The Unexpected, Therapist-Approved Cure For Quarantine Cooking Fatigue

Eliza Dumais
·5 min read

Assuming you were not born into card-carrying adulthood, you’re surely familiar with the term “Opposite Day.” Not so much a calendared holiday as a state of mind, it’s an inversion of your traditional daily framework: On Opposite Day, up means down, clothes are worn backwards, commonplace habits are called into question. And at this precise moment, while our weeks are often characterized by a marathon of dull, monotonous sameness, the very ethos of Opposite Day is more vital than ever. “Our brains thrive on novelty, we need change. You cannot grow in absolute stasis,” says certified family therapist Dr. Kathryn Smerling, Ph.D., LCSW. “So, whenever possible, take the opportunity to subvert your routines. Work at night, and take the morning off. Switch up your side of the bed. Have your pancakes for supper.”

Naturally, the constraints presented by little things like, say, daylight hours, prevent us from throwing out the framework of our days entirely. But Dr. Smerling’s thinking does provide a thoroughly tangible place to start: breakfast for dinner.

Whether you’ve spent the past 12 months emphatically tackling 11 different genres of boutique banana bread, or you’ve been subsisting on frozen taquitos, the creative pleasure of mealtime has likely begun to tarnish. So, rather than continuing to elevate your go-to dishes (add anchovies! Buy a sieve!), perhaps the secret to remedying your quarantine cooking fatigue lies merely with rewriting the recipe for mealtime at large: allowing for breakfast pasta or an evening B.E.C. You might be surprised how well a jammy red wine pairs with French toast.

That’s why we partnered with Got Milk? and chef Natasha Feldman of Nosh With Tosh to create some adult-friendly breakfast-for-dinner recipes. Nutritious and filling enough for suppertime, but with all the charming kitsch of morning food, these are the meals that’ll help you work some novelty into you day-to-day — without becoming nocturnal. Ahead, we give you Opposite Day cuisine, manifest:

Cereal Milk Pancakes with Maple Sausage Patties

Cereal Milk Pancakes:

2 cups whole milk
2 cup Cocoa Krispies
2 cups all purpose flour
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup full-fat ricotta
2 eggs
3 tbsp melted unsalted butter + extra for pan
1/4 cup canola oil + extra for pan
syrup (optional)

1. Make your cereal milk! Combine 2 cups of milk with 2 cups of cereal and let it sit for 10 minutes, then strain the milk into a liquid measuring cup and toss the cereal — or, preferably, eat it.
2. Whisk dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt) into a mixing bowl.
3. Whisk wet ingredients (cereal milk, ricotta, eggs, melted butter, canola oil) into another.
4. Pour wet into dry and fold together JUST until combined.
5. Let the batter sit for about 10 minutes.
6. Preheat pan over medium heat.
7. Add about a tbsp of canola oil and a tbsp of butter into the bottom of the pan.
8. Once the pan is nice and hot add in the pancakes — I like mine to each be about 1/2 a cup of batter.
9. Cook until small bubbles start to form around the edges and flip. They usually take around 6 minutes total.

Maple Sausage Patties:

1 pound ground pork
1 tsp fennel
1 tsp salt
1 tsp brown sugar
2 tsp maple syrup
½ tsp pepper
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp red pepper flakes

1. Combine all spices in a large mixing bowl.
2. Add meat to spice mixture and mix until spices are evenly dispersed.
3. Heat a large saute pan over high heat.
4. Portion meat into golf ball sized spheres and add to pan.
5. Cook on one side until crispy and flip, about 2 minutes.
6. Use a spatula to flatten the patty as much as possible.
7. Cook until the second side is crispy, about 3 minutes.

Cacio e Pepe Frittata

6 eggs
3 tbsp grated pecorino
1 tsp fresh cracked black pepper
¼ cup whole milk
¼ tsp salt
1 tbsp unsalted butter (for pan)

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
2. Whisk together all the ingredients well.
3. Heat an 8 inch non-stick pan over a medium heat and toss in the butter.
4. Add in the eggs and scramble in the pan for 2 minutes until they’re about ½ set.
5. Use a spatula to flatten out the top and place in the oven.
6. Cook until the eggs are set, about 5 minutes.
7. Finish with extra fresh cracked pepper (I like to go heavy on the pepper here) and lots of grated Pecorino (no such thing as too much Pecorino).

Gigantic Tropical Smoothie Bowl

1 cup whole milk
¼ cup unsweetened coconut flakes
1 tbsp vanilla protein powder
¾ cup frozen mango chunks
1 frozen banana
1 date, pitted
1 kiwi, skins removed and cut into half moons
3 tbsp granola
1 handful of almonds

1. Add milk, coconut flakes, protein powder, mango, banana and date into a blender and blend until smooth.
2. Pour smoothie into a bowl and top with kiwi, granola, a little extra coconut flakes and almonds.
3. Admire your creation.

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