Savor-ize your oatmeal

Savory oatmeal
When it comes to hot cereals, steel-cut oats are king. Instead of getting flattened and steam treated like rolled oats, they keep their original cylindrical shape, and more of their nutrients. Cooked up, they’re hearty and a little chewy.

The one problem is that they can get boring. The other day, I departed from my usual sweetened treatment and tried them savory, with rather tasty results.

It was pretty simple to do, and is a great way to use leftover steamed greens or stir-fried vegetables. Instead of thinking soupy and sweet, expect a densely creamy, risotto-like flavor and texture. (Recipe after the jump).

Here’s the basic recipe:

Savory Oatmeal

Makes about 4 cups, or 4-6 servings

1 c. steel-cut oats
2 c. water
3 Tbs. whey (optional)
½ tsp. salt
½-3/4 cup of your favorite cheese, shredded
½ cup kale or other greens, chopped and steamed, or other cooked vegetables
½ medium onion, chopped and sautéed
ground cayenne and more salt, to taste

The night before you want to cook this dish, combine the oats, water, and whey, if using (whey is supposed to help make grains more digestible).

The next day, pour the contents into a small or medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat and keep at a very slow, casual simmer for about 30 minutes, or until all the water is absorbed and the oats are soft. Add more water if necessary.

Add your prepared veggies and onions, as well as the shredded cheese, to the oats and stir. Continue to heat the oats if necessary to melt the cheese and heat the vegetables. Add cayenne and salt to taste and serve. This is good for breakfast, or as a side dish for lunch or dinner.

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