So we are in our second week of school and it has shaken up our dinner routine. Some days I feel like I have more time to cook a fun dinner (only 1 boy underfoot, not 2) and other days our schedule (having gone from 0 to 60) brings us home at 6 pm, tired and lazy. My dinner expectations and aspirations are having to adjust to our new routine. Very simple dinners, pulled from the pantry, are happening now more than ever. Oatmeal is one of those pantry dinners. We usually top it with maple syrup, berries, and nuts but the other night I just wasn’t in the mood for a sweet meal. Then a light bulb went off – why not savory oatmeal? Oats are just a grain like rice and rice makes creamy risotto so…..Green Oatmeal was born. Yes, there were a few bowls of sweet oatmeal on the table but my savory heart is psyched on this new discovery.
The family member with the sweetest of sweet tooths (who clearly opted for the maple syrup topping) has been helping me test new fall recipes. It’s strange to cook fall food full of spice, cranberries, and root vegetables when the September sun is pounding 80-degrees into our kitchen window. But hey, a bubbling fall dessert, even eaten in just underpants, tastes pretty good anytime.
2 cups water
2 cups whole milk
1 cup steel cut oats
1/2 pound baby spinach (or any green you like)
1 tablespoon olive oil plus more for serving
Red pepper flakes
goat cheese, crumbled
1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted
1 lemon, sliced
First, get the steel cut oats cooking. Bring the water and milk to a boil. Slowly stir in the oats. After 5 minutes, reduce the heat and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
While the oats are cooking saute the spinach and olive oil over medium heat to just wilt the leaves. Sprinkle in some salt.
Serve creamy oats topped with crumbled goat cheese, toasted pine nuts, spinach, fresh lemon, a drizzle of olive oil, and a sprinkle of red pepper flakes.