Wednesday, March 23, 2011

this week in oats

Sunday night I felt dreaaaaaaaaadful. I felt totally overwhelmed about work and incapable of bringing any energy or kindness to it on Monday. I felt sleep deprived and achy. So I stayed up and stressed, then had horrible horrible dreams, then woke up to darkness and a thunderstorm and thought “F*** it, I’m staying home today.”

When I went down for brunch at noon, having blessedly finally gotten a good night’s sleep for the first time in a loooooooooong time, I wanted oats.

But not just any oats. Can we just stop for a moment and admire this picture? I am so pleased with this picture.


Savory oats!

We begin with a simple base of oats, water, and frozen spinach that I just let thaw in that pot.


For toppage, I fried up an egg. But not any egg. A delicious nutritious local fun-lovin farmer’s market egg. And a GREEN egg, no less! So cute.


The real kicker? Za’atar for seasoning! I can tell I am going to be putting a whole lotta za’atar in a whole lotta recipes. Be prepared!

Highly, highly nourishing.


Plus tea and…


… Tylenol and vitamin.


Broken yolk, of course.


Brunch concluded with homemade coffee yogurt (1/2 cup local, grass-fed-cow-produced, makes-me-happy plain nonfat yogurt mixed with 1/4 tsp. or so instant coffee and 3 drops liquid stevia) and strawbs.


I know I never post breakfast anymore because it’s just… always… oats. Nothing else makes me feel full and satisfied (TWSS?) like them.

Figgy oats (1/2 cup oats, 1/2 cup milk, 1/2 cup water, chopped dried figs, 1 tsp. flax, cinnamon) topped with yummy salty peanuts. Sweet and savory, how I love thee.


Springtimey weather means it’s

1. Beautiful and sunny in the evening, and slightly more atmospherically lit in the morning thus enabling me to take this rawther striking photograph



2. Warm enough for overnight oats!

Night before: 1/2 cup oats, 1/4 cup milk, 2 T plain yogurt, 2 T water 1/2 T chia seeds, 1/2 banana finely sliced

Next day: 2 T milk to reconstitute, walnuts sprinkled on top.

Hot tasty mess!


And finally, the be-all and end-all,

the thing that enables me to get up in the morning, typically unsatisfied with insufficient sleep and entirely unenthused at the prospect of work,

peanut butter-banana oats.


1 banana. 1/2 cup oats. 1/2 cup milk. 1/2 cup water. 1 tsp. flax. PB. Thank goodness for you!

Well okay if we want to get super specific…

Take a banana. A very small banana. If it’s too big, just use 2/3 to 3/4 of it. I have a banana size that just… feels right to me. I know it when I see it.

Cut it up. First cut it in half lengthwise. Then rotate it in half and do it in half lengthwise halfway through that. Like you’re cutting a cucumber into pickle spears. Then cut it into thin slices like so, so each thin slice is in four pieces.

Put it in a small pan on medium heat (on my stove, between 4 and 5). Let the banana get browned and bubbly and caramely. Then add your oats, milk, and water.

Those guys are going to cook and get all bubbly and nice. The oats are going to fatten up. You should stir them often. At a certain point, the oats will start sticking to the bottom. You may at this point use your spoon (I use a classic small wooden spoon for oat making) to scrape off the bottom, a satisfying task (unless you haven’t paid proper attention and it is too stuck, at which point you should pour in some boiling water. This happens to me and is fine because I always make tea with my morning oats and have boiling water on hand in my kettle). At any rate, the sticking-point is when you want to lower the heat to low, the temperature at which you should finish cooking the oats until they have reached your desired consistency.

Then add your flax. I add it last because heat is bad for ground flax. Is the oatmeal still hot? Duh. But at least I’m not boiling it for several minutes?

When removing the oats from the pan, I first prep my peanut butter spoon. It is pictured above. How much peanut butter is on it? You tell me. The right amount, that is how much. I put the peanut butter in the spoon, then take my spoon and put just enough hot oatmeal to fill half of my bowl. Then I IMMEDIATELY put my spoon atop the hot oats, so the peanut butter melts from the bottom up. Ohhh yes. The rest of the oats can then be added to your bowl at your leisure.

Does it have to be peanut butter? No. I’ve embarked on a love affair with sunflower seed butter this week. It’s grand.



J3nn (Jenn's Menu and Lifestyle Blog) said...

I'm on the fence with savory oats. The one time I tried it, I didn't like it, but maybe the combination was wrong (roasted peppers and Swiss cheese). I'll have to try with a runny egg yolk sometime.

lesley lifting life said...

It's been a long time since I'd had savory oats, but now I'm thinking I should change that. Your combo sounds delicious!

Rebecca said...

i'm pleased with the picture as well! hah

have a great day

MelindaRD said...

Very cool! I like the idea of savory oats. I like some other grains that are usually savory done in a sweet way too. I may have to try my own variation.

Jess said...

Love your "ode to oats!!"

Steven Alexander Heathcliff Basil Bert said...

The scrumptious breakfast with the Za'atar looked OATstanding! Also, thank you again for bringing me into the know for overnight oats awhile back, because I've had them for three consecutive days now.

Astra Libris said...

Your savory oats look AMAZING!!! I have a big beautiful batch of fresh spinach in the fridge - must try your savory oats tomorrow morning! :-)

Sunflower seed butter is the best!!! It totally rocks my world...

and homemade coffee yogurt is TOTALLY brilliant - thank you sooooo much for the idea! You are so creative and inspire me, as always!

Natalie said...

i loved this post about how you cook your oats!! weirdly enough, i cook my oats in a really similar way, though i like soaking them before hand (makes the cooking a lot shorter) and i add in the banana half way instead of at the beginning. but i also STIR like CRAZY and it is always a pain having to clean the pot afterwards because the oatmeal gets stuck to the bottom!! i like your melty-pb trick though! so clever!!

Elizabeth, blogging for SunButter said...

Lele (and Astra too),
YUM! 'Found your blog when you mentioned sunflower seed butter. I blog for the SunButter brand, so I appreciate new ideas, and your savory oats are a winner. Thanks for the inspiration. And enjoy your love affair w/ sunflower seed butter. 'Pretty sure the feeling is mutual (!).