In thinking about recipes I want to share, I often focus on creating new things. I’ll brainstorm a recipe I’ve never made but always wanted to try, or think of ways I can put a new and improved twist on something that’s tried and true. However, in doing this, it’s easy to bypass the meals that I consistently enjoy week after week. The ones that aren’t particularly fancy or new, but never get old. Because I’m consuming them regularly, I assume you are too, and that might be a mistake. Or maybe we’re enjoying the same things, but we’re combining the ingredients and flavors together a little differently.
Similar to avocado toast (wow, that post takes me back), savory oatmeal definitely falls into this category for me. They’re a “thing” in the vegan and healthy living blog world, and rightfully so. I actually put off trying them for a couple of years because the thought of taking oatmeal, which at the time I combined with peanut butter, banana, and probably Splenda (ugh), sounded kind of gross to me. I just could not wrap my head around how the texture could work for a savory application.
But I kept being bombarded with savory oats everywhere. So, like chocolate pudding made with avocados, I pushed my hesitations aside and finally gave them a try. And I’ve never looked back.
Savory oats are now my go-to lunch or dinner when I’m craving comfort food, feeling lazy, or really need to go grocery shopping because I have a mostly-empty bag of rolled oats, kale on its last leg, half of a starting-to-brown avocado, a few spoonfuls of salsa, and nutritional yeast (always nutritional yeast). Previously, I would have looked over the oats and made a very sad little salad with these ingredients, but these days, I know I can always turn them into a warming, filling, and delicious bowl of savory oats.
Another reason they’re a go-to meal for me: savory oats come together in about ten minutes and dirty just one pot. They’re a great vehicle for eating more greens – simply mix them right in during the last minute of cooking, or add them raw for a crunchy topping.
Speaking of toppings, I especially enjoy the variety of different tastes and textures when it comes to the toppings. It’s like when I get sorbet at the self-serve fro-yo places – if the topping is vegan and gluten-free, you can bet I’m adding it. I’ve listed my favorite savory oat toppings below, but the sky’s the limit here. Almost anything goes.
- ½ cup gluten-free, old-fashioned rolled oats
- ½ cup plain non-dairy milk (I prefer almond or cashew)
- ½ cup filtered water
- ½ teaspoon Better Than Bouillon Organic Vegetable Base (optional, can replace the ½ cup water with vegetable broth)
- 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric
- ¼ teaspoon chili powder
- ⅛ teaspoon garlic powder
- ⅛ teaspoon onion powder
- fine sea salt to taste
- very large handful of greens (I like kale or baby spinach)
- diced avocado
- sliced green onion
- crumbled veggie burger
- brown rice crackers
- lightly toasted seeds or nuts
- Combine all of the savory oats ingredients, except the handful of greens and salt, in a medium saucepan and bring them to a boil over medium-high heat.
- Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook the oats for 6-8 minutes, stirring frequently, until they have thickened.
- Add in your greens of choice and salt to taste and continue to stir for an additional minute or two, until the greens are slightly wilted.
- Transfer the oats to a bowl and add whatever toppings you like!
P.S. Thank you so much for your positive feedback on my last post, How I Left My 9-5. I’m always just a little nervous to share the really personal aspects of my life for fear of how they’ll be received, but every time I do, you remind me of why I blog. This year, I’d like to continue to be more personal to further grow and strengthen this amazing community we’ve created together.