As college students, we tend to want a delicious meal in a short amount of time – but set aside your microwaveable mac and cheese cups! Your best quick meal is hiding in what you thought to be a gloppy breakfast food.
Most people think it’s strange, having the notion that oatmeal is only eaten with brown sugar and cinnamon, but think about it: oats are a neutral-tasting grain. Hot oatmeal is reminiscent of congee, grits and risotto, and preparing these dishes using quick-oats is much faster than cooking a grain like rice.
There’s so much room for creativity in oatmeal, but you can make it as simple as you’d like. You can add anything from vegetables, cheese or cream if you’re feeling indulgent, and a runny egg is always a good idea. Here, I’ve laid out just a few options:
- Sauté a handful of chopped mushrooms (I used maitake and shiitake), then add ½ cup quick oats and 1 cup water or milk. Bring to a boil, and cook for about 1 minute until your oatmeal is thick and creamy.
- Stir in ¼ cup of shredded cheese (I used sottocenere al tartufo, a semi-soft cheese with black truffle bits. It can be found in the cheese section at Wegman’s) and season with salt and cracked black pepper.
- Top with a poached egg and a drizzle of truffle oil.
Tomato Basil Oatmeal
- Boil ½ cup quick oats with ½ cup water. Let it boil for one minute until oats are thick and creamy.
- Add ½ cup of tomato sauce and let stand for a minute.
- Transfer to a bowl and stir in 2 tbsp pesto and a handful of chopped fresh basil leaves.
- Finish off with grated cheese and cracked black pepper.
Thai Red Curry Oatmeal
- Heat up a tablespoon or two of Thai red curry paste and ¼ cup coconut milk in a pot. Make sure the paste is fully incorporated into the coconut milk so that the mixture is smooth and creamy.
- Add ½ cup quick oats and ¾ cup water. Boil until oatmeal is thick and creamy, then season with fish sauce, black pepper, and fresh cilantro to taste.
- Top with a poached egg.
- Boil ½ cup quick oats with 1 cup water until oats are thick and creamy.
- Season with soy sauce, salt, and sesame oil to taste.
- Top with a poached egg and finish off with sesame seeds, shredded seaweed, chopped scallions, and cracked black pepper.