savory oatmeal

Alone in the Kitchen

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Sometimes I joke about publishing a cookbook of foods I make and love but would never have the balls to serve up to another human without first letting them know what they were getting into. And obtaining said fellow human’s permission, of course. However, the market’s not exactly hurting for anecdotes on solo cooking and dining behavior. Alone in the Kitchen with an Eggplant covers that territory so well. If you haven’t read this book, I’d highly recommend checking it out. Reading it a few years ago was a nice revelation that I’m not the only mad scientist out there.

savory oatmeal with tahiniThat said, l fully support the notion that savory oatmeal should become a more mainstream thing. Yesterday I enjoyed a bowl of it topped with roasted veggies, caramelized onions, tahini, and goat cheese.

Don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it…Aside from being delicious (in my humble opinion), it’s a great way to get in some veggies first thing.

What’s the weirdest thing you eat but would be hesitant to serve to someone else? 

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First Thursday Things for 2014

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How was your first day of 2014? Today has been my day off after working yesterday, so I’ve been catching up on some of the little human things. There’s a big-ass snowstorm on its way, so it’s nice to have a day to do things like clean my closet and make soup. Because I have some red lentils, frozen spinach, and canned tomatoes handy, this recipe from Oh She Glows is sounding pretty good.

For me, a day off also means savory breakfast:
savory oats with brussels sprouts

This oatmeal had ground flax, grated zucchini, baby spinach, and an egg white cooked in, plus plenty of garlic, ginger, turmeric and red pepper flakes. I topped it with some leftover roasted brussels sprouts. Weird but delicious.

A few other things I’m enjoying today:

  • Food 52’s “New Year’s Resolutions Made Easy” —worth a look for the beautiful photos alone!
  • New York Magazine‘s restaurant critic Adam Platt introduces his top picks by sharing some thoughts on the myth of anonymity and the restaurant critic’s role in a  world where everyone is a critic.
  • This piece from Glamour‘s “Jake” columnist  in which Jake meets a woman who’s frozen her eggs. It offered a perspective I hadn’t really considered and made me feel less weird about wanting to put mine on ice. I don’t mean to imply that male validation is the important factor here, but knowing that there are men out there who will think positively of it instead of viewing me as selfish and/or desperate was encouraging. It’s only something I’ve been thinking about more recently, and it’s very expensive, but I’m a gal who likes options and is willing to work hard to make things possible.
  • Adopt-a-Pet. I’m starting to want a dog for real. I don’t know if this will be the year, but the wheels are turning. Anyone moving and need someone to give your goldendoodle a good home?

I also finally got snow boots, something I’ve not had since I lived in Boston. Sometimes it seems like I just got to New York, an anxious 22-year-old kid in need of a a change of scenery. Other times, I feel like I am both halves of an eccentric NYC couple who’s been living here for 30 years. We love reading the Times over coffee on a Sunday morning while listening to WNYC. Either way, I’m happy to be here.

Mostly, I’m just excited that now that the holidays are over, things can finally start moving again!

What are you most looking forward to this year? What do you eat for breakfast on a day off? 

Warming Savory Oatmeal

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I’ve noticed that when the temperatures drop, I start to wake up craving savory foods with a lot of spice to them—and vegetables. Since I believe that cravings can be our body’s way of telling us what it needs. It makes perfect sense to me that my tastes would change with the seasons. Warming spices like ginger and turmeric also start showing up a lot more.

savory oatmealI’ve certainly posted pictures of savory oatmeal before, but it’s about time I included a recipe! It’s not any different from how you’d prepare sweet oatmeal, really—just the spices and add-ins change a bit. Here’s a recent favorite, which uses grated zucchini and spinach to add a dose of green to your morning meal.

Ingredients:

  • ~1 cup water
  • 1/3 cup rolled oats
  • 1 tbsp ground flax
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1 4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 small zucchini, grated
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1/4 c liquid egg whites or 1 egg (optional)

Directions:

  1. Bring water to a boil. Stir in oats, flax, and spices. Lower heat.
  2. Add zucchini and spinach. Cook ~5 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.
  3. When water is almost all absorbed, add the egg whites and whisk 2-3 minutes.
  4. Cover pot with a lid for ~5 minutes.
  5. Enjoy hot.

You can eat this as is, but it’s also wonderful with a spoonful of tahini on top for added flavor and satiating fat. I haven’t tried making this ahead of time and reheating later, but that’s on the experiment list for this week!

Do you prefer savory or sweet breakfast? What breakfast are you loving lately? 

PS—You may have noticed I finally alphabetized my Recipes page to make it easier to find what you’re looking for. More exciting changes coming soon!