This breakfast...oh man. I'm not kidding when I say I ate it almost every single day this week. Yes, it's that good. It was inspired by a dish I had a few weeks ago at Flower Child in Arizona.
I booked a trip down there all the way back in December. The purpose of the trip was to do some photography shoots out in the desert with my insanely talented badass lady friend, Regina. It was amazing, to say the least. I had a whirlwind week leading up to the trip (which included almost missing my flight) + I landed without any of the logistics planned. I didn't rent a car + the airport was nearly an hour + fifteen minutes from where I was staying...oops. As luck would have it though, my dear friend Erika, who lives in Scottsdale, offered to pick me up. She went out of her way to get me in her typical selfless, "say yes" fashion. We caught up over a beautiful drive, a lovely rustic dinner + some grapefruit elderflower cocktails (obviously).
The next day, I woke up slowly, not having to venture off to the desert until later in the day. As luck would have it, my quaint Airbnb basecamp was a mere two minute walk from this healthy food oasis. I loaded up on what they called a "Protein Scramble" + a fresh juice before setting off for a full afternoon-through-evening shoot with Regina. Then the fun began. We drove almost an hour away to this other-worldly desert playground. We hiked off the trails into the saguaros + snapped shot after shot of the vastest landscape I've seen in a while. It was like there was no end to the sky. We shared updates on our lives + talked as we always do: art, creativity, rest, love, sex, dating, home, business. We ate chocolate + laughed + squealed with happiness as the sun went down. To say it was breathtaking is a total understatement. I stood there staring at the horizon, totally mesmerized. I took it all in: the many types of cacti dotting the distance, the echoing howls of some nearby coyotes, the sounds of birds, the movement of the streaks of clouds, the freshness of the air, the feeling of the rocky dust beneath my feet, all the gradients of color in the sky, the soft scuffing of horse hooves at the ranch down the mountain. And laying underneath it all, the stillness. Even with all the beauty for the eyes to see + all the sounds of nature for the ears to hear, it was quiet somehow, still somehow.
That was my trip in a nutshell. I could go on + on + on about it + still not capture how magical it was. There's a part of me that is so magnetically drawn to something about that place, to the way I feel when I'm there. My breath is deep + full. My sleep is restful + restorative. My mind is present. My heart is full. That's not to say that I don't feel happy when I'm at home in San Francisco. Truth be told, my life in the past few months has been wonderful + filled with breakthroughs + blessings. But I do find myself craving the stillness. Not some quiet, boring, lazy kind of still. Not necessarily slowness. It's more about groundedness, about a pace + mode of living that's full + vibrant + yet has breathing room. I'm learning what it means to cultivate that for myself, in a way that works for my life + what I hope to build for my future. And on that note, I should casually drop a little news here: I won't be living in San Francisco for much longer. But more on that + more on this amazing trip (including some uh-mazing photos!) later!
- 1/3 to 1/2 a cup of sweet potato ribbons; use a potato peeler to peel the orange flesh of the potato into thin strips or ribbons
- 1/2 a cup of onion, chopped into thin slices (I used a mix of yellow + red onion)
- 1/2 a cup of chard leaves, torn (you can also substitute other greens like kale or spinach)
- 1 slice of smoked turkey breast
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup of quinoa; optional (you'll only use a bit to sprinkle in after you toast it/if you decide to use it)
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons of olive or coconut oil
- Shredded gouda cheese
Place oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add onions + let them cook for about two minutes. After two minutes, add the sweet potato ribbons + let the veggies cook for about five more minutes, stirring intermittently.
If you want to add the little touch of crispy quinoa, now would be a good time to prepare it. Add 1 cup of quinoa to 2 cups of water + bring it to a boil. Once it's reached a boil, turn the heat down to a simmer + let the quinoa cook for ten to fifteen minutes. You can stop there if you want, or you can toast the quinoa. To do so, add a spoonful of oil (about 1 tablespoon) to a large nonstick or cast iron pan over medium-high heat. When it's shimmering, add 1 cup of your cooked quinoa so that it evenly covers the bottom of the pan. Cook, stirring occasionally, until it's golden-brown + starting to feel crunchy (about ten minutes). Be careful not to burn it!
Turning back to the veggies, add in chard + stir the mixture with a spatula. Using your hands to tear it or a knife to cut it into small pieces, add a slice of smoked turkey + stir again.
Crack the eggs into a bowl + scramble them. Once scrambled, pour the eggs into the veggie-turkey mixture to cook. When they're just about finished, add as much gouda cheese as you like (1/4 of a cup will give you pretty nice cheesy eggs; I used just under that amount). When the cheese is melted + all the ingredients are nicely integrated + fully cooked, remove the eggs from the heat onto a serving plate.
Finally, as a finishing touch, get a separate bowl + mix equal parts dijon mustard + maple syrup. About 2 tablespoons of each should be just right, though you may or may not use all of it. You can also simply do this according to your personal taste depending on whether you like more of a tangy, savory note from the mustard or a sweet note from the the syrup. I found that equal parts gave the perfect sweet-savory balance to the eggs + veggies. Drizzle as much as you like over the eggs.
Enjoy with coffee + maybe some avocado toast too.