Thursday, March 5, 2009

Kitchen Experimentation, Office Lunch Edition

I’ve been bringing a lot of oatmeal to work lately. We have plain Quaker Oats at home and I’ll add whatever (cinnamon, maple syrup, brown sugar, etc.) in the morning in a little Cheerios container and then add the hot water whenever I’m ready to have lunch at my desk.

Well I’ve been getting sick of oatmeal with those ingredients, so I decided to try something a little different. Today, I put garlic and onion powder, a splash of teriyaki and a sprinkle of soy sauce in the oatmeal this morning on my way out the door. I’m eating it now and it’s…different.

It’s not bad, but then it’s not all that great. The lack of sugar has changed the consistency of the oatmeal from what I’m used to, and the garlic and teriyaki are overpowering the other flavors. It reminds me, a little, of fried rice. Also, without the cinnamon or maple syrup, the oatmeal has a sickly pale color, so the presentation leaves something to be desired. I also tend to make my oatmeal pretty thick (the spoon can usually stand up in it) and this could use some more moisture. It definitely smells better than it tastes. Fresh garlic and onion would probably be better.

It does open the door to other possibilities though. I have a jar of pizza seasoning at home and some Parmesan cheese, perhaps they could be used for an Italian lunch oatmeal. Even as I typed that it sounded kind of disgusting. But I’m curious enough that I might still try it.

Any suggestions? Any oatmeal recipes y’all are fond of?

Update: After finishing the oatmeal, I feel like I want to yak and my tongue feels like it's coated in garlic. Thankfully I also brought an apple with me and there are mints in my desk.


Janiece said...

Matt, next time take the oatmeal home and make delicious, nutritious oatmeal raisin cookies.

Because that sounded nasty.

mattw said...

It was kind of nasty, and I'm really, really glad I brought that apple with.

Some dude stuck in the Midwest said...

I have one word for you. BACON! Add some chopped-up chives.

Anonymous said...

I like my oatmeal with LOTS of chopped nuts, as well as raisins and chopped apples - and a splash of maple syrup to sweeten. It adds protein and texture.

I've also seen tropical oatmeal, w/ coconut & dried tropical fruit like bananas & pineapple. Probably white sugar or coconut syrup would be your best sweetener there.

The savory oatmeal options just don't sound great - make me think of haggis. ;)

vince said...

Like Janiece, I'm a fan of oatmeal raisin cookies. When eating it as a cereal, I like raisins in it, or like Jeri chopped apples.

Another use for oatmeal is when making hamburgers, mix some in. I make hamburgers by adding oatmeal, chopped onions, and egg whites and mixing well before making them. The hamburgers are quite tender that way, the oatmeal makes the hamburgers healthier, the onions are because they add to the flavor, and the egg whites hold everything together.

mattw said...

Vince, those burgers sound pretty good.

I tried using oatmeal to coat catfish fillets the other day with mixed results. The coating tasted fine, but by the time I was done cooking them at least half of the coating had fallen off.

Anonymous said...

Mmmm... the very best catfish coating I've ever had was a mix of about 3 parts almond flour to one part regular flour. I mixed in a couple tbsp full of creole seasoning but YMMV. It's super crunchy and doesn't turn soft, and has a great toasty flavor.

brent said...

Seriously, that sounds like something a hobo would do with oatmeal ... or maybe a six-year-old. I'm unemployed and not even that desperate.

Here are some things to try: Nuts, dried fruits, chocolate chips or coconut. Here's a recipe finder, too.

Maybe you should get out at lunch a little more? That place might be driving you a little nuts(?)

MWT said...

Have you ever had couscous? It takes about the same length of time to cook as oatmeal. You can experiment with savory things with that instead. ;)

mattw said...

MWT, I've had couscous for dinner, but I've never thought to bring it for lunch.