Tuesday, 5 May 2015
Among all the cereals, oatmeal is probably one of most revered for good reason. For one thing, it sustains the body for quite a long time, but also decreases high cholesterol levels. If these are not good enough reasons already, oatmeal also have the highest protein content among all the other common cereals.
Whipping up a hearty bowl of creamy sweet oats topped with berries, banana, nuts, maple syrup or any sweet thing you fancy, is probably the most typical way to go. But truly, you can get much more out of this neutral tasting wholesome grain. Spanning the flavour combination to the savoury side of the spectrum is a great way to enjoy this classic, and probably among the oldest of all, breakfast food. Having said that though, many times I have had savoury oats for lunch. Their meaty texture when paired with vegetables makes a stomach-satisfying delicious meal.
I've been making savoury oats for quite some time now and once you start making this savoury version, you might probably adopt it as a staple. And if you are among those who do not like oatmeal in the first place, then do try it with some seasonings and vegetables. You'd be surprised how tasty and different it can be. I like to throw in some beans for some added protein. I find that when I start the day with a good portion of protein, I tend to feel less hungry throughout the day and can go for lighter meals.
So, here is one of the ways I like to cook my savoury oats. One thing that does make a difference is roasting the oat flakes for a couple of minutes before adding in the water. This brings out much more flavour. I like to use old fashioned rolled oats for the texture and fluffiness; I find that they work well with the vegetables. But feel free to use quick oats if you prefer a creamier texture.
Ingredients (serves one hungry)
1/2 cup [45g] rolled oats
2 halves sundried tomato
1 medium [60g] carrot, diced
1 1/4 cup [300ml] water
1/2 teaspoon bouillon powder (or other seasoning of choice)
1/4 cup [40g] cooked black beans
1/4 cup [30g] mixed frozen sweet corn and peas
Few sprigs oregano (or other herbs of choice)
Salt to taste
Place the sundried tomatoes in a small bowl and cover with some hot water to rehydrate and soften them.
Meanwhile you can dice the carrot.
Heat a saucepan on medium-high. Add in the oats. Roast for 2 minutes while stirring often to avoid them from burning. Once they turn a light brown, add in the carrots.
Then add in the water and stir.
Add the bouillon powder seasoning.
Remove the soaked tomatoes from the water and dice them. Then add them to the pot and let everything cook while stirring occasionally for about 10 minutes.
Then add the black beans, sweet corn, peas and the herbs. Let cook for another 3 minutes (add a little water if required). Adjust salt to taste if required.
Most of the water would have been absorbed at this stage. You may adjust the consistency by adding a little more water and allowing the oats to soften further. Or you may take it off the heat and serve or pack it for later.