Thursday, April 17, 2014

Cinnamon Fig Steel-Cut Oatmeal

Do not fear cinnamon! I often add just enough in my recipes to give it a warm, cozy taste, but whenever I add more, I never regret it. For this particular recipe, I took a deep breath and added a full 1/2 teaspoon. It looked like too much for a moment: it even turned the oatmeal! However, after one bite, I knew I had made the correct choice.


I highly recommend going with the full 1/2 teaspoon. You'll never know unless you try. If you must, you could always start with a 1/4 teaspoon and slowly add more until you think you have enough...but that would make you a wimp. :)

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Black Forest Oatcakes...and my blog's 2nd birthday!

Two years. TWO YEARS! Considering I've been running this blog during the two most challenging years of my life (student teaching/senior year, my year of service in Newark, and my first year of teaching in NYC), it's a pretty big deal that I've managed to maintain this blog through it all. To celebrate, I made oatcakes:


But first, let me indulge in my nostalgia. Three fantastic things have happened since the Oatmeal Artist's first birthday.

  1. I began my partnership with Country Choice Organic, which has completely changed my life. 
  2. I began the Oatmeal Enthusiast series, which showed me that there are SO MANY PEOPLE that eat oatmeal every single morning, just like me.
  3. The #oatmealartist hashtag began on Instagram, which always gives me a nice ego boost whenever I'm feeling down. As of right now, there's over 2,000 pictures on Instagram with the #oatmealartist tag. So cool!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Oatmeal Recipes for Lemon Lovers

Whenever spring rolls around, my porridge palette changes. My craving for peanut butter-laden recipes dwindles slightly, and I suddenly desire bright and fresh flavors. Suddenly, the bottle of lemon extract becomes my favorite ingredient and gets moved to the front of the shelf. Does anyone else experience a similar phenomenon?

To celebrate these warmer days and sunnier afternoons, here are my five favorite lemon recipes on the blog. If you haven't done so yet, you should really invest in some lemon extract. I found mine at Whole Foods. :)

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Salted Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chip Baked Oatmeal

Is it breakfast, or dessert?


Either.

I actually had to go several weeks (if not months?) without buying chocolate chips because I eat them by the handful(s). Because of my IBS, this causes many problems, so I had to quit them.

Wanting to make this recipe (and a few others), I caved and brought them back into my life.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Apple Beet Oatmeal

One of my favorite parts of meeting new people is how they influence my food preferences. Before I met my former roommate Christin, I never sauteed my vegetables (I always steamed or roasted). Before my current roommate Chilee, I avoided mushrooms at all costs. And of course, there was my former boyfriend from my junior year of college, who inadvertently converted me to a vegetarian (and eventually fully herbie).

Then, there's Allison. She's taught me you can never use enough cinnamon. She showed me (before going vegan) that "runny eggs" are nothing to be feared. She introduced me to dozens of foods I had ever tried before, like goat cheese and Indian food and RAMEN (the real stuff). Last but not least, with months of effort, she trained me to appreciate her favorite vegetable: beets.


I tried them once. I tried them twice. I tried them several times. Each time, I found them tolerable at best, but why did they taste like dirt? Why were they always cold and gelatinous?

But then this recipe happened. I had thought of the concept ages ago, but making it would force me to confront my wariness of beets. I'm pleased to report that I'm so glad I finally did it!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Oatmeal Enthusiasts: Meet Lyndsey!

Happy April, everyone! It's my favorite month, and I've been enjoying having my window open and sunshine peeking through my curtains later into the evening. For this beautiful month's Oatmeal Enthusiast, I found Lyndsey on Instagram. She's been posting oatmeal pictures almost daily with the #oatmealartist hashtag for months! Like me, she also turned to oats to control a diet-related syndrome, and the habit stuck!

Hello, oatmeal lovers! When Lauren invited me to be her April Oatmeal Enthusiast, I was ecstatic. I have been following (AKA stalking) her blog ever since I found it on Pinterest last fall and I love the creativity of every recipe. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine I could write a post on her blog! This has been such fun and unique opportunity. I am also proud to be representing the younger generation of oatmeal fans.

Let me introduce myself. I'm Lyndsey, a fourteen year old singer, actress, student, clean eater, Disney-lover, big sister, Starbucks addict, Midwesterner, yogi, and, of course, oatmeal lover (hence my Instagram name, @oatmeallover14). I perform in professional musical theatre, and I work hard to balance a busy schedule while keeping up with schoolwork. One day I hope to move to NYC to perform on Broadway, but would also enjoy working in the medical field.

I have become interested in organic and clean eating in the past year or so, for health and environmental reasons. However, I believe in moderation, and I know that a treat from time to time won't kill me. But most of the time, I lead a clean lifestyle filled with fruits, veggies, and protein, and low in saturated fats, processed food/artificial dyes, and refined sugar. I don't eat a ton of gluten, but this is mainly because of food preferences, not diet choice.

Now let's talk oatmeal. I have always enjoyed a creamy bowl of oatmeal, but my passion for porridge really took off a couple of years ago, when I was diagnosed with Crohn's Disease. At one point before diagnosis, one of the only foods I could tolerate was oatmeal, and fortunately, I could load it with enough protein and calories to maintain a healthy weight. My Crohn's is now under control, but oatmeal has stuck with me through thick and thin, and has become my breakfast of choice every day. Sometimes I eat in twice a day... But you won't judge, right?

Here's what a typical week of oatmeal looks like for me!

Sunday: Banana Brûlée Oatmeal


This oatmeal was a delectable breakfast packed with nutrients that tasted like an indulgent dessert. The caramelized bananas were definitely the highlight of the dish, and I would recommend it to anyone that is a fan of bananas. And if you like this blog, you pretty much have to be a banana fan. :) [Editor's note: She's right!]

Monday: Clean Shamrock Shake Oatmeal


While the vast majority of Americans were slurping down's the McDonald's version filled with artificial dyes and a week's worth of sugar and fat, I enjoyed this clean version of a St. Patrick's Day treat. Free of artificial everything, and packed with a heaping of spinach to fuel you throughout the day. This is my kind of Shamrock Shake. PS. I posted my own recipe on my Instagram page a few days before her, but you can find The Oatmeal Artist's version here.


Tuesday: Snicker's Oatmeal


Some days I like to add spinach to my oatmeal, but other days I just like to splurge. And this recipe was definitely splurge-worthy. The best part was, it had no added sugar besides the drizzle of caramel sauce, and had a dollop of peanut butter for nutrition. Win-win. :)

Wednesday: Strawberry Cucumber Oatmeal


I have to admit, I was a little hesitant to try this recipe, since I have never seen anyone use cucumber in oatmeal before. But then I thought, if I have tried spinach, carrots, and zucchini in oatmeal, how bad could cucumber be? In the first bite, I regretted not trying this recipe earlier, because it was delicious. Cool from the cucumber and naturally sweet from the strawberries. This recipe would be perfect for a warm summer morning.

Thursday: Caramel Frappuccino Oatmeal


This was another recipe that tastes and looks indulgent, but is secretly pretty healthy. Again, the only added sugar comes from the caramel sauce, and the 'ice cream' on top is really just frozen milk. This is a great recipe to satisfy a craving of a high sugar Starbucks drink. Although, I do love Starbucks… :)

Friday: Blueberry Muffin in a Bowl


This is all-time favorite oatmeal recipe. Partly, because I have an obsession with blueberries, and also because blending rolled oats after cooking them on the stove is my favorite way to eat oats. The thick texture melts in your mouth, and I swear it is heaven. Anybody who likes oatmeal at all needs to try it at least once. The recipe can be found on Chocolate Covered Katie's blog.

Saturday Breakfast: Chocolate Raspberry Oatcakes


This was my first time trying Lauren's Oatcakes and I wish I had tried it sooner. These 'pancakes' would be great for someone with a gluten allergy, who is trying to avoid gluten, or simply for someone who loves oats (such as me). I took The Oatmeal Artist's basic Oatcake recipe and added some dark cocoa powder and raspberries.

Saturday Lunch: Broccoli Cheddar Oatmeal


Like I said, sometimes oatmeal manages to sneak its way into my lunch or dinner, which is, of course, fine by me. Broccoli Cheddar Soup is my favorite soup ever… so I was so excited when this healthier version popped up on The Oatmeal Artist blog. I made it right away, and it was so yummy!

That concludes my week of oatmeal, although there are so many more amazing recipes out there that I would love to share with you. To see more of my daily oatmeals, follow me on Instagram at @oatmeallover14. I would love to meet more oatmeal fans like me! Thank you again for this opportunity, Lauren!

[Editor's Note: If you're interested in becoming my next Oatmeal Enthusiast, be sure to show your enthusiasm by tagging your oatmeal pictures with #oatmealartist on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook! Thank you for all your love and support!]
**You can also find hundreds of other oatmeal recipes (as well as tons of other meatless recipes) on my Pinterest account!  You can also like The Oatmeal Artist on Facebook. Thanks!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Carrot Ginger Oatmeal

Did you know I used to hate ginger? It's true. If you look at my early recipes when I used ginger, it would always be a teensy tiny pinch. I can't remember when my feelings changed, but I have a much higher tolerance for it now.


I much prefer fresh ginger, but now that I've acquired a taste for it, I'm fine with ground ginger. I thought half a teaspoon would be too much for this recipe, so I started with just a quarter teaspoon. After a few tastes, I continued adding more bit by bit, until I finally had added half a teaspoon total. Perfect.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Maple-Bacon Oatmeal with Figs

Where does one find figs in April? Since trying them back in August, I haven't been able to get them off my mind.

Answer: Whole Foods.


As the title implies, this oatmeal could be created using a variety of fruits. Maple and "bacon" are the key ingredients of this recipe, but I chose to make mine "with figs." You could make yours "with apple" or "with plum." Go for it. Be you. ;)

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Peanut Butter and Berry Baked Oatmeal

Saturday was silent on the blog. No new post, no Facebook update. I felt terribly guilty about it, but I was feeling horrific and just couldn't make it happen. I had to remind myself that nobody would die as a result of me not posting a new recipe. Forgive me if I'm wrong. ;)


I've been pushing myself to try more baked and overnight recipes. This recipe could be used to make a simple raspberry baked oatmeal, but since it was the weekend, I was dying for my traditional peanut butter breakfast. The result was a twist on the PB&J setup, but instead of jam, I just used fresh fruit! Delicious.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Spicy Mango Oatmeal

Mango chutney--that's the inspiration for this recipe.


Believe it or not, the first time I had chutney was in Ireland. I remember asking the waitress what "chutney" was because it came on the sandwich I wanted. She tried to explain it, but it sounded like nothing I had ever heard of, so I requested it on the side.

It was life-changing.
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