getting round to it is something else!

Would love to have you comment!