Crock Pot Oatmeal

I love oatmeal for breakfast. When I worked in an office, I would always have a supply of the instant packages, just dump in a cup/bowl, add water, and microwave. But those taste a bit like cardboard, or else have more sugar and chemicals than actual oats. Now that I work at home, I’ve been eating Old-Fashioned oats, which also only take 3 minutes in the microwave. They are good, but still a pale substitute for the real thing, steel-cut Irish oats. But those take like 2 hours to cook, and require constant attention and stirring. No wonder the Irish drink with their breakfast! As a result, they are reserved for special occasions, like weekend brunch.

Then yesterday, while perusing an otherwise crappy crockpot cookbook I downloaded for free for the kindle, I came across a recipe to make the oatmeal in the crockpot. Brilliant!

I didn’t follow their method exactly, but it still turned out ok, and was ridiculously easy. Basically, right before you head to bed, dump 1 cup steel-cut oats and 3.75 cups cold water into the pot, and cook on low for 6 hrs. If you sleep longer, it will stay warm for you. When you are ready to eat, stir it well to mix in the skin that may form on top and any crust that sticks to the sides/bottom. Then season to taste as you normally would, and get on with your day.

For bonus points, add some dried dates or other fruits along with the oatmeal. They will disintegrate overnight and become one with the porridge, adding both flavour and sweetness. Also feel free to spice it up with cinnamon, nutmeg, hawaij, garam masala, etc.


Vegetarian Gyros

I like gyros, but the “meat” that goes into them scares me. A few months ago, I set out to make my own, from scratch. Basically, it was a spiced turkey meatloaf, cooked with a weight on it to compress it into a block that would hold its shape and make the right size slices, which were then browned on the stove. They were very good, but a lot of hassle, not something I would do regularly.

Tonight I found myself craving a gyro, but had only a 20 minute window to prepare and eat dinner. What to do, what to do… I realized I had all of the other ingredients,crust missing the meat. But I did have a couple of boca burgers in the freezer. Specifically the “all-American flame grilled” flavour. While they were cooking, I heated up a Kontos Greek pita, spread on a thin layer of Greek yogurt and sour cream, and chopped up a cucumber and tomato. Not quite tzatziki, but piled on top of the sliced strips of seared soy flesh, it was almost as good.