I always find it fascinating how easy it is to associate certain foods with specific categories (in certain cultures). For example, I grew up having very specific foods for breakfast one of which was always sweet: oatmeal. However, over the years, I’ve come to appreciate oats for their warm, not-too-overpowering flavor and their ability to be a perfect bed for produce. So, I’ve paired my favorite preparation of greens with creamy steel cut oats for a savory oatmeal. This is the perfect breakfast or even dinner and comes together in the time it takes to cook the oats.
Savory Oatmeal with Garlicky Kale
This hearty breakfast is a perfect way to keep yourself fueled until lunch. Kale is my go-to for this savory oatmeal but chard and spinach are also nice!
- 1 cup steel cut oats
- 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1/4 teaspoon salt or to taste
- 1 bunch kale roughly 4 cups chopped and packed
- 4 teaspoons olive oil divided
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 large eggs for frying
- Red pepper flakes for topping
- Combine vegetable broth and water in a pot. Bring to a simmer, add oats and salt, reduce heat, cover, and cook for roughly 15 minutes (add/subtract time for desired consistency of oats). Remove from heat and let sit for 5 minutes.
- Prepare the kale by removing the stems and cutting the leaves into 1/4 inch strips. As the oats are finishing, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil in a large, wide pot. Add in the garlic, cooking for roughly a minute. Add the chopped kale and stir to coat with the garlic. Add in 1/4 cup of water, cover, and let kale cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Once done, remove kale from heat and transfer to a bowl. Add in the remaining 2 teaspoons of olive oil and fry the eggs to your liking.
- Assemble the bowls by dividing the oats into two bowls. Then top each bowl with garlicky kale and a fried egg.
Tips & Tricks: Feel free to play around with the amount of water/cook time for the oats. For example, I like a nice creamy oatmeal, so I tend to cook them for just a bit longer.
Nutrition: find more information
I treat oatmeal like I would a creamy polenta- a perfect base for endless combinations of vegetables and greens. You could easily roast a few vegetables and toss on top or one of my favorite- use leftover grilled vegetables.
Cheese: Occasionally, I like to make oatmeal like polenta or grits and stir in a sharp cheddar or other flavorful cheese.
Greens: In addition to kale, chard is another favorite green to use in savory oatmeal. It takes a little less time to wilt compared to the kale.
Vegan: While I feel like the egg completes this breakfast-type meal, you could easily use fried tofu or something similar in place of the eggs.
Kale is such a versatile green. It’s hearty enough that it can hold up to heat (both while growing and through the cooking process) yet just tender enough that it can work in a salad. Most of the time, I grow and use lacinato kale because I find the texture more preferable when cooking. But, I recommend trying a couple different varieties to see which you like best.