Friday, March 6, 2009

Oats for dinner

Who says oatmeal is just for breakfast ???

Sounds odd to some, but for a long time I have wondered why we consider oats to be something to eat only as a cereal or in bread. Why is it that they are no served like we do with rice or barley or pasta, as a side to a meat or bean type meal ? Just when did the food police come in and say "Oats, you will only be allowed to be used between the hours of _ and _ , or there will be stiff penalties." Why is wheat seemingly the only grain without time restrictions ? I think this kind of radical thinking was begun by my mother, who would often serve us rice with milk and butter and sugar for breakfast. She never made oatmeal, but rice was a pretty regular breakfast.

I am in a food rut, and if I have to place the same ole thing on the same ole plates in the same ole combination, I am going to lose it. This can be really hazardous to a diet, because at this point things like pizza and buckets of chicken start looking really, really good. I can do nothing about meal choices the next few days till we go grocery shopping, so make the best of what I have on hand and try to mix it up somewhat. What do I have ? lots of salad, brown rice, quinoa, barley , steel cut oats...

Hmm. Perhaps oats for dinner ? Why not ! Where is it written that this is a no no ? So I came up with the following, as inspired by something I read on a freezer cooking loop

Steel cut oat Pilaf- serves 3

1 cup steel cut oats
2 cups water
small bunch green onions, sliced
1 large zuchinni ,chopped
1 half red bell pepper, chopped
1 T olive oil
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp chicken soup base

In a pan , saute the onions, pepper and zuchini in olive oils till tender crisp. Transfer to a rice cooker and add water, oats and spices. Press lever and cook. If no rice cooker, place in a pan with a secure lid, bring to a boil , and reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes.

It was a huge hit ! The oats come out with a creamy sort of mouth feel, and it is somewhat reminiscent of a rice and gravy kind of dish. We will be definately having this again . And now off on a quest for side veggies beyond salad. Why is it that we Americans hare content having the same 11 varieties of frozen vegtables to choose from ? There simply has to be more to this life !


Skye's the Limit said...

Leave it up to you to find an interesting, healthy, fulfilling and enjoyable meal! :o)

Gosh, I really missed you! I look forward to catching up!

JC said...

I must try this dish. I love steel cut oats. Thanks.