I’m pretty much a traditionalist when it comes to oatmeal, and I would bet that most of you are too. I have seen the odd recipe floating around for savory oat breakfast bowls, but I just can’t bring myself to take the plunge. (Well, perhaps these savory oat recipes aren’t so uncommon anymore – it’s clear that anything goes in food blog land!) In my world, oats go with things like apples, pumpkin, chocolate, blueberries, peanut butter, cinnamon…. I could go on, but certainly not peppers, onions and tomatoes.
However, I’m always looking to get out of comfort zone. So when I was given the opportunity to review Kathy Hester‘s new OATrageous Oatmeals: Delicious & Surprising Plant-Based Dishes From This Humble, Heart-Healthy Grain, I knew I was going to make the jump to something un-sweet. The options were not lacking, either. With an entire chapter devoted to soups and stews, and another on lunches and dinner, it quickly becomes clear that oats are more versatile than you might expect. They thicken, they provide texture, they can be used as crusts, they can be cooked down to a crumbly texture. That last one is exactly what happens when you try the Veggie Oat Taco Mince.
One of the nice things about this recipe is that it provides an alternative to soy for those seeking a meat substitute. (No offense to soy, I do eat it in moderation, but it’s not at the top of everyone’s list.) It’s also very adaptable; the original called for kidney beans but I used a combination of chickpeas and black beans since I had some of each open in the fridge. My only hesitation was that the recipe would become very carb-heavy once you take an oat-based filling and toss it in a taco shell or tortilla; however the recipe actually only calls for a 1/4 cup of oats and makes enough for 3-4 good sized servings. Even so, I opted to toss the “meat” over some greens and other veggies for a taco salad since that’s what I was in the mood for. Drizzled with a cilantro-lime cashew cream (my own blender concoction), it made for a hearty vegan dinner that earned some nice compliments from the hubs.
Other notable recipes I can’t wait to try? Protein Packed Peanut Butter Cup Overnight Oats, Banana Oatmeal Cookie Pancakes, Pepita Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Bars (I told you I like sweets!), Apple-Thyme Savory Steel Cut Oats, and Peppermint Puppy Cookies for my furbaby.
Want to give these a try too? One reader has the chance to win a copy of OATrageous Oatmeals. Simply follow the Rafflecoptor instructions below!
Kathy Hester is the writer and recipe developer for Healthy Slow Cooking. In addition to OATRageous Oatmeals, she has authored Vegan Slow Cooking for Two or Just for You
, The Great Vegan Bean Book
, and The Vegan Slow Cooker: Simply Set It and Go with 150 Recipes for Intensely Flavorful, Fuss-Free Fare Everyone (Vegan or Not