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.
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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!

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 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 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. 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.

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