When a person is used to doing things in a certain way, it can be exceedingly hard to look at them in a different light. It may not be due to stubbornness, but more due to being stuck in a routine, to being conditioned.
Growing up, my oats were always served sweet. Maple syrup, sugar, fruits, you name it. The closest it got to savory was adding in a small pat of salted butter to melt across the top. Oats are blank palate for flavors, but why do we always go the sweet route? Why not make them savory? It wasn’t until a few weeks ago when I made this earth-shattering realization! (I’d NEVER use hyperbole to prove a point.) Over the past few months, I’ve been experimenting with using quinoa in sweeter meals, such as toasting them and adding fruits to them, rather than drizzling them with olive oil and herbs. Then, one day, I thought, “Why don’t I cook my oats in chicken stock?”
Admittedly, after years of being conditioned to equate oatmeal with sweet, my first few bites of this recipe took me to an odd place, mentally. I was chewing oats, but tasting garlic and turmeric. I bit into a piece of sauteed spinach and thought, “This doesn’t taste like a blueberry.”
This is innovation at its lowest level, but, it’s something.
I’d like to think I’m on my way to being the next Marcus Samuelsson…
By the way, I also found out that some people abbreviate savory oats as “Svoats”.
Oh…shut up. Stop it. Just call them savory oats. Ha!
Savory Oatmeal with Spinach & Fried Garlic
– 2 cups old-fashioned oats
– 3/4 cup stock (vegetable or meat)
– 1/4 cup water
– 1 teaspoon garlic powder
– 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
– 1 tablespoon olive oil
– 3 cloves garlic, sliced
– 4 cups baby spinach, roughly chopped and divided into 3 cup and 1 cup portions
Before We Get Started…
– This dish makes a great base for some many things. Feel free to add extra vegetables, and a fried egg on top adds that essential extra protein.
1.) In a small frying pan, heat olive oil over medium-low heat. Add garlic, being sure to separate the slices so they cook without sticking to each other. Cook until a light golden color; remove from oil and drain on paper towel. Set aside.
2.) In large saucepan, combine stock and water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add oats, garlic powder, and turmeric. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 10 – 15 minutes, uncovered, or until liquid has almost completely absorbed. Add 3 cups of spinach and mix with oats until wilted. Stir in half of the fried garlic. Remove from heat.
3.) Ladle oats into bowls; in saucepan, add remaining spinach plus one tablespoon of water and cook over low heat until wilted. Top oats with extra wilted spinach and remaining fried garlic.