Something Celebratory for Diwali

I wanted to cook something celebratory for Diwali, but I’m also trying to eat more oatmeal, so I ended up with delicious oatmeal experiments:

• savory coconut milk oatmeal with green-chili chicken
• sweet coconut milk oatmeal with tropical fruits and jam

The nice thing about this is that you make the same oatmeal for both — it just tilts more savory or more sweet depending on what you serve it with. I did:

1/2 c. steel-cut oats

1 c. coconut milk

1 c. water

generous pinch of salt

Bring to a boil, turn to a simmer, cook 25-30 minutes to desired texture.

While that’s going, you can cook the chicken — sauté a diced onion, some diced garlic, a few green chilies in oil with mustard seed, cumin seed, and salt. When onions are golden, add about a pound of chicken in bite-size pieces — brown on high, then turn down to medium and sauté, stirring, until chicken is cooked through.

Chicken should be done after 10-15 minutes of cooking, so it’ll finish up right around the same time as the oatmeal. And then you can have more coconut milk oatmeal with some chopped fruit and a spoonful of jam for dessert. 🙂

 

Savory Oatmeal with Shallot, Green Chili, Cheddar, and Egg

The flavors are pretty Sri Lankan — I was remembering eating cheese toast (maybe made with cream cheese instead of cheddar?) with onion and green chili on the beach with Yudhanjaya Wijeratne and Suchetha Wijenayake and Navin Weeraratne and Mandy Jayatissa, late at night while Kavi fell asleep with her head on the table. I miss Sri Lanka. Worrying about them.

*****

Start steel cut oats cooking in water. Slice shallot and green chili (in retrospect, I wish I’d done two chilies, but one is probably plenty for most folks), sauté in butter or ghee or oil, seasoning with salt and pepper. (I actually made a double batch of the oats and the shallot-chili mixture; I’m going to save it in the fridge and try the other half of it with different toppings tomorrow.)

Shred 1/4 c. of good cheddar cheese. When oatmeal is almost cooked, fry an egg sunny-side up (or over-easy, or poached, etc…) with salt and pepper.

Stir cheese into cooked oatmeal, top with egg, enjoy! I thought this was pretty good, though it may take a little while for me to get used to savory oatmeal.

*****

See us all on the beach back in 2018: https://www.facebook.com/mary.a.mohanraj/posts/10159024822294616

Oatmeal Failure

Well, recent oatmeal was sort of a failure, because I was distracted when I was making it (always a danger cooking before the ADHD meds have kicked in), and I put in rolled oats instead of steel-cut oats, but set the timer for 20 minutes, so the oatmeal ended up kind of glue-y, which is NOT my favorite texture; I could only make myself eat about half of it.

Which is a shame, because the *concept* was good — crystallized ginger cooked in with the oatmeal, making lovely little soft ‘pings’ of gingery goodness, topped with cashew butter and banana. I’ll likely try it again sometime. Link in comments to a big bag of chopped up crystallized ginger, making it easy to add in.

But today I’m not in the mood for sweet, so moving on to attempting savory oatmeal. Stay tuned.

Oatmeal Experiments Continue

This morning, I tried cooking in dried fruit (diced peaches, cranberries, apricots, pears, nectarines, and raisins) directly with the steel-cut oatmeal; that worked, with the fruit nice and soft by the time the oatmeal was cooked. (Link to mixed dried fruit in comments.)

Stirred in chia seeds and fresh blueberries at the end — the end result was plenty sweet for me without adding any brown sugar or honey, and the blueberries were a bit tangy, adding a nice fresh contrast.

I didn’t feel like nuts or nut butter or bananas this morning, and this oatmeal was fine, but did feel a little less substantial than my other oatmeal breakfasts. Maybe I’ll eat a banana later today. 🙂

A Lot of Chew

Today’s oatmeal: steel-cut oats, unsweetened cashew butter (which it turns out I like much better than peanut butter, link in comments), unsweetened cacao nibs (for that bit of chocolate), sprinkle of jaggery, banana. Very good!

Jed tried a bite of it, and for him, he’d like the oatmeal softer, but I like it right at 20 minutes simmering, with a lot of chew. 🙂

Steel-Cut Oatmeal

Today’s oatmeal, steel-cut (better texture for me, plus added fiber), with apples sautéed in butter, shredded cheddar, and chia seeds.

Not sure it counts as a lowering-cholesterol kind of meal, given the whole milk, butter, and cheese. 🙂 But tasty! And a nice balance of savory (salted oatmeal & cheese) and sweet (from the apples).

Very nice to have 20 minutes in the morning to cook this kind of breakfast. But I do want to try making steel-cut oats in the microwave; it’s supposed to only take 10 minutes. We’ll see…

A Successful Oatmeal Experiment

Well, today’s oatmeal experiment was less successful. You warned me, but now I have empirical evidence that I do not like making steel-cut oats in the microwave. I will not be trying that again. (I will probably try the overnight method at some point, but the problem is that I don’t necessarily know the night before whether I’ll want oatmeal in the morning.)

Even though I was just making 1/4 c. of oats and I put it in a large covered 4 c. glass measuring dish, that wasn’t large enough to keep it from foaming over anyway, which made an extra mess to clean up, bah.

AND, less of the liquid cooked off, so while the oats were cooked in 10 minutes, they were swimming in more liquid that I would want. Much prefer stovetop method, where the liquid simmers down and concentrates to more of a porridge-y thing.

On the other hand, I tried a different chocolate-nut butter, and I think it’s a better option for me (I’m pre-diabetic, and had gestational diabetes with Anand, so I try to watch my sugars).

Justin’s Chocolate & Almond Butter isn’t as sweet as Nutella, nor as silky, so if you’re going for that dessert-y feel, you may be disappointed. And it does have a little more fat & a fair bit more sodium than Nutella, so if you’re trying to limit those, you may not want to switch.

But Justin’s has half the sugar / carbohydrates of Nutella, which is better for me. I also appreciate that the first ingredients listed (the ingredients it has the most of) are hazelnuts and almonds, where Nutella’s first ingredients are sugar and palm oil.

Justin’s is quite nice swirled in with oatmeal, banana, and a sprinkle of chia seeds, and I like it straight off the spoon too — that bit of extra salt is a nice contrast with the nutty sweet.

Oatmeal Options

This morning’s oatmeal — my doc says I need to lower my cholesterol a tiny bit, so I’m experimenting with oatmeal options. I had a banana that was on its last day, so oatmeal + banana + a heaping teaspoon of Nutella. Yum.

It looks a little ooky when you mix it all together, but it tastes delicious. I offered Anand a spoon of it to try, and he tried to take my bowl away. I made him make his own. 🙂

I don’t really love sweet breakfasts, so savory oatmeal experiments may be coming soon.

Oatmeal and Knitting

Autumn mornings — oatmeal and knitting. 🙂 Between start of semester, ChiCon, eldercare, and catching a bad cold, I haven’t had time or energy for knitting in a while, especially something that takes as much concentration as this pattern. Nice to come back to it. Breathing in that crisp fall air…