Musings, Recipes

Savory Oatmeal

I grew up eating oatmeal. It was one of the default breakfasts in my house, as commonplace as cold cereal and milk or yogurt, especially in the winter. Even some weekend mornings, my dad would take the plain instant oatmeal and dress it up with cooked apples, honey, cinnamon, nuts, and other fresh and dried fruit. Oatmeal was always a breakfast food, and even more, it was always sweet.

However, a little while ago, I found a recipe online for savory oatmeal. Instead of mixing in fruit and honey, the recipe called for cheese, salt, and pepper to be mixed in and suggested topping the oatmeal with greens cooked in tomato sauce. I was intrigued. For months, I considered the idea but never had an opportunity to try it. Yet just the other day, my opportunity arose, and it was phenomenal. I had a dinner-worthy meal. My oatmeal was transformed from the typical but delicious breakfast food to a savory dinner dish. Adding cheese to the oatmeal made it unbelievably creamy, and topping it off with the greens in tomato sauce added a texture and flavor that complemented the smooth, creaminess of the oatmeal.

As wonderful as my typical breakfast oatmeal is, this added a whole new dimension to the grain, providing me with the means to eat oatmeal not just for breakfast but for dinner as well. I highly recommend you try it! Here’s how I made it:

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Ingredients
½-1 cup frozen greens (I used collard greens)
¼- ½ cup tomato sauce
~ ¼ cup of instant oats
~ ½ cup of water
1 slice mozzarella (another sort of cheese, such as Parmesan, would also be good)
salt, pepper, oregano, and basil to taste

Directions
Mix together frozen greens and tomato in a pot and place over medium heat.
Cover and let sit, stirring occasionally, until warm.
Meanwhile, prepare the oatmeal:
Place the oats in a microwaveable bowl
Heat up the water and stir into the instant oats
Place cheese on top
Cover and microwave on high for about 1 min
Remove from the microwave and add more water, if necessary, to reach the desired consistency
Stir in spices, about a pinch of each
Once the oatmeal is done, top it off with a generous scoop of the greens and tomato sauce mixture.

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And enjoy your life-changing oatmeal experience.

– Shira Hendler