Tuesday, August 26, 2008

A New Twist On an Old Favorite

I eat oatmeal for breakfast just about everyday...I love it because its good for me (oats are a whole grain), I can make a big batch and eat it all week, and it tastes like dessert!

On Sunday, I usually cook 2.5 cups of old-fashioned oats with 5 cups of water, a pinch of salt, vanilla, cinnamon, and honey (or sugar, usually about 2 - 3 tablespoons). Then I add about 3 pieces of fruit (chopped with skin on - whatever is in season...recently I've been using peaches or Asian pears that I get at the farmer's market) and 1/2 cup of nuts (usually toasted). I cook all of this on the stove over med-high heat until the all of the liquid has been absorbed. Last, I add a splash of milk to make the whole thing creamier.

I figure this makes about 6 1-cup servings. When I reheat an individual serving I add a little more milk and zap it in the microwave for 1-1/2 minutes. Delish! And per serving - 270 calories, 9 g fat (1 g saturated), 44 g carbohydrates, 6 g fiber, 7 g protein (exchanges: 2 starch, 1 1/2 fat, 1/2 fruit). Add a glass of milk (or a cup of coffee!) and you are good to go.

Last week I came across a recipe for Baked Oatmeal and decided I had to try it. I made a few changes and additions to the original recipe. The result? Perfect! Even my sister who doesn't usually eat oatmeal liked it. Here is my version:

Baked Oatmeal
(serves 4)

The sweetener, fruit, and nuts are all flexible. I've used brown sugar and honey, peaches and pears, and walnuts. I plan on trying apples and bananas too.

1 1/2 cups old fashioned oats
pinch salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
3 Tbsp brown sugar
1 cup skim milk
2 cups water
1/4 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup walnuts, chopped (toasting is optional but good!)
2 large piece of fruit, thinly sliced

Pre-heat oven to 350°F.

In a greased 8 x 8 inch baking dish, combine all ingredients except for the fruit. Stir to combine. Layer in the slices of fruit, submerging some, in a pretty pattern. Bake for 40 - 45 minutes, until center is set.

Let cool slightly before serving or cool to room temperature, slice into squares, and refrigerate.

Per serving - 269 calories, 7 g fat (1 g saturated), 46 g carbohydrates, 9 g fiber, 7 g protein (exchanges: 2 starch, 1 fat, 1/4 milk, 1/2 fruit)

Let me know if you try it! I plan on experimenting with the recipe...I'm thinking lite coconut milk, mango, and macadamia nuts sounds good.


Do you eat out a lot?

You may be interested in this website. It offers healthier suggestions for several local restaurants.

Here is a video and an article about menu labeling (a law that has been passed in several US cities including New York and San Francisco). It requires that chain restaurants post nutrition information on the menu boards at their restaurants.

I think this is a great idea and hope one day Louisiana (and Texas!) pass similar laws...and if you do too, visit this link to send a message to the governor.

Here are some shocking items on menus of several chain restaurants and some tips on making better choices at a few restaurants.

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