Cheddar Apple Pie Oatmeal

YES, cheddar + apple pie. Is this crazy?

I’ve never had cheddar on apple pie, but it’s a thing. Even Martha Stewart supports this sweet-and-salty combo. Even though I’ve never had it, I can imagine it’s good: I’ve had apple slices on grilled cheese sandwiches, after all.

Since I had that cheddar from last week’s Cheddar Bay Biscuit Oatmeal on hand, I decided it was time to give this combo a shot.

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Savory Cheddar Bay Biscuit Oatmeal

“What, what, what?!” – you right now.

Well, that’s assuming you’ve heard of cheddar bay biscuits. If you haven’t, they are the best part about eating at Red Lobster, the seafood-focused chain restaurant in the United States and a few other countries. Most biscuits are subtle in flavor and a bit on the dry side (perfect for a smear of jam or creamy spread … or doused in sausage gravy), but these biscuits break all the rules: ultra buttery, ultra garlicky, ultra cheesy, etc.

I was never interested in seafood growing up (we don’t have fresh lobster in Minnesota, haha). On the rare occasions I found myself at a Red Lobster, all I really cared about were those cheddar bay biscuits.

Now that vegan cheeses are not only edible, but actually delicious, it was time to make an oatmeal version of this savory biscuit at home.

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Pumpkin, Orange, and Rosemary Oatmeal

I’ve thrown a lot of multi-component oatmeal recipes at you lately. Sorry about that. Let’s go simple this week, alright?

It’s officially time to break out the pumpkin. I’ve got plenty of pumpkin recipes I already love, such as:

And there’s many more where that came from. Now meet the newest entry in my pumpkin collection.

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French Toast Zoats with Tofu Scramble and Sausage

So I have a pretty amazing recipe for you today…

But first, some blog updates. This past weekend, I updated the Recipe List A-Z Index, fixing some of the glitches and adding new recipes. I also improved the Recipes by Category Index, which now makes it easier to scroll through recipes visually. I’ll probably never be completely happy with these pages, but I’m at least excited about the improvements!

Now, let’s dig into this porridge: a hodge-podge of everything good about American brunch. (That is, except for mimosas. I wasn’t able to work in a mimosa.)

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Strawberry Oatmeal with Basil Cashew Cream

I pretty much insist on having nut butter on my oatmeal. Even when I share recipes that don’t involve nut butter, I usually add some type of nut butter before I eat it–even if it doesn’t really make culinary sense. Nut butter adds a silky richness that gives variation to each bite of oatmeal.

Cashew cream is similar. It has the richness of cashew, but in a different format. This recipe is reminiscent of my Strawberry Basil Oatmeal, but this time, I managed to work in some nut butter. True, whipping up a cashew cream takes a touch more work than your average porridge, but the cream comes together in about 2 minutes, and the results are worth it.

I mean, look at that bright fluff!

Most recipes on the internet for basil cashew cream include garlic, but I opted out. My friends would mock me for that choice since I am notoriously anti-garlic, but really, why would you put garlic in a sauce that goes on a sweet oatmeal?

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Earl Grey Zucchini Oatmeal with Chocolate Hazelnut Butter

I haven’t made “zoats” in a while, so here we go.

I got into earl grey tea through the London Fog, which is a drink I’ve noticed is becoming more popular throughout the country. (If you love London Fogs like I do, try my London Fog Oatmeal.)

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Strawberry Lemon Ricotta Oatmeal

I associate ricotta with subtle elegance. Think of little toasts topped with a dainty smear of ricotta, a sliver of roasted pear, and a pinch of fresh thyme. Elegant, right? This is what I imagine when I think of ricotta. As ubiquitous as this appetizer is (at least among middle-class women who host dinner parties), I actually have no idea what it tastes like myself.

I haven’t had ricotta for at least five years now. It’s an ingredient I always admired from afar since it wasn’t something my mom cooked with. Even my mom’s lasagna uses cottage cheese instead of ricotta. (Does anyone else’s family do this? It might be a Midwestern thing.) So even in my pre-vegan years, ricotta was mostly off my radar.

Then Kite Hill ricotta came around. I got excited. I got inspired. I came up with a bunch of oatmeal ideas to get ricotta in my life–ricotta that doesn’t require a calf to be separated from its mother.

But here’s the thing: I didn’t make this with Kite Hill ricotta.

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Peach Tahini Cardamom Oatmeal with Toasted Coconut

Every summer, I try to post a recipe or two with fresh peaches. They have such a short season, and they’re so good. This week, I came through. Whaddaya think?

Before I tell you how to make this, here’s a quick-but-not-that-quick story.

Moving to Denver was a tough adjustment, as I knew it would be. (Is any move easy?) There’s nothing wrong with Denver. It’s actually pretty glorious, and there’s a reason it’s consistently ranked as one of the happiest and healthiest cities in the country. But I do have a fondness for the grit, noise, and chaos of New York City that made it tough to leave. Denver feels like a suburb in comparison.

I had two options: sulk about missing NYC, or embrace my new city. I’ve tried to do the latter (although I’ve certainly done my fair share of sulking).

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Berry Chia Pudding with PB Oatmeal Bites

Tada! I made chia pudding. The photos suck, but I want to share the recipe with you anyway because I’m proud of it. 🙂

I only got into chia pudding recently. I never had anything against it, but I just never went out of my way for it. A pivotal moment in my relationship with chia pudding happened last December in Madrid <3. It was the day after Christmas, and I was about to go to my long-awaited appointment for my first tattoo (!!).

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Fudgy Balsamic Oatmeal with Strawberry-Basil Relish

Friends! Your support last week was stunning. I half-expected to hear crickets when the post went live, assuming all of you had given up on me and moved on.

Last week’s Blueberry Lavender Oatmeal is something I am proud of, which is something I couldn’t say about previous posts leading up to my, um, “extended break.” I see the imperfections in the photo, but they don’t taunt me. I look at it and think, “You did that. You’re not a skilled photographer, but you did that.”

As always, I will continue to play with both stupidly simple recipes, and fun-yet-kind-of-out-there recipes. This recipe falls in the latter category.

Not that this recipe is hard, or even time-consuming. But it does take a little more effort than just adding some applesauce. Continue reading