Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Pear Sauce Oatmeal

Yep, I gave pears another chance. For me, so much of the problem was the texture--so gritty and watery! I thought I would never make another oatmeal with them again, but when I thought of making a pear sauce, I knew I had to give it a shot.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Carrot Pineapple Oatmeal

In case you haven't noticed, I love using earthy ingredients like pumpkin, sweet potato, and carrots in porridge. These ingredients create such heartwarming bowls of oatmeal that it can make even the coldest of mornings tolerable.

The downfall of those veggies (although pumpkin is a fruit, apparently) is that they typically require an added sweetener. As you can tell from many of my recipes, I do not fear a small dose of maple syrup or honey. However, when I can sweeten something naturally, I much prefer that.

Enter: pineapple!

When I first saw this flavor combination, I was delighted. I've learned recently that pineapple pairs well with just about everything. I love pineapple on pizza, in salsa, and virtually every southwestern-type dish (I recently made a spicy quinoa casserole with corn, tomatoes, black beans, and...yep...pineapple!). There are few dishes I won't try with pineapple. :)

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Best of 2013

See also: Best of 2012

One more year has passed, which means my blog is just over a year and a half old now. Like I said a year ago, I can't believe I was able to stick with something for this long! Can you believe I've been pumping two to three original oatmeal recipes every week for a year and a half? How is that even possible? How is it possible that I still have ideas left?

Much to my great pleasure and gratitude, 2013 was a great year for me. I began my partnership with Country Choice Organic, started my Facebook fan page, introduced the Oatmeal Enthusiasts series, was featured on the Huffington Post and Buzzfeed, celebrated my first FoodGawker acceptance, and--last but not least--this happened.

With all of that peppered throughout my exhausting first and second school year in urban education, my life seems pretty satisfying right now. Being tired and stress most of the time, it's not until moments like this that I actually have time to reflect on how great my year has been--with many thanks to this site and all of you for supporting it!

Here are my most popular OR personal favorites from 2013. I had to change the categories a bit from last year (because "Best Stove-Top Oatmeal" is way too overwhelming of a competitive field!). I also added categories (because I'm the boss and I can do that). Feel free to comment with recipes you think are missing from the list. :) I love hearing your thoughts on this!

1. Fan Favorite Recipe
Brownie Batter Oatmeal: I love this oatmeal (although I tend to make the peanut butter version), and--by making it the most-viewed recipe posted in 2013--you all demonstrated that you share this love! Not only did it receive tons of views, but it also gathered double the amount of comments of my other popular recipes.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Crowd-Pleasing Recipes for a Holiday Breakfast

I originally planned on posting a new recipe this morning, but the pressure of posting something "holiday related" became too much. Instead, I realized some people may be hosting a Christmas breakfast tomorrow morning, and perhaps oatmeal will be involved.

(In my perfect world, oatmeal would be served at every morning gathering and everyone would love it as much as you and I do. Sigh.)

Here are seven oatmeal recipes that a) can feed a crowd, and b) are at least mildly holiday-themed.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Peanut Butter Blossom Baked Oatmeal

Once upon a time, I liked cookies. Doesn't every child? I loved my mother's chocolate chip cookies (why was the rest of the world incapable of making decent chocolate chip cookies??), the white chocolate chip macadamia cookies from Subway, big puffy snickerdoodles, fork-pressed peanut butter cookies, frosted sugar cookies, aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand the incredible peanut butter blossom.

Now, I must rant that I've never understood why people are so incessant about this being a "holiday cookie." What the heck does a peanut butter cookie with a chocolate Kiss have to do with the holidays? Nothing.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Pumpkin Chocolate Swirl Oatmeal

Although I've made several pumpkin recipes, they all carried a similar theme; in particular, they all included pumpkin pie spice.

This recipe let me depart from that category. I'm finally exploring all pumpkin possibilities, which I intend on doing more frequently going forward. Pumpkin Chocolate Chip was a success, so why not with cocoa powder?

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Cranberry Baked Oatmeal

A couple weeks ago, I introduced my Cranberry Brownie Baked Oatmeal. Of course, that was delicious (CHOCOLATE); however, this time I wanted to try something more wholesome, and something that would let the cranberries have their moment.

The recipe calls for a half cup of cranberries, but I used even more. I measured with my hands and added one large handful and another smaller handful. I wanted the cranberries to stuff every bite of this oatmeal!

P.S. YES, that's real snow! Several inches pummeled us over the weekend. This was the first few minutes of the snowfall, before it became downright miserable. Doesn't it make a lovely picture?

Cranberry Baked Oatmeal

by The Oatmeal Artist
Prep Time: 5 min
Cook Time: 25 min
Ingredients (serves 1)
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats (I use Country Choice Organic)
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch of allspice (optional, could replace with nutmeg)
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/3 cup milk of choice
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp maple syrup (I used only 1/2 a tsp)
  • 1/2 cup fresh cranberries (or more)
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F and spray a single-serving ramekin with non-stick spray.
  2. In a large bowl, add milk, vanilla extract, and maple syrup.
  3. In another bowl, combine dry ingredients: oats, cinnamon, baking powder, cinnamon, allspice, and salt. Once mixed, add to wet ingredients and stir until combined.
  4. Stir in fresh cranberries.
  5. Transfer to the ramekin and bake for 22-25 minutes.
Powered by Recipage

**You can also find hundreds of other oatmeal recipes (as well as tons of other meatless recipes) on my Pinterest account!  You can also like The Oatmeal Artist on Facebook. Thanks!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

PB and J Muesli

There is neither peanut butter nor jelly in this muesli (although I definitely contemplated both). Instead, it contains a delicious mix of fresh grapes, crushed peanuts, and (bonus!) sliced bananas, flax, and raisins. It's like PB&J, in a muesli-friendly form.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Maple Sweet Potato Oatmeal

I think I've overcome my dislike of maple syrup. I've recently realized that it was never maple syrup itself that I loathed, but instead the general experience of eating the classic American pancake breakfast (aka Bisquik). I hate the taste of premixed white flour pancakes, and combined with sweet syrup, I was destined for a post-breakfast bellyache. It's no wonder I associate pancakes and syrup with misery.

On the other hand, maple syrup and oatmeal has become one of my most beloved ways to start my mornings. Not only does it sweeten an earthy porridge, but it adds an unmatchable flavor that I've truly come to appreciate...maybe a little too much. :)

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Chocolate Pomegranate Oatmeal

I remember being underwhelmed the first time I tried pomegranate. I expected it to taste exotic and burst with flavorful juices, like a Fruit Gusher. I couldn't deny my disappointment the first time I bit into one and crunched into the inner seed.

As with coconut, cranberries, and kiwifruit, I eventually came around to love everything about pomegranates, including the qualities I originally loathed. I love that little crunch now. I love the subtle indescribable flavor. I love the feel of the misshapen little jewels on my tongue before they burst.

...and if I'm being honest, I still love the look of them more than anything else. I mean...look at them! They're beautiful!

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Cranberry Pear Oatmeal

For all the pear lovers out there, you'll appreciate this recipe. As you all know, pears are one of my least favorite fruits. Thanks to the cranberries, I was able to enjoy this oatmeal anyway. I noticed from Foodgawker that pears and cranberries are a common food combination, but I had never experienced it before, and I found the flavor duo to be quite unique and fun.

It's amazing how my opinion of cranberries has changed in the past month and a half. When I first bought the jar of cranberry sauce early in November to use as a topping for fall-themed recipes, I was pretty indifferent to it. It was significantly better than the cranberry sauce I've had in the past, but still nothing special.

Then I bought the fresh cranberries for a few recipe ideas that never actually ended up happening until this week, but I've been using them for other purposes (sauteed with brussels sprouts!), and I'm slowly falling in love.  

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Sweet Potato Gingerbread Oatmeal

Sweet potatoes are so dreamy. They can be silky and creamy, or fried and crunchy. They can be salty and packed with herbs, or sweet and packed with spices. I do love me some sweet potato oatmeal.

This recipe is quite different from my other gingerbread recipes, mostly because I allowed sweet potatoes to be the star. It seemed pointless to mask the sweet potato flavors completely since I already have gingerbread recipes, so I intentionally elected to make this more of a "gingerbread-spiced sweet potato" recipe (and I'm pleased with the results).

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Cranberry Brownie Baked Oatmeal

I need to go back to all my chocolate baked oatmeals and redo them. I need to fix them knowing what I know now. I must improve them...ASAP...because I now know the secret to a banana-less, applesauce-less baked oatmeal.

It's avocado. AVOCADO! Duh! Why didn't I think of that earlier? Avocado is used all the time as a replacement for butter and eggs in vegan baking. Ugh! I could have saved myself from so many unnecessary banana flavors.

This trick worked like a charm for this recipe. I was too lazy to drag out my food processor, so I just mashed the heck out of this avocado and mixed it by hand with the other ingredients. Before adding the oats and cranberries, I tasted the chocolate-avocado mixture...and it's like PUDDING. It reminded me of the dairy-free pudding I often make when I have avocado to use up...but without the banana!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Oatmeal Enthusiasis: Meet Mahrukh!

One aspect of my blog that brings me more joy than almost anything else is my international audience. How cool is it to appeal to such a variety of people with such different tastes! When I discovered Mahrukh through Facebook and Instagram, I never even realized she was from outside the United States. Interacting with readers like her has taught me that it doesn't matter where we're from and what our regional cuisine is; anyone can love porridge. And peanut butter. ;)

Greetings, Fellow Oatmeal Lovers! My name is Mahrukh and I am currently doing my M.B.A in Human Resource Management from NUST University, Pakistan. Yes, this might come as a shock to most of you. But I feel absolutely honored to have been contacted by the Oatmeal Artist to exhibit my love for oatmeal on her highly drool-worthy blog. Isn’t it simply wonderful how people living million miles away can connect on the basis of love? Thank you, Lauren, for providing me with the opportunity to bridge distances on a common ground. J

Oatmeal (or as many over at my side of the world like to call it, porridge) might be one of the simplest and minute things of life, but for me it means the whole world. I cannot imagine life without it. Over-exaggerating much? Heh. I mean it! It became part of my life 5 years back, and now I am totally hooked. Joining the gym and wanting to lead a healthier life is to be credited for this addiction. Initially, I was subjected to a lot of criticism from my family and friends as oatmeal in my country is normally a part of the older lot’s diet, but from simpler starts such as honey or banana, I have slowly mastered the art of dessert-like combinations and transformed the doubters into die-hard fans. And of course, until recently Lauren became one of my major inspiration.

I came across her blog a few months back and I am absolutely in awe with all the recipes. My only wish is to at least try making more than half of them, but I am time-constrained or I simply lack the essential ingredients required to make a delicious bowl of oatmeal. Can you imagine we don’t have blueberries, raspberries, cranberries or pumpkins over here? Sad, I know. Even then I try my best to come up with as many combinations while incorporating ideas from her blog as well.

Oatmeal is love. Literally. But my love for oats just does not stop there. I love using oats for making pancakes, as well as mug cakes. These two are also a huge part of my everyday routine and I absolutely love experimenting with different flavors and combinations. This love for oats has now developed as a healthy addiction and even if I have an exam one day (as I did the last week), I cannot fathom going a day without an absolutely gorgeous meal. Many of my friends call it an obsession, and I wouldn’t disagree. But then most of them also suggest that I should take this love to the next level and start my own small healthy food deli. Who knows? I just might!

Coming back to this post, I decided to stick with oatmeal for most of the days. In case you guys are curious about the other items, feel free to hop over to my Instragram for daily updates; my id is: mahrukh_23.

Monday: Popeye Pancake

I hadn’t yet received a confirmation e-mail from Lauren until now, so I had my Popeye Pancake. Why Popeye? The reason being simple, it is made out of his favorite thing in the whole wide world; spinach. I topped it off with peanut butter/banana sauce and crushed nuts (i.e. walnuts, pistachios, almonds and cashews).

This is one of my ‘favoritest’ combination! I absolutely love chocolate, banana and peanut butter and when these three mesh together? It is eternal bliss! Now as far as the presentation goes, I love turning oatmeal into parfaits. It simply adds a bit more drama to it.

Wednesday: PB&J Oatmeal

I have always been fascinated by this combination, but never actually took the risk of trying it. I know it’s quite popular in the US but at my side of the world, peanut butter itself is uncommon which makes PB&J a myth. Anyhoo, for the sake of this post I decided to finally take the plunge and I absolutely fell in love with this combination. I used Sugar-Free Kiwi Jam for this purpose and since I had recently bought Kiwi from the market, I decided to incorporate it as well. It was absolutely delicious! I cannot wait to try a PB&J toast someday. Though I have a feeling it might not triumph over this lovely oatmeal parfait.

Took inspiration from the Oatmeal Artist, but I added my Asian twist to it or as we like to call it, the desi touch. Fruit Chaat aka. Fruit Salad is highly common in my part of the world, especially during the month of Ramadan. Hence, for this oatmeal, I took as many fruits as I could get my hands on (i.e. apple, banana, pomegranate, red and green grapes) and added them to my oatmeal. Then I added the secret ingredient to it which is ½ tsp of Shaan’s Chaat Masala (i.e. Salad Spice). It simply adds so much zest to the oatmeal! Tried this for the first time and absolutely regret not doing it any sooner.

I recently bought baby food applesauce from the grocery store and bumped into this recipe on her blog and decided to give it a shot. I garnished it with pomegranate arils, diced apples, cinnamon and raisins. It was scrumptious and delicious!

Saturday: Mug cake with Choco-banana Sauce

This sauce, and in fact all her sauces, are to DIE for! I find myself using them quite frequently, be it as a topping on my pancake, mug cake or just drizzling it on top of my oatmeal.

In the end, I’d just like to conclude by thanking Lauren yet again for providing me with this lovely opportunity. It has been an incredible experience--one I am bound to cherish for years to come. It feels great to connect with people on the basis of similar interests and the love for food, good food, being the finest of them all. As they say, ‘people who love to eat are always the best people’. I’d like to add just an itsy bitsy to it; ‘people who love to eat good are always the best people’. Goodness being oats!

With love, from Pakistan!

[Editor's Note: If you're interested in becoming my next Oatmeal Enthusiast, be sure to show your enthusiasm by tagging your oatmeal pictures with #oatmealartist on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook! Thank you for all your love and support!]

**You can also find hundreds of other oatmeal recipes (as well as tons of other meatless recipes) on my Pinterest account!  You can also like The Oatmeal Artist on Facebook. Thanks!

Saturday, November 30, 2013

10 Oatmeal Recipes for Thanksgiving Leftovers

I know I haven't posted a new recipe since Tuesday, but I decided it was vital for me to spend this week relaxing and exploring the city with my sister, who is visiting from Minnesota. Instead of posting a new porridge today, I created a round-up of all the recipes you could make using some of your potential leftovers from Thanksgiving (which, by the way, is my FAVORITE holiday...even as a herbivore!).

I have so much to be thankful for...seemingly more so than previous years! I'm thankful to have "made it" in this city. I'm thankful to finally be a teacher. I'm thankful for plant-based options popping up more and more at restaurants around the city. I'm thankful for peanut butter on a genuine NY bagel. I'm thankful for this blog and the joy it brings me every week, as well as the love and support given to me by Country Choice Organic. I'm thankful for sauteed kale (because JEE-ZUSS it's so good). I'm thankful for warm fleece jackets, hot tea, electric blankets, and space heaters. I'm thankful for my family, friends, and everyone who reads my blog (YOU)!

Recipes for Thanksgiving Leftovers

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Thanksgiving PB and J Oatmeal (with Pecan Butter and Cranberry Sauce)

You may have thought that I had already used every possible PB&J combo. Well, you were wrong. I got fancy.

What is Thanksgiving PB&J? Thanksgiving PB&J uses pecan butter instead of peanut butter. Thanksgiving PB&J uses cranberry sauce instead of grape/strawberry jelly. Thanksgiving PB&J will blow yo' mindz.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Coconut Mocha Muesli

I've been wanting to make this for so long, but I was hesitant to give myself access to the chocolate-covered espresso beans. Self-control is not my strength. I have excellent self-control about items that I know I can't have (all mainstream junk food, i.e. Doritos) and non-herbie items (a buttery cinnamon roll), but when it comes to "okay" foods (peanut butter, dark chocolate), I have a hard time putting on the brakes!

Alas, I threw those espresso beans in my cart and prepared to make this muesli. I struggled to keep them around long enough and reserve them for this muesli! I think I gained ten pounds from the entire container.

This recipe can be made with three items: oats, espresso beans, and shredded coconut. However, feel free to add extra ingredients like sunflower seeds, walnuts, macadamia nuts, or whatever pleases you. I added walnuts.

Coconut Mocha Muesli

by The Oatmeal Artist
Prep Time: 2 min
Cook Time: 0 min
Keywords: muesli
Ingredients (serves 1)
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats (I use Country Choice Organic)
  • handful of dark chocolate-covered espresso beans
  • 1/8 cup shredded coconut
  1. Combine all ingredients.
  2. Serve with milk of choice or yogurt.
Powered by Recipage

**You can also find hundreds of other oatmeal recipes (as well as tons of other meatless recipes) on my Pinterest account!  You can also like The Oatmeal Artist on Facebook. Thanks!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Salted Chocolate Chestnut Oatmeal

As I was looking up ideas for recipes using chestnuts, I kept seeing recipe after recipe of chocolate chestnut cakes. In these cakes, the chestnuts are pureed and mixed into the cake batter, so I imagine they are virtually undetectable in the cake (unless you have a keen sense of taste). I thought this was lame at first, considering I like using recipes that highlight my ingredients, not hide them.

However, the more I work with chestnuts, the more I realize that I don't actually think they're that great. They're sadly lacking in flavor, and the flavor that they do have is slightly...unimpressive. Thus, to use up the last of my chestnuts, I decided to steal this idea.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Thanksgiving Stuffing Baked Oatmeal

You know I've never been much into holiday-themed recipes, but I've been alllllll about these Thanksgiving recipes lately: Pumpkin Pie, Apple & Chestnut, and all of those sweet potato recipes. I have more coming up next week, too! It's probably because Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. Food, food, food...but no commercialism!

This obsession has grown recently due to the fact that I won't be able to enjoy much Thanksgiving food this year. As a vegetarian, I could still enjoy all my favorites: corn, squash, potatoes, stuffing, pumpkin pie, etc. Now, however, I have to accept that fact that all of these items are generally loaded in butter. Le sigh. As a result, I've turned to oatmeal to satisfy any Thanksgiving cravings (although I may actually make some herbie-friendly Thanksgiving foods on my own).

Saturday, November 16, 2013

How to Make Creamier Oatmeal with Diced Fruit

If you've been following the blog from the beginning, you will have witnessed the progression of my apple recipes. If not, let me catch you up.

First, there was Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal--simple, easy, and reliable. The only problem? Look how separated it is. The rolled oats appear to segregate themselves from the apple chunks. The oats do not join together like pudding.

For comparison's sake, look at this Banana Bread Oatmeal picture--SO CREAMY!

And then there was Apple Pie Oatmeal. UGH! LOOK AT IT! How unappetizing.

I learned two lessons from the Apple Pie Oatmeal photos: 1) cut the apples into smaller pieces, and 2) douse the oatmeal in milk before photographing.

The result was a slew of milk-doused apple oatmeals.

Then, something wonderful happened: I met quick cook steel-cut oats. This drastically changed my porridges, and this is Secret #1.

1. Use quick cook steel-cut oats whenever you're working with diced fruit.

I could not believe this recipe when I made it. Look at how pudding-like it is! Instead of segregating into unhappy flakes, it creams together like custard...no banana necessary! I didn't even need to splash milk on afterwards. (Pictured above: Salted Maple, Apple, & Pecan Oatmeal)

Around the same time as this recipe, I also created Applesauce Oatmeal using homemade applesauce. This gave me another revelation.

2. When possible, precook apples before adding them to the oatmeal.

Despite the fact that I left my applesauce rather chunky, it stirred into this oatmeal seamlessly. Now I was really pleased with myself! However, I quickly discovered yet another way to achieve soft apples without having to make applesauce.

3. Use steel-cut oats to give the apples more time to cook.

The success of this method is demonstrated in my Apple Pie Steel-Cut Oatmeal. After all, if you add the apples right away, they cook with the oats for an entire twenty minutes! The results? Integrated, cohesive, happy creaminess (and soft apples!):

However, when making "regular," ready-in-five-minutes oatmeal, it's still possible to achieve soft apples and creamy porridge. My latest secret? A quick stewing.

4. For instant "softer" apples, stew the apples for a couple minutes before adding the oats.

You've seen the results of this method previously this week in my Apple & Veggie Sausage Oatmeal. Before I bring the milk/water to a boil, I dice the apple into a saucepan and add about 1/2 a cup of water. I bring it to a boil and let it "stew" for approximately two minutes. Then, I add a 1/2 cup of milk, return it to a boil, and add the oats. All of that gives the apples an extra 3-4 minutes in the simmering liquid, which takes away its crunch and lets it melt in your mouth.

The above tricks work with all stone fruits, berries, and anything that requires dicing. However, it's most relevant to apples since they are stubbornly firm.

Still, none of this success would have been possible without my quick-cook steel cut oats. If you haven't tried this variety yet, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?!
**You can also find hundreds of other oatmeal recipes (as well as tons of other meatless recipes) on my Pinterest account!  You can also like The Oatmeal Artist on Facebook. Thanks!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Apple and Chestnut Oatmeal

When I posted my Berry and Fig Oatmeal and asked readers what ingredient they'd like to see me experiment with, Irene (a frequent commentor) requested chestnuts. My initially reaction was "GTFO." My only experience (truly, the only one) with chestnuts was last Thanksgiving. I spent that holiday with Allison and her family, and together we prepared a phenomenal Chestnut, Leek, and Apple Stuffing.

Obviously, I loved this dish, but I still couldn't see myself using chestnuts in oatmeal. However, as I wear out all my pumpkin and sweet potato possibilities, I'm starting to open my mind to different ingredients. Cue the chestnuts.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Apple and Veggie Sausage Oatmeal

I definitely try to limit my exposure to fake meats, but it's always fun to experiment with them. My friends know that soyrizo is my absolute favorite, and good ol' tempeh is a close second. I tend to have those around in my kitchen pretty regularly.

However, occasionally I get super crazy and buy random items...like these sausage links.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Lemon Steel-Cut Oatmeal

Every time I think all my lemon ideas have dried up, another springs to my mind. As of this moment, I can't say I have any more lemon recipes to give you. However, I'm sure within a couple of months, I'll miraculously think of another. It's simply inevitable.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Oatmeal Recipes for Cranberry Lovers!

When I tried to think of an appropriate round-up for this month, I struggled. My mind is so autumn-themed that it's hard to think beyond that. Pumpkin? Overdone. Apple? Boring. That's when I thought of cranberries. Truthfully, I've only used dried cranberries, but I hope to change that soon. I'd like to experiment with fresh cranberries in my oats!

Until then, here are five oatmeal recipes that include dried cranberries.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Kiwi, Green Apple, and Pistachio Oatmeal

Last week, I talked about how crazy my life was as a teacher. I'm happy to announce that I'm slowly getting my "ish" together. I enjoyed a lovely 15 hours grading essays over the weekend (yippee), but besides that, I'm feeling things slowing down.

Anyway, this recipe features an odd assortment of ingredients. Essentially, I was inspired by green. I can't remember how this recipe started in my imagination, but I simply kept adding on to it with more green things. It continued to morph as it went through the process. Even when I first made it, I decided to add lemon extract at the last second. No regrets--the touch of citrus made these ingredients dance. Lime juice might be pleasant, too.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Oatmeal Enthusiast: Meet Stephanie!

Like many of my Enthusiasts, I discovered Stephanie on Instagram. Day after day after day, she posted and tagged oatmeal photos. I actually had to comment on four of her pictures over the course of several weeks before I finally got her attention! :) But alas, I finally snagged her and persuaded her to join the Enthusiasts club. Can I also acknowledge that she's the first Enthusiast to make multiple recipes a day?? Snaps for savory!

Hello, everyone!  My name is Stephanie or in the lovely world of Instagram oatmeal, mazzy1221. I have to admit I am super ecstatic about being selected as an oatmeal enthusiast for The Oatmeal Artist.  So much so, that I endeavored to exercise some bragging rights on my colleagues shortly after being contacted by Lauren.  Most attempts received an immediate quizzical look followed by “Huh?”  Then upon further explanation, “Who gets excited about oatmeal?”   

I do…  I do! ME!!  ... and it’s nice to find I’m not the only one.   

I will admit all food excites me.  I love to cook.  It gives the opportunity to experiment, to create.  Recipes can be seen as scientific formulas or ingredients as an artist’s pallet of never-ending color choices.  With the right combinations you may discover a cure for an unwanted belly ache or a much needed comfort food during a battle with a seasonal cold.   It may also become that awe-inspiring photographic masterpiece that visually stimulates one into a state of drool.  My favorite kind!   

The problem I stumble upon most in my cooking routine is that with so many possibilities there hardly is a dish found to repeat itself in my home.  There are so many recipes out there to overwhelm me that 3 meals, 7 days a week doesn’t allow for me to fit them all in.  If only I had more time…..          

On the flip side, meals bring people together, and in my home that is time to be treasured.  Whether it’s sitting down for an evening dinner or a Sunday morning breakfast, I cherish these moments with my family.  These meals aren’t made of just ingredients meant to hold it together and satisfy the taste buds alone.  I put love into this.  My heart goes into this and I see it as a gift or offering to the people I hold most dear, my husband and son. 

..so in my quest of never ending ideas, I happened upon The Oatmeal Artist. 

I love oatmeal.  Oatmeal and I, we go way back.  My grandmother would make oatmeal for me in the mornings before heading off to school.  This gives it that special place in my heart.  She always made it on the stove and her rule…. “DON’T STIR IT!”  She felt this would break the oats and make them mushy.  Although I don’t STIR my oats I must admit to giving them a quick swirl around the pot with a spoon, careful not to hurt them.  : )  Beyond the privilege of receiving a hot breakfast that most kids did not, the toppings never changed and I must confess are a bit boring.  Butter, milk, sugar.  For a child these are the best.  “More sugar, please!”  But as we age, so should our eating mature and evolve.  

…and here we are. 

I wish I could remember the exact combination of ingredients I had Googled that day, obviously one being oatmeal.  But it brought me here.  I was instantly taken in by the pictures for they are beautiful, as food goes.  Delectable.  I was instantly hooked.  As a creature of habit I was already eating my oats every morning, changing them slightly by adding some berries or drizzling some honey, but that day my world got bigger and my mornings more exciting.  Mind blown…   Now, every morning is a new adventure and my oatmeal escapades, even bleed over, into lunch and dinner at times.  Savory oats?  WHAT…?! 

..but enough about me.  Let’s get on with this week’s menu. 

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Strawberry Chocolate Chip Baked Oatmeal

Two baked recipes in one week!

This one is a little more decadent than Tuesday's Lemon Lover's recipe. As much as I love the occasional oatmeal with chocolate chips, I definitely have to be careful with how often I do it. I have quite a sensitive stomach, which is what led me to veganism in the first place, so eating chocolate chips in the morning can be a risk for me. Luckily, I had no issues, and even if I had, this oatmeal was so delicious that it wouldn't have mattered.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Berry Pistachio Oatmeal

A few weeks ago, I splurged on pistachios. It felt irresponsible at the time, but then I tasted one.

It's not like I had never had a pistachio before. However, I think I've only ever had it in mixes of nuts, and the individual varieties kind of lose their distinct flavors.

It's been difficult for me to save these pistachios for oatmeal only (I often crave just snacking on them), but this recipe received the prestigious honor.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Lemon Lover's Baked Oatmeal

As I type this, my eyelids are drooping. I don't often talk about my work life on here, but times like this make it difficult to contemplate anything else. I spent the weekend redecorating my classroom, and on Saturday I was at school from 10 AM to 10 PM. ON THE WEEKEND, you guys! Today, I worked a similar length, but at least I was able to spend a portion of those hours working in my favorite coffee shop.

When I made this oatmeal on Sunday morning, I struggled to stay motivated. After working 12 hours a day, 8 days in a row, baking an oatmeal seems incredibly undesirable. However, this is what I scheduled to prepare over the weekend, and I had all the ingredients to do so. I knew the results would be worth it.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Salted Chocolate Pear Oatmeal

I've learned the secret. If you ever make oatmeal that doesn't turn out as spectacular as you'd hoped, just add SALT. Salt that sucker! Mix in salt, and sprinkle some more on top!

Much to my grief last week, I discovered that chocolate and pear just wasn't doing anything for me. To be honest, I was just super annoyed at the pears. I'm so over pears! They are potentially my least favorite fruit. I'm done with them.

But then I salted it, and everything changed.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Grape Salad Overnight Oatmeal

I'm not positive about this one, but this is probably another crazy Midwestern thing. We just LOVE take fruit, stirring in cream cheese, and calling it a salad. Hey, at least this one doesn't have marshmallows!

Grape salad was first introduced to me by my godparents. They brought it to some celebration we were having at my house (perhaps my sister's confirmation or something??). Cripes, this stuff is good. It consists of red and green grapes coated in a mixture made of cream cheese, sour cream, and a little brown sugar. It sounds pretty terrible written out like that (especially to someone like me who hates sour cream), but it's truly divine.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Peanut Butter and Grape Baked Oatmeal

Yeah, I finally made another baked oatmeal recipe. What can I say? The stove has my heart!

However, grapes in oatmeal fascinate me, and I've also been interested in what happens to grapes when they're baked. If you couldn't guess, this oatmeal is inspired by PB&J; the grapes take the place of grape jelly. (I grew up eating grape jelly, and it wasn't until last year that I finally accepted strawberry as another option. Still, grape is the best.)

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Chai Stewed Apples Oatmeal

I've given up coffee. It was tough for me. Really tough. I've spent the last year sampling soy lattes at every coffee shop in New York City, but the past few months have been trying. Within hours of licking the last bits of froth off my mug, I would always find myself feeling woozy and having cold sweats. Every. Single. Time.

Instead, I've had to reinvest in my love for tea.

I really wish I could order chai more often at all my favorite coffee shops. Sadly, most places make theirs from a concentrate or powdered mix that already includes dairy. Bumsville.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Pomegranate Muesli

I am all about the muesli lately. It all happened when I discovered that pomegranate seeds make the best friggin' muesli ever. Why?! Because they can make the bulk of your muesli instead of nuts and dried fruit, which are wonderful and nutrient-dense, but they're also crazy filling and calorie-heavy. Of course I include them in my muesli, but it's not ideal to have an entire half cup of nuts and dried fruit in my morning cereal. That's a lot. I mean, one serving of nuts is only 1/4 cup, and 1/4 cup of dried fruit is a ton of sugar. So using pomegranates? Brilliant.

Pomegranates are crunchy like a nut or seed, but sweet like dried fruit. They have the added bonus of being absolutely beautiful to look at.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Apple Pie Steel-Cut Oatmeal

My grandma makes a killer apple pie. The apple filling reaches the perfect point between firm slices and mush. I don’t want to have to chew my apples when I’m eating pie, but I don’t want to slurp them like applesauce, either. She nails this balance every time.

The extra special twist is that her apples come from her backyard. An apple tree was planted in her yard each time a new grandkid was born. This means my brother, sister, cousins, and I each have our own apple tree. We take great pride in the apples that grow from them. Each time my grandma makes a pie, someone asks, “Whose apples are these?” There was a stretch of time when my tree was the champion, pumping out dozens of apples throughout the harvesting season. My apple tree is a boss.

I have a soft spot in my heart for apple pie. Well, to be honest, I just really love pie (pie > cake).

I feel like all my pie-themed recipes go through similar transformations where they emerge in every form, from stove-top, to baked, to overnight, to steel-cut. I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before you see Pumpkin Pie Oatcakes or Apple Pie Muesli (how would that even work?!).

Apple Pie Steel-Cut Oatmeal

by The Oatmeal Artist
Prep Time: 5 min
Cook Time: 25 min
Ingredients (serves 4)
  • 2 cups milk of choice
  • 2 cups water (or more milk)
  • 1 cup steel cut oats (I use Country Choice Organic)
  • 2 or 3 apples
  • 1 tbsp flax meal or seeds (optional)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp apple pie spice (or 2 tsp cinnamon with two pinches each of nutmeg, allspice, and ginger)
  • 1/2 tsp molasses (I use Blackstrap)
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  1. Add milk and water to a large pot over medium heat.
  2. While you wait, prepare your apples. Dice them into as small of pieces as possible (the smaller the chunks, the more evenly distributed the flavor will be!).
  3. Once the liquid comes to a boil, add oats, diced apple, and flax. Reduce heat to medium.
  4. Stir occasionally. After about ten or fifteen minutes, add vanilla extract, apple pie spice, molasses, and salt. Stir.
  5. When you're pleased with the consistency of the oatmeal, transfer to four or five serving bowls. Add a splash of your milk of choice and any other additional toppings (pecans and maple syrup are wonderful).
Powered by Recipage

**You can also find hundreds of other oatmeal recipes (as well as tons of other meatless recipes) on my Pinterest account!  You can also like The Oatmeal Artist on Facebook. Thanks!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...