Saturday, February 09, 2008

If It's Good Enough for Google...

For six years, Chef Charlie Ayers served breakfast, lunch and dinner to the geniuses at Google's Mountain View, Calif., office. His goal: to keep the employees working and not give them any reason to leave the "campus." Ayers' menus offered tasty food that nourished bodies and brains. He left Google in 2005, and now he's written a cookbook, Food 2.0: Secrets From the Chef Who Fed Google.

So what do Googlers eat every day? It's not that groundbreaking, really: smoothies, granola, breakfast tacos, rice salads, vegetable soups and spicy chicken dishes. At a breakfast hosted by Ayers' publisher in December, the chef told me fried chicken was one of the most popular dishes at Google. That recipe didn't make it into the book--guess it's tough to make a case for fried chicken as "brain food."

What Ayers did include was an oatmeal concoction he calls Quick Apple-Oaty Thing. It's a souped-up oatmeal, wherein you cook the apples in the simmering oats, along with other goodies like dried fruit and toasted pumpkin seeds. At the end, you swirl in honey and thick yogurt. I made it for breakfast this morning and have to say I'm impressed. Sometimes small changes can make a big difference. Now I'm off to go crunch numbers or do something equally brainy.--S

Quick Apple-Oaty Thing

serves 1 [I think it's more like 2]

3/4 c rolled oats
1 1/2 c apple cider or water
1 small apple, cored & diced
2 T of your favorite dried fruits, chopped if necessary
1 T toasted pumpkin seeds
1 T flaxseed oil
Wild-blossom honey
Large spoonful of thick plain or vanilla yogurt

1. Combine the oats, apple cider or water, apple, dried fruits, and pumpkin seeds in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, stirring, until thick and the oats are cooked, about 5 min. The apple should still have some texture to it. Remove from the heat and let stand for 5 min.
2. Stir in the flax oil and sweeten to taste with honey. Spoon into a serving bowl and top with the yogurt. Drizzle a little more honey over the top if you want a sweeter finish.

Recipe courtesy of Food 2.0

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