I’ve fallen out of love with sweet breakfasts this Winter. Especially as the snow piles on. I’ve been alternating between egg and avocado bagels, lightly sweetened chia pudding and teff porridge in all of its glory. So last week, instead of going sweet with my teff porridge, I figured I’d try out a savory teff porridge. Teff makes a great polenta, if you don’t already know. And it’s traditionally eaten in Ethiopia as a savory sourdough pancake called injera. You would typically tear off a bit of the spongey pancake and scoop up stews and salads with it.
Teff is a staple food in Ethiopia, acting both as a common utensil and a nutrition powerhouse. It’s high in protein, calcium, iron and dietary fiber. It’s considered a cereal crop and often called a “grain” although it’s actually a seed like millet and quinoa. It’s an excellent addition to grain free and gluten free diets. It tastes mildly of wheat toast and soft cocoa. It cooks infinitely faster than other seed grains. And thanks to Bobs Red Mill you can get it now at most natural foods grocers like Whole Foods (also on Amazon). I think all of that adds up to qualifies it as pure magic.
Sweet vs. Savory
Sweet teff porridge, like the spiced chocolate teff mousse and chai teff porridge on the blog, is an Americanized use of the tiny teff seed. A clever use, if you ask me. It makes the powerful nutrition within teff more accessible and recognizable. My mother is the real genius behind teff porridge (you guys she’s literally a genius according to Mensa International). She’s always been my personal nutrition encyclopedia, personal chef and cooking teacher. And after she and my dad went gluten free (almost seven years ago! yowza!) she fell in love with ancient grains like teff.
She went through every failed and meh stage of teff porridge before settling on a version using the flour as opposed to the whole seed. The result is a creamy, smooth and satisfying breakfast cereal! It still blows my mind every time I make it at home.
Lately I’ve been making my teff porridge with a ton of dates, coconut cream and cinnamon. But, as we all know, I’m easily bored. So this iteration is made with miso and topped with tons of delicious pan fried vegetables! I’m a sucker for sautéed asparagus and crispy mushrooms, always. So that’s what I’ve featured in this savory teff porridge breakfast bowl. But! The possibilities are endless.
Here are some ideas for mixing it up! Savory Teff Porridge PLUS:
- Quick sautéed cherry tomatoes + poached egg + sauteed spinach
- Tamari-sautéed kale + turmeric tofu scramble
- Carrot ribbons + sunflower seeds + loads of parsley + lemon
- Pea shoots + chickpeas + smoked paprika
- Cooked blue lentils + sautéed cauliflower (if your not vegan, add 1/4 cup parmesan to the teff)
- Dry fried eggplant + red pepper + loads of basil
Try it out and let me know what you think in the comments! Hashtag your recipes #willfrolicforfood and tag me on instagram @frolicchocolate if you share your creations otherwise. I love seeing what you guys whip up!
xo — Renee
- 1 & ⅓ cup water
- ½ cup teff flour
- 1 tablespoon mellow white miso paste
- salt & pepper to taste
- 1 cup shiitake mushrooms, sliced thinly (discard the feet)
- 2 teaspoons olive oil, coconut oil or ghee
- 1 lb asparagus, ends removed
- ⅛ cup water
- ¼ teaspoon oregano
- ¼ teaspoon marjoram
- ¼ teaspoon thyme
- avocado, sliced
- more salt + black pepper, to taste
- optional: chili flakes
- Pour the water into a medium to small sauce pot and set over medium high heat. Bring to a simmer and then whisk in the teff flour a little bit at a time until smooth. If it looks lumpy keep whisking it until the lumps reduce. Add the miso, salt and pepper to taste. Remove from the heat and set aside.
- Set a skillet over high heat. Add the sliced mushrooms and dry-fry until most of the moisture in the mushrooms has released -- they'll start to brown. Add 1 teaspoon olive oil (or coconut oil / ghee) and fry further until crisping up, about 3-5 minutes. You'll want to flip and stir the mushrooms somewhat frequently. Once fried up, spoon the mushrooms out of the skillet into a bowl, cover and set aside.
- Place the skillet back on the stove over medium-high heat. Add the asparagus and add about ⅛ cup water. Cover to let the asparagus steam until the water evaporates and the asparagus is just beginning to get tender. Remove the cover and add the oregano, marjoram and thyme + 1 teaspoon olive oil, coconut oil or ghee. Fry, uncovered, for 5 minutes or so, stirring occasionally. Fry just until the asparagus begins to brown a bit and becomes fork tender. Turn off the heat.
- Fill your bowl with the savory teff porridge, topping it with mushrooms, asparagus and slices of avocado as you like. Top with more salt + pepper + chili flakes, to taste. Enjoy!