Savory Oatmeal

Don’t knock it until you try it! 🙂

When I was a kid, my dad started every day with a bowl of oatmeal sprinkled with a little brown sugar. Every day. Rain or shine. Winter or summer. Hot or cold. By the way, I absolutely hated washing that darn oatmeal pot (I was the official dishwasher….and mower of lawns….when I lived at home. Not much has changed.)

My whole attitude towards oatmeal was shaped by my dad. Oatmeal is made edible by using brown sugar and it is a breakfast food only.

But here’s the thing….it’s a grain. Like quinoa. Like barley. Like bulgur. Like rice.

Quinoa is eaten for lunch and supper everywhere. Bulgur and barley also. I don’t hesitate to whip up a salad with bulgur in it. Or throw barley in a stew for supper. But oatmeal? Never for anything but breakfast and only with brown sugar on it. Actually, I do also eat oatmeal with yogurt and cranberries, but that’s still a breakfast for me and it’s still sweet (depending on how you feel about cranberries).

I was looking around for breakfasts that are low(ish) calorie and not eggs and toast….as much as my dad would eat oatmeal every morning, I will eat eggs and toast every morning. I was thinking maybe I should shake things up a bit….or a lot, as the case may be.

I found a couple things, but this Greek inspired oatmeal spoke to me. Loudly.

Initially, my brain said “are you crazy?” “Oatmeal is a vehicle for brown sugar.” “Has your cheese slid off your cracker?” “Have you been home too long?” My brain is quite chatty when motivated.

I said to myself, though, “what have you got to lose?” It’s some ingredients and 10 minutes of your time. If you hate it, bin it. So I shut my brain up and tried it.

It’s a winner! Actually, after I had the first serving of it, I remember thinking to myself that if I lived alone, I would just eat this for every meal of the day.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups of water
  • 1-1/3 cups of instant oats (you can do this with whatever oats you have, just adjust water and oats ratio to whatever is appropriate)
  • 1 cup of chopped tomatoes
  • ½ cup of crumbled feta
  • 4 cups of spinach, sliced into manageable pieces – it will cook down, but I find that the spinach, even baby spinach, melds together if it isn’t cut and you end up with a mass of spinach and the rest of the ingredients are separate
  • pinch to 1 tsp of chili flakes (I used about a quarter teaspoon)

Note: I didn’t add any salt because of the feta

Heat up your water, add the oatmeal, tomatoes, spinach and chili flakes. Cook until your oatmeal is done, stirring pretty constantly (mine took about 5 minutes). Take off the heat and add the feta. Mix well but gently.

It’s pretty when it’s uncooked!

Split into four servings (about a cup each).

This does quite well in the fridge if you’re meal prepping. I’m on day 3 and there’s no difference in texture from day one to today.

I fry an egg and toss on the top,for some protein. The feta gives little bursts of salt here and there and the chili flakes give it the tiniest peppery bite.

It’s not very pretty cooked. Fortunately, it tastes really good.

This will fill you up for the morning – perhaps even longer.

I don’t think I would try this with a melty cheese – you could, but I wouldn’t. The melty cheese would incorporate too well and there would be no little pieces and that would make me sad.

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