Project Oatmeal

March 30, 2019
Project Oatmeal - Some of my favorite people love oatmeal. They're great people to know especially for warm, comforting, and infinitely adaptable breakfasts

And just like that, I became an everyday oatmeal eater

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Listen, I've always wanted to be more of an oatmeal eater

Some of my favorite people love oatmeal, are really, they're great people to know.  Especially if you like to eat breakfast, and particularly if you like to eat things that are warm, comforting, and infinitely adaptable

And yet, for the longest time, eggs lured me away.  I blame simple egg sandwiches, with a touch of Miracle Whip and ketchup for dipping.  But either way, here we are

My love of eggs has been an ongoing affair for nearly a decade

Around the time I turned forty, I learned a million things about myself, but one of the most important was the realization that my days were far more calm, peaceful and encouraging when I wasn't fueling my body with junk food.  I started making changes to my diet and incorporating easy and incorporating eggs seemed like the easiest place to start

But

Project Oatmeal - Some of my favorite people love oatmeal. They're great people to know especially for warm, comforting, and infinitely adaptable breakfasts

Strawberry Rhubarb Oatmeal

Last fall I moved to a new apartment.  With all of the related expenses and general life uncertainty, I found myself wanting to be really careful with my money.  Those eight-dollar martinis at the charming dive bar downtown and the fifteen-dollar salad at the trendy new cafe could really add up

It reminded me of other times in my life when I was keeping a closer eye on what I spent

Like the time I was traveling and missed my ride back to the hotel.  It was late, so I'd taken a taxi and pretty soon ten dollars just became twenty-five.  While it was a good decision, because safety is more important than money, I'd still found myself over-budget

Or the time I ordered the soup, while friends ordered prime rib and a bottle of wine.  Then came the moment when it was time for the check and I hated to make anything awkward, so I paid $30 toward the event.  In either case, I found myself thinking of ways to eat inexpensively for the rest of the week

Peanut butter and jelly can only get you so far

Project Oatmeal - Some of my favorite people love oatmeal. They're great people to know especially for warm, comforting, and infinitely adaptable breakfasts

In an effort to combat my introverted tendencies and discover some cool places in this new town I called home .. I started projects that didn't cost a lot of money.  They turned out to be some of the funnest things(!)

On the weekends, I challenged myself to find something I could do for $20 or less.  Was there a museum nearby that had a free day?  A $5 second-run movie theater?  Odd hole-in-the-wall bars and restaurants to try?  Used bookstores to browse for vintage cookbooks or board games?

All of which led me to listen to a Turkish storyteller at the library, cocktails in a jazz den and aimless bike rides just heading in a general direction.  During the warmer months, I took walks almost every evening.  Looking at the houses, gardens, and trees, and hoping I'd get to pet a pug

Of course, my project extended to the kitchen.  How could I get creative with inexpensive staples like lentils, rice, beans, a large bag of potatoes and ..

oatmeal

Photo Credit – Instagram – @gemmacorrell

Mostly, I grew to love oatmeal because it pushed all the buttons I like breakfast to push

It's quick, easy, cheap, nutritious, low-calorie, and a blank slate for any direction I wanted it to go.  It can be sweet, but not too sweet.  Filling but not too filling.  The kind of meal that makes me feel virtuous about eating maple syrup and butter.  At the same time, it can easily satisfy my taste for something savory.

Some of the favorite combinations I discovered during my project?  Those that make oatmeal live up to its fullest, most delicious potential?

( to be continued .. )

Big hugs to you and wishes for a happy weekend ahead

xoxo

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~ Adapted from Food Faith Fitness

Strawberry Rhubarb Oatmeal
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 4 cups
Ingredients
  • 2 cups milk (or unsweetened plant milk)
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup sliced fresh or frozen rhubarb (1/2 inch pieces)
  • ⅓ cup chopped pitted dates
  • sea salt, to taste
  • 1½ cups sliced fresh strawberries
Instructions
  1. In a saucepan over low to medium heat, bring the milk to a slow boil
  2. Stir in the dates, rhubarb, oats, and a small pinch of salt
  3. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for five minutes, stirring occasionally
  4. Remove from heat
  5. Cover and let stand a couple of minutes
  6. Top with strawberries and additional milk, depending on how loose you prefer your oatmeal
Nutrition Information
Serving size: ½ Total Recipe Calories: 360 Fat: 5.6 g Carbohydrates: 69.3 g Sugar: 34.7 g Fiber: 9.4 g Protein: 15.5 g
— — —

~ Adapted from Forks Over Knives

Southwestern Oatmeal
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 4 cups
Ingredients
  • 2 cups veggie broth (or chicken broth or water)
  • ½ tsp chili powder (ranging from mild to hot, depending on your heat tolerance)
  • ¼ tsp ground cumin
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup cooked and cubed sweet potato
  • ¾ cup black beans, rinsed and drained
  • sea salt, to taste

  • Garnish
  • ½ of an avocado, seeded, peeled, and sliced
  • ¼ cup fresh salsa
  • cilantro
  • lime wedges
  • jalapeno peppers, sliced
Instructions
  1. In a medium-sized saucepan, add the veggie broth, chili powder, cumin, and a pinch of salt before bringing to a slow boil
  2. Stir in the oats and reduce the heat to low
  3. Simmer, uncovered, 4 or 5 minutes, stirring occasionally
  4. Stir in the sweet potato and black beans before cooking another 1-2 minutes
  5. Spoon the oats into bowls and top with your preferred garnishes
Nutrition Information
Serving size: ½ Total Recipe Calories: 390 Fat: 8.75 Carbohydrates: 77.8 g Sugar: 11.5 g Fiber: 18 g Protein: 14.9 g
 

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