Oatmeal Your Way

Inspired by the Polar Vortex, a recipe to warm your bones and your soul.

I call this recipe “Oatmeal Your Way” because it is very easy to customize to your liking.  Once you make oatmeal from scratch you will never want to open an instant oatmeal packet again.  This is the way my mom and Nani (my mom’s mom) made oatmeal.  It is as easy to make as it is nutritious and delicious.

I made it for my godchildren, Sachi and her sister, Michi when they were about 4 and 5 years old.  Sachi sent me the following letter asking me to make it again.

oatmealletter

It is a very popular dish with children.  It is also served to new mother’s and people who are ailing because it is nutritious and easy to digest.  Sachi came to visit me a few years ago with her daughter, Aleia and I made the oatmeal for the cute little one.  Here is a photo of Sachi, all grown up now, feeding oatmeal to her daughter, Aleia.  Made me feel warm all over to pass on my memory of my mom feeding me oatmeal when I was little.

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As I said, it is very popular with children.  I modified the recipe for Aleia because she cannot have lactose.  I used almond milk instead of regular milk.  I also ground the almonds in a spice grinder so that Aleia could easily eat the oatmeal.

INGREDIENTS:

oatmealingredients

  • 1 Tbsp. almond oil (customize by using butter or any flavor oil you like.  For example, if I am making pecan flavor I use pecan oil.  The options are endless–walnut oil, hazelnut oil, avocado oil, etc…)
  • 1 cup of organic old fashioned oats (organic oatmeal actually has more of a nutty flavor besides being better for you.  DO NOT USE INSTANT QUICK COOK OATS–they will turn out mushy.)
  • 1/2 cup raw slivered almonds (customize by using whatever nut you are in the mood for.)
  • 1/4 dried berries (here I used a combination of goji and cranberries.  When Aleia was visiting, I used dried blueberries because she loves blueberries.)
  • 1/4 tsp. of my Chai Masala (basically a combo of ground cardamom and fennel seeds)
  • 1/2 tsp. of cinnamon (customize by using your favorite spice.  Depending on the flavor you want to create, use pumpkin spice, apple pie spice mix, etc…)
  • 2 cups of milk (will make a porridge like consistency.  You can use more milk if you want to make it thinner.)  I used Fairlife Milk here.  It is lactose free and high in protein.  You can use any milk you like–almond milk, cashew milk, soy milk, etc…
  • 2 Tbsp. of Agave nectar (customize by using your favorite sweetener–maple syrup, honey, brown sugar, molasses, etc…)
  • 1 medium sized organic apple diced into large chunks.

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Again, you can customize the flavor by using your favorite fruit.  You can also leave out the fruit.  I use what seasonal fruit is available.

  • Freshly ground nutmeg as a garnish for those who want it.

NOTE:  by customizing and changing the ingredients, the flavor combinations are endless.  One Christmas morning, I made a giant potful of banana walnut oatmeal sweetened with maple syrup and spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg.  I used a whole can of oatmeal to make sure there was enough for everyone’s breakfast.  It disappeared in 10 minutes.  I had to make another batch!!!

COOK:

  • Coat a medium sized stainless steel saucepan with 2 Tbsp. of almond oil.

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  • Add 1 cup of oats and turn the flame to medium-low.  Toast the oats while stirring occasionally.  You will know the oats are done when you smell a nutty flavor and the oats turn slightly golden.
  • Add the 1/2 cup of slivered almonds and continue to toast till the nuts turn slightly brown.oatmealcook4
  • Add the 1/4 cup of dried berries along with the spices.  Stir and toast for another 30 seconds.  The toasting will bloom the spices and you will smell them.
  • Add the 2 cups of milk.  You will hear a sizzling sound when you add the milk.

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  • Stir in the milk.  Continue to cook, stirring occasionally until the milk starts to boil.  Small bubbles will appear.

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  • Turn off the heat.  Stir in the diced apples and place the lid.  Let sit for five minutes.  This is enough time to warm the apples while still leaving them crunchy.

 

Remove the lid and serve.

Oatmeal Feature

Garnish with a grind of fresh nutmeg if desired.  Enjoy as is, or with a cup of tea or coffee.  Makes a great breakfast, brunch dish or dessert.

Pesto Eggs “Benedict”

This recipe was inspired by my friend, Prashant.  He gave me this idea when I was visiting him at his home.  He introduced me to the easy egg poacher available at Walmart.  Makes a delicious, figure friendly breakfast or brunch.

Ingredients: Single Serving (double or triple as you need it)

Pesto Eggs Benedict Ingredients

  • 2 thick slices of tomato (these came from a neighboring farm)
  • 2 table spoons of the best olive oil you can get
  • 2 table spoons of pine nuts
  • 1 squeeze of lime (pesto usually does not have lime in it.  I used a squeeze of lime to add the tangy, citrus note of the Hollandaise that is served as part of a traditional eggs benedict.)
  • 2 eggs (these came from my chickens)
  • 1/4 clove of garlic (just a touch of raw garlic suffices.  Too much raw garlic will overpower the rest of the ingredients in the pesto)
  • 2 table spoons of grated parmesan (grate it yourself if possible)
  • 1 small bunch of the freshest basil leaves you can find (I grew these in my sunroom)
  • a pinch of coarse salt ( I used fleur de sel.  Kosher salt will also work.)
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste

Making the Pesto:  I prefer the texture of the pesto that results from using a traditional mortar and pestle.  You can use a small food processor if you like.

Pesto eggs Benedict Prep 1

  • Place the pinch of coarse salt in the pestle along with the 1/4 clove of garlic.
  • Crush the salt and garlic together to form a paste.
  • Add the pine nuts and continue to grind and form a paste.
  • Bit by bit tear in the basil leaves and continue to grind and incorporate into the paste.
  • Add the parmesan and continue to incorporate.
  • Slowly drizzle in the olive oil and continue grinding to form an emulsion.
  • Add a dash of freshly ground pepper and a squeeze of lime.

The pesto is now ready.

Assembling the dish:

Pesto Eggs benedict Prep 2

  • Using a serrated knife, cut 2 thick slices of tomato.
  • Place them on a plate and spread a thick layer of pesto on each slice.
  • Poach two eggs.
  • Place one poached egg on each slice of tomato.
  • Top the egg with a dollop of pesto.

These are the first tomatoes I received this season.  I thought this was a great way to use them.  Let me know if you like this idea.  Also if you have any suggestions or questions leave a comment below.  ENJOY:)

Kale Feta Egg Breakfast

My neighbor brought me some fresh kale and white onions from his garden.  His beautiful produce inspired me to make a breakfast skillet.

Ingredients:

KFE Ingredients

  • 1 large bunch of well-washed kale.  Pull the leaves off the stems.  Tear them into bite-sized pieces.  Don’t throw the stems away.  Finely chop them and use them like you would use chopped celery.
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 6 eggs.  These lovelies came from my chickens.
  • 1/2 teaspoon of red chili flakes.  Use more if you want to spice it up.
  • 1 fresh green chili, minced (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon of dried oregano.  Crush the oregano leaves with your hands just before using.  Crushing them allows the oils to be released.
  • 4 ounces of feta cheese.  Use the feta you like best.  I used French feta which is very creamy and made of sheep’s milk.
  • 1 tablespoon of tomato paste
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Cook:

Coat a large heavy duty stainless steel skillet with the olive oil.  Add the diced onion, diced kale stems, minced garlic, chili and oregano.

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Sauté over medium-low heat until light brown.  Add the tomato paste, blend it in with a wooden spoon and continue to sauté for another minute.

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Add the kale leaves.  Do not stir.  Cover with a lid and let steam for 5 minutes.  Remove the lid.  The kale leaves will have turned bright green.

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Stir the steamed kale leaves into the onion mixture that is sitting below.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Using your wooden spoon, make 6 spaces, 1 for each egg.  Break your 6 eggs open and place one in each space.  Sprinkle a little salt and pepper on each egg.  Cover with a lid and cook until the whites are set and the yolks are still runny.

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Crumble the feta cheese on top.  Cover with a lid and let the cheese get soft for 1 minute.

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This makes a great anytime meal.  My husband and I enjoyed it for our Sunday brunch.  Not only is this dish delicious, it is also gluten free and figure friendly.