I went to a friend’s house the other evening, for one of those in-home sales “parties.” This one was for clothes, and I found myself struggling a bit – I don’t want to buy too much at this weight, especially at full price.
But I loved the clothes and since I have an actual date – one that I’m actually kind of really super-excited about – I bought a few things. Things that will still fit me as I lose the weight that I vowed that night, I will lose.
Yes, that was me sounding like a teenager about … a guy.
That was also me making a pinkie promise to be a “Diet Accountability Partner” with the party hostess, who texted me a couple of days later to ask “how’s it going?” and remind me of a big event we have coming up in a couple of months involving evening gowns.
An event that he will be at.
Not only can I take a hint (thanks, Universe!), I can diet with the best of them. My technique is pretty simple – I don’t count calories or eat nothing but cabbage soup. I just eat plants. I allow myself a bit of grain, but not as the main part of the meal (ie, no pasta dishes). Most of the grain I consume is at breakfast. You know – oatmeal.
I experimented a bit with steel-cut oats in the slow cooker, but I found it made a whole lot of mess for something that was okay, but not great enough to warrant all the cleanup. (It sticks like crazy to the pan when you cook it that way.) Then I started running across recipes for baked oatmeal, and thought maybe that would work better.
It did. It didn’t stick to the pan, even though I forgot to grease it. The recipe made a week’s worth of breakfast for me, and kept me full enough that I made it to lunch without getting cranky. Or at least, without getting cranky about lack of food.
I used the wrong size pan, so the recipe came out slightly more dry and crumbly than I would have liked, but still satisfyingly moist enough that I didn’t feel like it needed milk poured over it. It was also pleasantly sweet from the apples and maple syrup, and so didn’t need any extra sugar. I just kept it in the fridge, covered in tin foil, and warmed up a square each morning.
- 2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
- ½ cup chopped walnuts, toasted, divided
- 1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 cups milk
- ⅓ cup pure maple syrup
- 1 egg
- 2 tsp unsalted butter, melted
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 apples, peeled, cored and cut into ½-inch dice
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease an 8-inch or 9-inch baking dish; set aside.
- In a medium bowl, stir together the oats, half of the walnuts, cinnamon, baking powder and salt; set aside.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, maple syrup, egg, melted butter and vanilla.
- Arrange the sliced apples in a single layer on the bottom of the baking dish. Spread the oat mixture over the apples, in an even layer. Slowly drizzle the milk mixture all over the top of the oats. Tap the baking dish a couple of times to disperse the milk among the oats. Sprinkle the top with the remaining walnuts.
- Bake for 35-45 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and the oatmeal mixture is set. Remove from the oven and let sit for at least 5 minutes.
This is my contribution to Weekend Cooking, hosted by Beth Fish Reads. Why not swing by and see what other savory delights await?