Thursday, May 29, 2014

Peach Tea Oatmeal

I can't believe I have less than a month of school left! That means summer is right around the corner. I know it has already started for many of you, but here in grand ol' New York City, the school year stretches on and on and on until the end of June (madness!!).

This recipe oozes with summer vibes. It reminds me of sitting on some back porch, sipping iced tea. I've been wanting to make this for a while, and as soon as the peaches showed up at my produce market (far too early to truly be in season, but whatever), I hopped to it.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

White Chocolate Macadamia Baked Oatmeal

McDonald's was the first fast food restaurant I "quit." I haven't been to one since the summer of 2010. The other similar chains followed shortly after: BK, Taco Bell, Wendy's, KFC, etc. One that stuck around for a while was Subway. In fact, I still have Subway a couple times a year in times of desperation.

Subway and I have an interesting history. I loathed it for my entire childhood. It smells so dreadful! Whenever my family would choose to go there for dinner, I would rant and grumble for days. I would order Cheetos and ice cream and refuse to order a sandwich. I eventually overcame that fussiness and started ordering the sandwiches, first having simple turkey and cheese sandwiches, and eventually experimenting with the veggies. Now, of course, my sandwiches are ALL veggies. I am always amused by the worker's faces when I ask for a sandwich with neither meat NOR cheese. "NO cheese? JUST veggies?" Yes. That's what I said.

Anyway, when I think of Subway, I also think of their cookies. I can't remember when I first tried it, but I always loved their white chocolate macadamia cookies. That combination is a killer.

I didn't think there was any way a baked oatmeal recipe could rival that cookie, but IT DID. It tasted EXACTLY like it. I'm continuously amazed at how easily I can recreate cookie recipes using baked oatmeal.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Getting Fit #4 + my running playlist

This is the fourth segment of my Getting Fit series. This series features my friend Crystal, a rockstar figure skater and fellow oatmeal lover. You can her blog, Confessions of Crystal, and check out her Instagram,@crystalchilcott.

TOA: Hey Crystal! Congrats on finishing another year of college. I still have four weeks of teaching left (but I know they will fly by). I have good news and bad news. Which would you like first?

Crystal: Thank you! Good luck on your four weeks of teaching! Start with the bad news and then cheer me up with the good!

TOA: Okay, last week, I only did the routine once. Work has been consuming my life. I work from 6am-5pm, and then I go home or to a coffee shop and grade or plan until late. Ugh! The good news is that I got back on track this week. On Monday, I spent over an hour sulking on my couch, but I actually thought of YOU and this series, and I knew people were expecting me to follow through. I went outside, thinking I would just jog a mile or something (so I could SAY I did SOMETHING), but after a few blocks I felt great and completed a full 2 miles.

On Wednesday, I really didn't want to run again, but I knew it was the last chance I would have before the weekend, so I sucked it up. Again, I thought "I'll just do a quick mile and be done with it," but before I knew it, I had completed over 2 miles.

My body feels amazing. I feel like two different people when I run compared to when I don't run. The morning after a run, my digestive system just works so much better! If I didn't hate it so much, I'd probably do it every day. :)

Crystal: See, the hardest part is just getting started! Do the benefits of feeling better outweigh the hatred of exercise yet?

TOA: Well, it's easy to say "yes" right now because I'm not scheduled to run tonight. But....yes.

Crystal: Is there anything that makes the run more enjoyable? Music? Your new fitness clothes?

TOA: I love my new gear, ESPECIALLY my shoes. The music helps significantly, too. I think I would enjoy the run exponentially more if I had a great running path to use with a scenic view. The times I have run in Central Park or along the Hudson River have been so enjoyable, but it's terribly inconvenient. I'm stuck in the center of Brooklyn, and when I'm not in the mood to run, I'm DEFINITELY not in the mood to hop on a subway and ride for half an hour just to reach the STARTING point of my run, so it's easier to run in my neighborhood. The broken sidewalks and frequent stoplights on my run are not motivating at all.

Crystal: Central Park and the Hudson River sound like gorgeous places to run! Are there any parks near your neighborhood?

TOA: I think the closest is about two miles away, and that one is a giant thanks. haha!

Crystal: I guess you'll just have to pretend the broken sidewalk is a river bank and the stoplights are bridges! Will you be able to take more scenic runs in the summer? How have your strength exercises been going?

TOA: Definitely. I'm going to be in Minnesota for several weeks and will have great running space. When I come back, I'm going to be in a new apartment in (*fingers crossed*) Manhattan.

The strength exercises are going well. On Wednesday night, I actually did three sets of sit ups!

Crystal: I'm sure Minnesota has some gorgeous running trails! Great job on the sit ups! Are you noticing an increase in core strength? Do you think you could do an additional set of each exercise this week?

TOA: I've noticed that I can do more in succession without having to pause for a breather, like 1, 2, 3, 4........*break*.......5, 6, etc. I definitely think I can manage three sets!

Crystal: Great! We'll see how that goes this week. Soon, I'm going to urge you to run slightly more than two miles. You don't have to do that this week, but keep it in mind!

TOA: I'm working on it! Thanks again, Crystal.

Crystal: No problem! Good luck this week!


On Monday, I posted a photo on Instagram about how much I hate exercising, and I received tons of encouragement and tips for staying motivated. My cousin suggested music, which I absolutely agree with! One method I use to push through my runs is memorizing the lyrics to rap music. In general, rap is not one of my favorite genres, but when I find a song I like, I try to learn all the words. It's fun. :P I have found that listening to these songs over and over while I'm running is a great distraction because I'm trying to learn the memorize the lyrics. If you like rap and/or don't mind some (really) explicit language, here are my favorites: (Mom, don't listen to these. You've been warned.)
  • "Backseat Freestyle" - Kendrick Lamar 
  • "Empire State of Mind" - Jay-Z and Alicia Keys (this is especially satisfying because I'm running though the "concrete jungle" as I'm listening to it!)
  • "Clique" - Kanye West, Big Sean, Jay-Z
Do you have any songs that you like to listen to while exercising? I'm always looking to expand my playlist.

**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, May 22, 2014

Lemon Coconut Oatcakes for One

A common "insult" I have to endure from people outside my inner circle is, "You must get really tired of eating such bland food." The ignorance toward vegan food just breaks my heart. The food I ate prior to my veganism was not more flavorful. It was simply greasier and saltier. The food I eat now is by far more flavorful, satisfying, and exciting.

I mean...just look at it!

These Lemon Coconut Oatcakes are fruity, tropical, and filling. I topped my oatcakes with my lemon curd (with coconut stirred in). Also, despite being filling, they're a little lighter than...err...some of my other recipes. :)

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Blueberry Lime Basil Oatmeal

I was with a friend last weekend who asked me, "If they came up with a synthetic food--like a shake--that was proven to be safe and contained all the necessary nutrients for survival, would you eat it?"

Of course, I repeatedly argued that it couldn't possibly be better or even on par with REAL food, which we were designed to eat and gain our nutrients from. Still, he responded each time, "But what if it were proven? Just pretend. Would you eat it?"

Finally, I said, "I think it would be great for feeding populations who are malnourished or food insecure, but I am neither of those things. I enjoy the process of chopping vegetables and cooking recipes and creating nourishing meals on my own. I feel spiritually fulfilled by it."

That's how I feel when I make recipes like this one. Whenever I make oatmeal with herbs, I feel so gourmet and fancy. Each of the three main flavors in this recipe blend together so beautifully. Once combined, they each become subtle and complement each other with perfect harmony.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Blue Raspberry Overnight Oatmeal

Can I get a high five for two overnight recipes two Thursdays in a row?

I found while making this recipe that the color of raspberries is far more potent than the color of blueberries. On my first attempt, I was stunned to see the vibrant red color of my blueberry-raspberry mixture. However, after sitting in the fridge overnight, the oatmeal mellowed out into a calm blue (like in the pictures).

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Tropical Oatmeal

This recipe is so obvious that it's almost embarrassing that I haven't posted it yet. I have so many tropical-themed recipes, but why not combine them all into one fabulous breakfast?

Mango, pineapple, and coconut were obvious choices, but my decision to include banana was a last-minute addition. I don't know about you, but I always forget bananas are a tropical fruit.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Getting Fit #3, Plus 3 Recipes for Mother's Day!

This is the third segment of my Getting Fit series. This series features my friend Crystal, a rockstar figure skater and fellow oatmeal lover. You can her blog, Confessions of Crystal, and check out her Instagram,@crystalchilcott.

TOAHey Crystal! How was your week?

CrystalHi Lauren! It is the week before finals, so my week has been stressful! Luckily, exercising helps me relieve stress and I find cooking relaxing...except for when I melted a plastic spoon yesterday! How was your week?

TOAYikes! My week was pretty eventful. I only exercised twice...which is actually fantastic when you consider that I was out of commission for three days with a kidney stone!! Yes, you read that correctly. A kidney stone.

CrystalA kidney stone!? That sounds awful. Are you feeling better?

TOAYes. I passed it in record time and recovered pretty quickly. On Tuesday, I was finally able to enjoy a run. And when I say "enjoy," I mean I actually enjoyed it! I jogged two miles, and I felt so strong and invigorated the entire time, until the last tenth of a mile or so. The strength exercises afterwards went beautifully, too. However, the next day, I worked out again and it didn't go as well. I had a side ache immediately, and my strength exercises felt like torture. Why does this happen? How come some days I feel so much more energetic than others?

CrystalI'm glad you're feeling better! It's frustrating to follow a great day with one that feels like a struggle. Do you have different sleeping or eating habits on the days when you feel less energetic?

TOANot that I can think of. Is it not a great idea to do my routine two days in a row?

CrystalIt depends on your body and how fast you can recover, but it wouldn't be a bad idea to have a rest day between each run, especially as you adjust to your new routine. Would you like to try that this week and see how it goes?

TOAYes. Maybe this time the weather AND my kidneys will cooperate! How about the routine itself?

CrystalLet's keep it the same for one more week. If it goes well this week, we'll tweak it for the following one.

TOAGreat! I'm really going to shoot for three days this time. Talk to you next week!


Do you have your Mother's Day plans ready? @neverenoughcinnamon on Instagram requested some recipe ideas for Mother's Day, so here it goes! I wasn't really sure what qualifies as a "Mother's Day" recipe, so I just picked some fancier recipes that I would feel proud serving to my own mother.

I love you, mom!

This is a classic. Everyone loves blueberry muffins! (Well, everyone except
for my brother...)

I don't know about YOUR mom, but my mom loves lemon poppy seed
muffins. I think she'd appreciate this one, and I'm guessing she's not the
only mom out there that would like it!

Don't want to heat up your oven? Try this recipe instead. I think my mom would get a kick
out of this one and how fun it is. What mother wouldn't want a banana split for breakfast?!
**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, May 8, 2014

Banana Mango Overnight Oatmeal

Readers, this one is for you. (I mean, I suppose all my recipes are for you...but this one is really, really for you.)

You guys are always ragging on me to post more overnight recipes. To be honest, I make overnight oatmeal pretty frequently, but only when I'm too lazy on the weekend to prepare enough oatmeal ahead of time for the week. In other words, when I'm making overnight oatmeal, it's at 10 pm, and when I'm eating it, it's 5 am. If you think I'm going to take pictures during these hours, you're crazy. :)

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Oatmeal Enthusiasts: Meet Charlotte!

We're nearly a week into May, and I still haven't wrapped my head around it. Where has this year gone? For this month's Oatmeal Enthusiast, I am thrilled to finally introduce you to Charlotte. I've been enjoying her lovely photos on Instagram and was so excited to ask her to post as an Enthusiast.
Hello everyone!

Before I begin, I would like to take a moment to thank Lauren for everything she has done for me. Not only has she picked me to be The Oatmeal Enthusiast of May, but her blog has also been a big inspiration to me for the last few years.

I have struggled with an eating disorder for 8 long years, but it got very bad in 2011. My anorexia took over my life, and I was no longer able to enjoy food. I found Lauren’s blog in 2012, and even though I was still very much in denial and did not want to get better at all, there was something about those delicious looking oatmeal recipes that caught my attention! I suddenly had an interest in food again, which was both scary and exciting. I started experimenting with my breakfasts, and although I was too afraid to follow the actual recipes, it was still a step in the right direction.

I went inpatient for 4 months in the summer of 2012, and as I was getting better all I could think about was going home and finally be able to try all of the recipes on The Oatmeal Artist’s blog. Unfortunately I had a very bad relapse, but even through that relapse I continued to eat oatmeal almost every single morning, and that was without a doubt one of the reasons I made it through. Today I consider myself recovered, and Lauren’s blog has definitely helped me get to where I am now.

Now allow me to introduce myself! My name is Charlotte and I’m a vegan yogi, runner, and pole dancer.  I live in Denmark but I don’t see myself living here for the rest of my life. I am currently not studying or working; I’m simply taking some time off to figure out what I want to do with my life. Ever since I was a child I’ve dreamed about becoming an actress, but now that I’m older I have discovered a passion for helping and “fixing” people so I’m also considering becoming a doctor.

My passion for health and good food started about a year ago when I decided to start treating my body with kindness instead of abusing it. I was not exactly a super healthy child. I was a very picky eater and I would often refuse to even try things I thought I wouldn’t like. I was a meat and pasta (or fries) kind of gal, and I would sometimes skip breakfast and lunch and eat ice cream or cookies instead. I also hated any kind of exercise unless it was gymnastics or badminton and I would usually just sit on the couch all day long.

That has certainly changed now! I make it a priority to move my body, keep it hydrated and feed it well.
I became vegan in September last year and it’s probably the best decision I have ever made. I feel so much more connected with nature, and it has done amazing things for my body. I recently decided to try the 801010/rawtill4 lifestyle, and even though I feel incredible eating this way, I may have to give it up because of some stomach issues I have developed (caused by my eating disorder).

Now let’s talk oatmeal!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Pseudo Vegan Lemon Curd

I regret nothing about going vegan. The foods I once loved (steak, bacon, pulled pork) are just memories now, and despite being my favorites at one point in my life, I no longer crave them or feel like I'm missing out by not eating them.

The only thing that kind of bothers me from time to time is that there are foods out there that I never experienced. There are certain cuisines that I feel I'll never fully know, or cool desserts that I'll never be able to try. One particular food that has eluded me is lemon curd. The idea of a thicker, bright, citrusy spread is so enticing to me, and I first found out about it while I was just a vegetarian. However, I was slowly phasing out eggs at the time and didn't want to commit to a spread made from egg yolks. There are recipes for vegan lemon curd out there, but they looked so involved, and I did not want to use it in a recipe when I know most of my readers are looking for quick and easy breakfast solutions.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Getting Fit #2, Plus Crystal's Recommended Recipes

This is the second segment of my Getting Fit series. This series features my friend Crystal, a rockstar figure skater and fellow oatmeal lover. You can her blog, Confessions of Crystal, and check out her Instagram, @crystalchilcott.

TOA: Hey Crystal. How has skating been going for you this week?

Crystal: Hi Lauren! Skating is going well! I competed last weekend and was happy with my skate. How did your exercise go this week?

TOA: As well as it could, I suppose. I hated it immensely, but I felt great once I finished! Earlier this week, I ordered some new running shoes and running clothes. The shoes showed up today, and I was able to wear them for the first time today. More importantly, I ran two whole miles!

The first time I did the strength exercises, it was the worst and I hated you for making me do them. However, the second time (after my two-mile run) it was so much easier. I whipped through the sets, no problem.

Crystal: Congratulations on running the full two miles! New work out clothes and running shoes are always a good motivator! I'm happy you stuck with the exercises even if I did give you a good reason to hate me. You'll thank me later! Was there anything in particular that you struggled with?

Thursday, May 1, 2014

How to Make 4 Different Oatmeal Recipes with One Pot

Every weekend, I prepare several servings of oatmeal to heat up throughout the week for breakfast. This either requires me to make a big batch and eat the same oatmeal every day of the week, OR spend half an hour making multiple different recipes and cleaning an annoying amount of pans.

As it turns out, you can make FOUR kinds of oatmeal from one batch, and you'll only have ONE pan to clean afterwards! This is valuable if you prepare your oatmeal for the week like I do, or if you are preparing for a group of people who all want different kinds of oatmeal.

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