Saturday, August 31, 2013

Strawberry Kiwi Oatmeal

I don’t remember much from elementary school—especially anything of importance. However, I easily recall the Ocean Spray vending machine outside the cafeteria. At a certain point in the day (after afternoon recess, I think?), we were allowed to walk by ourselves to the vending machine and put in 50 cents to get a can of Ocean Spray juice.

There were the standard options, like orange, apple, and grape, but my favorite was strawberry kiwi. Now, I shudder at the thought of all this juice and its effect on my beautiful teeth, but I definitely enjoyed it back then.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Coconut, Honey, and Fig Oatmeal

Last Monday marked my first day of school at NYC. Thanks to my lovely 40-minute commute, this entails me waking up at 4:45 for the next ten months. Thankfully, I love my job. I feel like you have to love your job in order to drag yourself from underneath your electric blanket at 4:45 (yeah, I sleep with an electric blanket in August; don’t judge me!).

Luckily for me and my exhausted self, I’ve enjoyed some fantastic porridges every morning. Feeling particularly ambitious on Monday afternoon, I whipped up FOUR different oatmeal recipes. Yeah. Four. My roommates kept filtering in and out of the apartment, shooting me odd looks as I ran around the kitchen, pulling out seemingly unrelated ingredients and dirtying every bowl and spoon and fork in the cupboards.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Sweet Potato and Soyrizo Oatmeal

Let’s all take a moment to acknowledge just how fantastic soyrizo is.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with it, it’s the vegetarian version of chorizo, a Spanish sausage. My first experience with it happened at my favorite restaurant in Newark, Elbow Room. It’s a specialty mac and cheese joint, and it’s the cutest little thing. They have this ridiculous vegan queso mac, made with a housemade vegan cheese sauce (meant to replicate queso fondido), soyrizo, avocado, cilantro, and fried tortilla strips. I was allllllll about that place last year.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Peanut Butter Banana Steel-Cut Oatmeal

Earlier this week, I finally received a functional stove. The gas for our kitchen appliances had not been turned on before we moved in, so everyone in the entire building has been eating cold salads, wraps, and sandwiches...or just getting food delivered...for the past two weeks.

Luckily, I have a slow-cooker.

This recipe can be made on the stove or in a slow-cooker. In fact, any steel-cut oat recipe should, in theory, work fine in a slow-cooker. However, I must state my preferences: I despise oatmeal made in slow-cookers. I find the results to be unpleasantly chewy and contain an unwanted aftertaste. I much prefer to make it on the stove. Still, I included both options in the instructions because I know someone people enjoy that method.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Pineapple Jalapeno Oatmeal

I have discovered an imperfection in Trader Joe's. It has taken me a year, but I finally found it. Trader Joe's does not sell individual jalapeno peppers. If you wish to purchase one, you must buy a container of them that holds SEVEN PEPPERS.

Because who doesn't need seven jalapeno peppers at one time?!

Feeling clever, I purchased one of their "guacamole kits" instead. It contains ONE jalapeno, two avocados, some garlic, a lime, and two tomatoes. I can use the avocados without a sweat, and I can easily find an excuse to use a lime. The garlic will remain usable for weeks and will definitely serve its purpose eventually. The tomatoes, however, will be a struggle. I might try and make tomato sauce or something (I have garlic, after all!).

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Peach and Blueberry Overnight Oatmeal

First there was Peach & Blueberry Oatmeal. Then Peach & Blueberry Oatcakes. Now, I present Peach & Blueberry Overnight Oatmeal. Three cheers for the best fruit combo known to mankind! (Or can you nominate a better one?)

I made my version diced, but I bet it would be marvelous with pureed peaches (if you're okay with dirtying your blender).

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Fig and Banana Muesli

I know hundreds of people in my own neighborhood live without a roof over their head or food to eat. They can barely afford a loaf of bread, let alone figs. Still, I have to say that not having gas really sucks. Cold showers suck. Not having a functional stove sucks. Not having an oven that heats up sucks.

Luckily, I've had dozens of recipes from July to post, but those are running out. I'm eager to "stay ahead" of the posts. I don't like feeling pressure to slap a post together just for the sake of staying on schedule.  Moreover, I just have to admit that eating overnight oatmeal cold is just not my thing.

Oh yeah, did I mention I don't have a microwave either?!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Oatmeal Recipes for Coconut Lovers!

Most people associate coconut with summer. It's tropical, and many pina colada lovers celebrate the hot summer months. I have no shame in admitting that I devour coconut year-round. It's recently become one of my favorite ingredients to work with, no matter the month.

In honor of my semi-recent transformation (from coconut hater to lover), here is a round-up of my favorite coconut recipes!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Chocolate Zucchini Baked Oatmeal

It's been quite a long time since I've shared a recipe for baked oatmeal. I devoted most of July to stove-top recipes and had little ambition for heating up the oven.

I made an exception for this recipe. I came in possession of a zucchini from the farmers' market in my hometown before I left for New York, and I knew I had to attempt this recipe. I don't buy zucchinis often, so it was now or never.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Peach and Blueberry Oatcakes for One

What is it about oatmeal that makes my digestive system run so well? I understand the nutrition aspect and all (hurray soluble fiber!), but this marvelous ingredient still astounds me. Pancakes make me sick for the rest of the day. Cereal (even the "healthy" ones) makes me puffy and weird. Even whole wheat muffins or waffles or pancakes leave me ill.

But swap the flour with oats? Problem solved.

These oatcake recipes actually let me enjoy pancakes again. Plus, they're way more flavorful than anything Bisquick could make.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Savory Mexican Corn Oatmeal

Hi. I made oatmeal. :)

If my month off has done anything for me, it's provided me a chance to concentrate on this dear blog. I've adored having endless hours to invest in tweaking the layout, adjusting the recipe format, testing more unique and elaborate recipes, and above all, practicing my photography skillz.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Chocolate Hazelnut Oatmeal

When was the first time you experienced Nutella?

I had never even heard of it until my freshman year of college when I was taking French 101. A number of my classmates had birthdays within a week or two of each other, so one day, our professor walked into class carrying a stack of crepes and a jar of Nutella. Bon anniversaire, indeed!

Monday, August 5, 2013

Oatmeal Enthusiasts: Meet Sophie!

I'm pleased to introduce you to the feature of the second installment of Oatmeal Enthusiasts, Sophie. Her connection to oatmeal and the stories she has to tell about her food journey are extraordinarily similar to mine, and I have truly enjoyed following her on Instagram (@thehealthybunny) for those reasons. Here's her story!

Hey fellow oatmeal lovers!

I’m thrilled to be the second Oatmeal Enthusiast on here, and, in all honesty, honoured to write a guest post for The Oatmeal Artist blog. I’ve been following this blog religiously for over a year now, checking everyday or almost to see if there was a new recipe, talking to many friends about it and getting excited over so many recipes that I wanted – and still want – to try. I’ve set myself an oatmeal-related goal; try out every recipe on Lauren’s wonderful blog, but also try out to create more recipes on my own.

I’m Sophie, I’m 19 years old and I’m entering university in September in translation (French-English). It’s a scary transition, but I’m thrilled to see how university will be like! I live in Quebec in Canada, so my first language is French, but I’m wishing to really master English. I got in touch with Lauren on Instagram after I saw Brittany’s post on the blog and started to tag my pictures featuring her recipes with #oatmealartist. I was so excited to realise I could get in touch with the author behind the blog I loved so much, it was just silly haha! A few days after, she contacted me to ask me if I would be willing to write the second Oatmeal Enthusiast and that’s how I’m here now!

I basically developed my love for oatmeal when I decided I wanted to lose weight and watch my calorie intake more, and eat healthier. Probably like the majority of us here, I started with the sugar-loaded, rather unhealthy –yet low-calorie– cheap Quaker packets. The more oatmeal I ate, the more it grew on me, and the more I slowly started to experiment. At first, it was only fresh fruits added on top of my oatmeal, but as time went by, I started to try different things, such as mixing more spices with it, or topping it with a fried egg to keep me full longer. At that point, I was beginning to fall in love with cooking, which led me to wonder how to cook oatmeal on the stove with rolled oats, which, if I remember well, led me somehow to The Oatmeal Artist. I was thrilled to find such a huge variety of oatmeal, and there started the long journey on my way to try as much recipes as I could haha!

I’ve been a long way since the time I was eating oatmeal packets every morning, popping them in the microwave (and always making a mess somehow :P!). Even though it’s only been a year or so, it seems so far away! I am so hooked on oatmeal now I wake up an hour earlier on school days just to take my time to cook and enjoy it properly. I’ve pretty much had oatmeal every single morning since last November, except for a few mornings when I’ve run out of oatmeal or when I decide to do a fancy breakfast for my boyfriend (which very often includes oats anyway, but just not in a porridge form haha!). Oatmeal gets me up in the morning and I’m more than often really excited about it, planning it the night before and thinking of how tasty it will be :p! Cooking it on the stove has become something I do almost mindlessly in the morning now, half awake and starving. 

With my growing passion for cooking came a strong interest for health concerns and nutrition. I slowly made the transition to vegetarianism and I haven’t eaten meat in about 5 months now. At the moment, I consider myself to be “almost vegan” as 90% of my meals are vegan, except for the occasional Greek yogurt or cheese I have once in a while. I recently read The China Study by Dr T. Colin Campbell and that, on top of various documentaries I watched, made me certain that I did not want to go back to animal-based food. I know so much more about the food I eat and the nutrients I put inside me, and it has become such a big part of my life. Eating a plant-based diet makes me feel glowing inside, and so good about myself! To come back on the subject a bit more, I think I’ve crossed the point where I can say that oatmeal has become a part of my life and I’m determined to have it every morning as much as I can! It gives me so many health benefits, makes me feel full longer and offers me so much variety. It gives me an opportunity to eat more fruit as well!

Now, here’s my oatmeal for the week! I actually decided to document my breakfast Friday to Thursday as I always do the groceries on Thursday night, when the new sales for the week begin. I thought it would be a more accurate picture of my breakfasts as that was when I’d have the most fruit. I mostly use recipes from here, but I do sometimes come up with my own, and I especially did so during the week, so I wouldn’t feel too bad about only using Lauren’s recipes :P!

Friday: Cinnamon Apricot-Plum oatmeal topped with honey pan-fried apricot and plum. I used one apricot and one plum, one half of each inside the oatmeal, diced and warm and the other halves on top of the oatmeal, pan-fried and melty. Apricot ended up being quite bland when cooked in the oatmeal, but the flavour totally stood out pan-fried.

Saturday: Apple Pie Oatmeal. This is my favourite apple-oatmeal recipe for sure! It’s so simple, yet so good! This particular morning, I decided to grate part of my apple to add inside and as a topping. It was really nice that way!

Sunday: Strawberry & Cream Oatmeal. This one was deliciously creamy and tasty. I cooked 1/2 cup oats normally and added vanilla essence, one tablespoon organic cane sugar and ¼ cup Greek yogurt at the end of the cooking process!

Monday: Lemon Kiwi Oatmeal. It was my first time trying both lemon and kiwi in oatmeal, and I’m so glad I finally tried it out! Organic kiwis were in sale at my grocery store that week, so I was really excited to finally be able to try it. It was refreshing, a perfect summer recipe.

Tuesday: Blueberry Jam Oatmeal. I cooked my oatmeal in overnight-steeped Organic Blueberry Jam tea from my favourite tea shop, David’s tea. I folded in the blueberries at the end, but most importantly, I topped my oatmeal with a blueberry chia jam. It was yummy!

Wednesday: PB&J Baked Oatmeal. This is one heavenly, decadent, baked oatmeal recipe! I think it was the first time I ever allowed myself to have two tablespoons of peanut butter in one breakfast, but boy this was one nice treat!

Thursday: Kiwi Mint "Green Monster" oatmeal. This is one of my most complex creations. I was really excited about this one, and it turned out GREAT! Refreshing, but most importantly, packed with nutrients and pretty ♥ I love green food, it makes me feel better about myself for some reason hahaha! I blended one banana, one cup liquid (1/2 cup soy milk and 1/2 cup water), one sprig of mint, 2 tbsp lime juice and a huge handful of spinach together. I then poured the mixture into my sauce pan and added 1/2 cup oats. I suspect it might be because of the banana, but as I expected it started to gurgle right away..Next time I will try with only half a banana! I mixed one diced kiwi at the very end and topped it with another kiwi.

Whenever I claim my passionate love for oatmeal to my friends, I more than often receive frowns and comments about how bland and disgusting it is. I don’t understand why many people seem to have a bad opinion of such a wonderful breakfast! It offers SO much variety that can be adapted to your taste and what’s available in your kitchen. Even the poorest student can manage to make awesome, tasty and nutritious oatmeal! To be honest, as long as you have bananas and peanut butter, there are already so many possibilities! One day, I stayed over at a friend`s house, a non-oatmeal-believer, and I convinced him to try some of my oatmeal the next morning. I cooked him Apple Pie Oatmeal, and believe it or not, he now loves oatmeal! I think it’s only a matter of knowing there are not only the bland Quaker packets, but hundreds of possibilities if you are willing to spend 10 minutes over the stove. 

Lauren asked me to say what would be my favourite oatmeal recipe but honestly, this is one of the hardest questions someone’s asked me! In autumn, I’m pretty hooked on Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal..In summer, like right now, I love to take the opportunity to enjoy summer fruits and I love Nutty ‘Nana Berry Oatmeal!  
**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, August 3, 2013

Oatmeal Risotto [Guest Post]

If you remember from Thursday's post, Haley and I had a chance encounter a few weeks ago, and we wanted to swap blogs and share our stories. Read Haley's side of the story below, and make sure to visit her blog and become a fan on Facebook

Hi! I'm Haley (from Cheap RecipeBlog) and I want to tell you a funny story about how I "met" Lauren.

A few weeks ago, I was visiting my parents in southwest Minnesota. One day, I trekked over to Brookings, South Dakota, to meet an old college friend for coffee. We were meeting at Cottonwood Coffee on main street. Here's a timeline of events:

9:15 a.m.: Feeling hungry for breakfast, I ordered a bowl of baked oatmeal.
9:20 a.m.: Once I started eating, I realized that this was no ordinary baked oatmeal. It was deliciously warm, hearty, very slightly sweet — and topped with steamed milk. It was absolutely delicious. One of the best and most unique bowls of oatmeal I’d ever eaten.
1:25 p.m.: Once I got home, I immediately Googled "baked oatmeal with steamed milk" to see what I could find.
1:27 p.m.: I clicked on Google's second result, after noticing a recipe for “flooded oatmeal” on a cleverly-named website called "The Oatmeal Artist"
1:30 p.m.: Once I got to the page, I immediately recognized the bowl in the top photo. It was the same oatmeal I had eaten this morning! I left the following comment:

4:30 p.m.: I checked back on The Oatmeal Artist to see if she had responded. This is what I found:

She had been there! The Oatmeal Artist! And she had seen me eating oatmeal. After a bit of correspondence, I realized that I had seen her as well. She was the girl across the room wearing a fabulous turquoise dress.

If this chance encounter doesn't seem crazily weird to you, hear me out: I live in St. Paul, Minnesota. I never (ever) eat breakfast on a weekday morning in Brookings, South Dakota. Lauren lives in New York City. Sure, we both have roots in rural Minnesota/South Dakota, but it's still mighty weird that our paths would cross in such a way.

Naturally, we couldn't just let this story go untold. Which is why we're teaming up and swapping guest blog posts!

About the Recipe

Coming up with a new oatmeal recipe to feature on Lauren's blog was - well - not an easy task. I mean, what hasn't this girl already covered? This is the most comprehensive oatmeal recipe site I’ve ever seen.
So I've done what any self-respecting oatmeal-lover-but-not-The-Oatmeal-Artist would do: Post someone else's recipe!

I recently bought a fabulous new cookbook: Try This At Home by Richard Blais of Top Chef fame. This cookbook is chock-full of seriously creative recipes like Vidalia onion rings with beer mustard, Greek yogurt with tandoori honey and freeze-dried fruit, and the recipe that I’m featuring today: Oatmeal risotto.

This is a very creamy, banana-sweetened oatmeal recipe that combines interesting if unusual flavors. Personally, I think I’ll leave off the Parmesan cheese the next time I make it, but do give it a try if you’re looking for something out-of-the-box.

Oatmeal Risotto

by Haley Nelson, adapted from Richard Blais (Try This at Home)
Prep Time: Overnight (soaking)
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Ingredients (serves 4)
  • 1 cup steel-cut oats
  • 3 cups water
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 ripe banana, mashed
  • parmesan cheese shavings, as a topping
  1. Place oats and water in a medium bowl. Cover and allow to stand overnight at room temperature.
  2. While the oatmeal is cooking, place raisins and vinegar in a small bowl to soak.
  3. Pour oats and water into a large saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add brown sugar and salt. Mix well. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for approximately 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Add mashed banana and mix well. Cook for 2 minutes or so. Remove from heat.
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**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!

Friday, August 2, 2013

Peach Cherry Almond Oatmeal

Sometimes, I write these posts shortly after I've finished eating the oatmeal. Sometimes, I write it weeks after the last time I ate it. And sometimes, like right now, I write it while I'm eating it.

That's how you know it's good.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Applesauce Overnight Oatmeal

If you've tried (and enjoyed) my Applesauce Oatmeal, you will likely appreciate today's recipe. It's truly one of my easiest recipes in the history of EVER.

Also, it tastes wonderful. I kid you not, this oatmeal tastes like straight-up apple pie. It's one of the few recipes that I eat cold (I have a bias for hot porridge), but only because I am so desperate to shovel it in my mouth as fast as I can.

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