Did you hear that joke about oatmeal?
It was a lot of mush…
Actually I like oatmeal, but I get tired of oatmeal, and variety is the spice… and I’ve got this big honking bag of quinoa in the pantry that I bought from CostCo, so… I had to try some different hot cereals. Another plus is that both oatmeal and quinoa are on our list of healthy pantry items that can come through for you in a pinch. (See post “Peeping in our pantries’)
I did, but I just need to state that I think we need a better name than ‘hot cereal’ or ‘porridge’.. Hot & Hearty is not that great either, is it? Seriously, neither ‘hot cereal,’ ‘Hot & Hearty’, nor ‘porridge’ (please, Sir, could I have some more?) gets folks leaping out of a warm bed into that cold kitchen. So in Little Sis’ honor, I will call my creation ‘Warm Bowl of Yum’. This is not an instant recipe, but make a big pot, because with a little extra milk (whether dairy, soy or nut) to moisten, it works for a couple of days!
This, as is so often the case with people who cook from scratch for children, was developed over time with changes here and there to finally find the Warm Bowl of Yum that both my boys (one a smadge older chronologically, but not at heart), and I, enjoy. I especially enjoy it because I’ve snuck some protein and lots of trace minerals in by using nuts that my son won’t eat when they are whole. (Grind ahead of time if your children object to nuts!)
Warm Bowl of Yum
5 cups liquid : I use 2.5 water and 2.5 almond milk
1 cup oats
1 cup quinoa
1 cup ground walnuts (you can certainly try other nuts, but walnuts really seem to thicken this and they are not very noticeable either ;-)1 tsp salt (optional)
1-2 tsp allspice / or 1 Tbsp cinnamon (optional)
toppings like raisins, honey, more nuts, maple syrup, etc.
Bring your liquid and salt, if using, to a boil. Be careful! Almond milk is the wallflower of boilers. It waits and waits and then suddenly gets inspired, leaps into the fray, jumps out of the pan and into the saucer under your burner there to create a rather ghastly smell and even ghastlier mess. Do not step away from the stove until you’re at a safe simmer!
Once it boils, toss in your quinoa, turn down to a simmer and cover. Let simmer about 10 minutes and then boil again Baby!
Toss in the oatmeal, turn down to low and cover. Let simmer about 5 minutes.
While it is simmering, grind your walnuts. I am blessed with a Vita-Mix which is a noisy but effective way to grind nuts.
Stir in the ground nuts and cook covered for a few minutes or until the oats are tender and the quinoa is tender.
Schplop into bowls with your favorite schplopper and enjoy!
If I have leftover rice in the frig that is not ear-marked for something to be cooked, I have been known to toss that in as well at the final stages.
I’m sure some of you have your own ‘warm bowls of yum.’ Do tell – spice up my life ;-)