You’re probably wondering why it’s the end of June and I’m posting a recipe for savory oatmeal.
Sunny and warm mornings greet us as we wake, new flowers blossoming on the patio where I enjoy breakfast every chance I get. It seems like the perfect opportunity for fresh fruit atop yogurt and a glass of iced coffee, but I sit with a strong cup of joe and this steaming bowl of creamy oats, garlicky greens, sizzling bacon, and mushrooms.
For more reasons than one, it evokes emotion for me, clearly defining comfort food just as oatmeal should. After a year of health struggles, I’m getting back to my old self again. I’ll be completely honest in saying that it has been a bumpy and frustrating road.There were days of hopelessness and depression, feeling like I was never going to get better, that I must be doing something wrong.
But in the end it was a combination of things — finding the nutrition my body needed (not necessarily following a plan even though it might be scientifically proven), hitting the pause button on life to rest and re-evaluate, and antibiotics to help me fight the small intestinal bacterial overgrowth.
Over the last 5 weeks I’ve successfully reintroduced oats, rice, lentils, nuts and seeds, egg yolks, lactose-free dairy, and chocolate. Those wins have helped tremendously, and I’m relieved to be able to eat more of my favorite whole foods. It’s a work in progress as my body continues to heal, and I am overwhelming grateful to be being feeling better.
The idea of reinventing sweet standby’s like waffles, pancakes, and pies in savory fashion has always intrigued me. This recipe is my way of thinking beyond classic oatmeal and summer salads thanks to my partnership with Earthbound Farm.
There’s a lot to love about this morning bowl. It’s an example of just how beautiful and satisfying simple ingredients can be. Thick and hearty oats are slowly simmered while the bacon fries and then mushrooms are sautéed in the salty drippings.
The Kale Italia blend is peppery and bold, the perfect compliment to the naturally sweet and nutty oats. It’s a zesty mix of baby kale, tangy mizuna and the classic Italian greens: arugula and radicchio. Sautéed with lots of garlic and olive oil, they become silky and void of their raw bitterness. (And I’ve made the greens that way as a quick side dish several times now.)
With each bite, I’m enamored by the different flavors, textures, and comfort this savory oatmeal brings.
I’ve got some work to do, but I feel alive again, ready to enjoy slow mornings and embrace the life that sits in front of me.
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup milk (dairy or non-dairy of any variety will work)
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 1/4 cups organic rolled oats
- 6 slices of bacon
- 4 ounces mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 ounces baby kale or baby spinach
- Bring water, milk, and salt to a boil in a saucepan, then stir in oats. Reduce heat to a barely simmer and cook uncovered for 20 minutes, until desired consistency. Stir a few times during while they cook, but not too much or the oats will get gummy.
- Meanwhile heat cast iron skillet to medium high and cook the bacon in batches, flipping once and letting the pieces get crispy. Set on a towel to drain. Leave 2 tablespoons bacon grease in the pan and add mushrooms, stirring to coat. Return heat to medium and cook for 6-7 minutes, until mushrooms are softened and browned.
- Remove mushrooms from pan and set aside. Add the olive oil and bring to medium-high heat. Stir in garlic and let cook for 1 minute, until fragrant, then add greens and 1/4 teaspoons salt. Stir to coat, turn heat down to medium, and cook for 3 minutes, until greens are wilted.
- Assemble each bowl with greens, mushrooms and bacon. Drizzle with some of the leftover bacon fat if you desire.