Flash in the Pan: Savory Pan-Fried Oatmeal Wedges with Shredded Carrot and Green Onion

Savory Oat Wedges on Diet, Dessert and Dogs

You know how they say there are more than 50 different Inuit words for snow? Well, anyone who’s read my blog though a season or two likely already knows how I feel about winter. I mean, if there were 50 (or more) ways to say “I loathe it with my entire being, abhor it to the very depths of my soul and spirit, despise it more than the fictional progeny of Osama Bin Laden, Hitler, Satan and Paul Bernardo combined” (never mind that they’re all male and therefore couldn’t spawn any progeny on their own)–well, if there were myriad ways to say “I ABSOLUTELY HATE, HATE, HATE WINTER,” then you just know I’d be the first one to utter each and every one of those words.

Then again, I must admit we’ve been pretty lucky with the dreaded frigid season this year. So far, we haven’t had a single pirta (the Inuit word for “blizzard”), nor has there been any natquik (drifting snow particles), any qengaruk (snow banks), qerretrar (icy crust on snow) or navcite (getting caught in an avalanche).  In fact, even as I type this blog post, I barely see any aniu (fallen snow on the ground) at all outside.  What I’d much prefer to see, however, is beaming  sunshine (blessed relief from pasty white winter skin), swaying green leaves (nature reawakening after months of hibernation), itsy bitsy tank tops and teeny tiny cut offs (high school students on summer vacation), sprinklers (happy Girls) and thermometers soaring to 30C/86F (happy Ricki).

Well, if I must suffer through endure survive tolerate a winter in Toronto,  I’m glad to have quick, warming, filling dishes like these simple, satisfying oatmeal wedges. If you’ve got leftover cooked oats and aren’t sure what to do with them, or if you just want another option that isn’t a bowl of porridge for breakfast, this is a great way to use them.

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Years ago, I wrote book reviews for a magazine called The Niagara Current. They once sent me a cookbook by a local author, Kathleen Sloan McIntosh, called New Celtic Cooking. It seemed to me that the book contained a plethora of recipes made with steel-cut or rolled oats, each with a slightly different texture, preparation method, and name–and virtually every one appealed to me. There were farls, bannocks, bread, pancakes, baps, oaten, cakes, and probably several dozen more I can’t remember at the moment. I recall leafing through the book and thinking that the Celts could easily have rivalled the Inuit when it came to naming recipes with oats. I wrote a lovely review, as I recall, then slid the book onto one of my cookbook shelves and promptly forgot about it.

The other night, as I was scrounging through the fridge looking for something quick and hearty to cook for dinner, I spied some leftover cooked steel cut oats on one of the shelves.  Now, you’d think that McIntosh’s book would come to mind and that I’d seek out one of those oat-based recipes, wouldn’t you? But that didn’t happen. To begin with, my mind is probably even more crowded these days than my bookshelves, so it never occurred to me. And even if it had, I mean, really–would you be able to find anything in this mess o’ books?

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[Kitchen chaos extends to bookshelves: please ignore that blurry box of Nut Thins crackers in the foreground!]

Instead, what I did was hark back to an old favorite, Chinese Scallion Pancakes. I had the idea to combine the concept of a scallion flatbread with the simplicity of my Pan-Seared Oatmeal wedges for a savory spin on oats.  I chopped the onions, grated some carrot, added seasoning–and in about 20 minutes, dinner was served. I completed the meal with a salad of mixed greens with added nuts/seeds for extra protein (though oats themselves are no slouch in this department; a 1-cup serving boasts 13g of protein).

The result was a terrific light supper. The wedges are crispy on the outside, creamy and nubby on the inside, with the characteristic caramelized flavor of fried onions.  I added carrot for a bit of visual interest and additional vitamins, but really, you can adapt this recipe in an infinite number of ways, adding chopped veggies, seeds, different flavorings or seasonings as you see fit.  In fact, I bet there are more than 50 variations to these oatmeal wedges. Now. . . . all that remains is just to name them all.

I’m linking this recipe to 5-Ingredient Mondays and Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays.

Savory Oatmeal Wedges on Diet, Dessert and Dogs

[Here with a splash of Bragg’s liquid aminos for a flavor accent.]

 

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Last Year at this Time: Low-Fat Cinnamon Walnut Loaf (gluten free; ACD  Stage 3 and beyond)

Two Years Ago: Groovy Green Smoothie (gluten free; ACD Stage 2  and beyond)

Three Years Ago: Raw Nori Rolls with “Salmon” and Spicy Miso-ginger Paste (gluten free; ACD  Stage 3 and beyond Maintenance)

Four Years Ago: Chinese Scallion Pancakes  (not gluten free; ACD Maintenance)

Five Years Ago: Sweet Potato “Fries” Three Ways with Miso Gravy (gluten free; Fries: ACD All Stages; Gravy: Maintenance)

© Ricki Heller, Diet, Dessert and Dogs

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Comments

  1. Ya for savoury oats. I like your pan-seared oatmeal and this looks great with the flavour accents for a dinner-time nom. I like how the scallion pancakes are from exactly 4 years ago. Ha! :)

    • Thanks, Janet! And I know about the scallion pancakes–I swear, I didn’t plan it that way! I guess I just must be craving something like this at this time of year. . . ;)

  2. I love the blending of cultures here! It also makes me happy to see that I have many of the same books as you, so it makes me sure to note the ones that aren’t in my library. I’m sure to like them as well!

    • Yes, fusion cuisine at its finest, right? ;) And let me know which books you’re curious about–I don’t use all of them and am happy to share impressions. :)

  3. I’ll admit, I’m uncertain about the combination of the oatmeal and the savory ingredients… But at the same time, I’m quite intrigued!

    • Rochelle, Thanks so much for your comment! I must admit, I was never too keen on the concept of savory oatmeal, either, but in this form–well, I loved it! :)

  4. These look delicious Ricki! Great winter meal. I can’t believe all the cookbooks you have!!!!

    • It’s been decades of collecting, Heather! I think I actually need to get rid of some of the older ones, now–I no longer cook/bake that way any more! And yes, this was a great winter meal. . . I felt warmed and cozy but not stuffed. Perfect balance. :)

  5. I wonder what people like me and you are doing in these cold climates. Let’s move! And eat lots of oatmeal together!

    • Sounds perfect!! Australia? New Zealand? Bermuda? Florida? . . . . Oh, but wait. . . I guess we’d need a job, eh? Darn!! Well, we can still do the oatmeal part. ;)

  6. I moved from Vancouver to Stockholm, Sweden, a few years ago, so have traded wet cold grey drizzly winters for very dark very cold snowy winters. The darkness can get overwhelming, but I think I may actually prefer the snow to the rain – it’s a lot easier to stay warm and dry!

    I love the looks of this savoury oatmeal! I’ve made baked nuggets before from leftover oatmeal, but never thought to try a savoury version. Thanks so much for sharing the recipe!

    • Katie, that sounds like our winter on steroids! ;) I agree about snow vs rain, though–easier to stay dry in snow. And I love the sound of your nuggets! Do you have a link to a recipe? If so, please share it here!

  7. Looks scrummy to me- I loved the original chinese scallion pancakes! I’ve never got into the savoury oats thing..I did try it once with black beans, salsa and a sprinkle of nutritional yeast but it wasn’t right to me.
    I definitely agree on winter too, I can’t imagine what Toronto’s like but here in England we’ve had snow for about a week (a fairly rare sight) and it’s a nightmare!

    • I love those, too, Emma, but I find that whole grains are better for me than flour-based products right now. And I am the same with the savory oatmeal craze–put it in a bowl with the texture of porridge and I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t like it. This is much more like a flatbread/pasta/dumpling kind of texture this way. And so sorry about your snow! My friend from England is visiting now and almost didn’t make it because of your massive storms (but her kids love having no school!) :)

  8. We don’t have much snow here, but it is COLD. Like really, really, really cold. As in -2 (negative 2!) for the *high* temp on Monday. The high! Ugh. Payback for last years mild winter, I guess.

    These sound really good! Your Chinese scallion pancakes are a favorite of mine, so I will have to give these a try too.

    I was out of town all last weekend, so I am behind on testing and I apologize. I will make up for it soon, I promise!!

    Courtney

    • Ah, Courtney, I think we have you beat. With the windchill today, it was -27C (ie, -17F!!). Getting into those “minus” situations sure is not pretty. ;) And no worries about testing! You’re a stellar tester–a break is much deserved. :)

  9. I cringe at the mention of cold weather :-( Your oatmeal wedge is so appealing. Plain oatmeal, sometimes with raisins, was my staple breakfast in college and many years after. Savory – yeah, I can do that :-)

    • I love oatmeal in a bowl, too–but just not savory that way (ie, mushy and wet). This is much less moist, but still sort of creamy inside, with a very crisp exterior. I think of it as sort of a textured polenta, if that makes sense! :)

  10. Your bookshelf. I’m drooling – so awesome.

  11. This is a great share. And love those books of yours. :-D

  12. I know you don’t want any more cake recipes but I have one with leftover porridge that I think of from time to time – but I love your savoury spin on oats – I should keep the porridge that sylvia often rejects and get creative with it.

    And I love how you went to your own recipe – I think one of the great things about blogging is that it is as easy to go to one of your recipes and adapt it as someone elses – no, it is easier because you know the recipe so well!

    • I’d actually LOVE that recipe, Johanna! (Never enough cake recipes). And yes, I think as bloggers we often forget about the older recipes we’ve made–at least, I do. I’ve even re-blogged the same recipe a couple times because I forgot I’d already done it! Gah. ;)

  13. I was about to say that it’s just as bad in Minneapolis, but I remember that a Toronto-native friend of mine who lives here told me she’s lived through much worse! Yikes! Stay strong!

    I’m not a savory breakfast person myself, but my partner is, and he would *adore* these!

    • Toronto is variable in winter. . . it’s really not usually so awful except for many a couple days. Most winters lots of people don’t even wear boots. . . but it’s the bone-chilling DAMPNESS of the cold that really gets to me. Bleh! Let me know what you think of the oat wedges if your partner does try them! :)

  14. RICKI RICKI RICKI RICKI RICKI!!!! I survived these past two days! I survived commuting for an hour each way in the early morning and evening on the two coldest days Toronto has had in several years!!! RICKI I SURVIVED!!

    That is all.

    • I am SO proud of you, and not just because you survived that commute. AN HOUR? Where the heck are their offices, anyway? Aren’t all magazine offices downtown–? I want to hear ALL about it. :D xo

      • Well, so far it’s taken me about 50 minutes to get from my place to Mount Pleasant Road, because of walk + streetcar + subway + walk, and perhaps everything is running slower because of the snow or peak hour? It’s a big change from a 7 minute drive to work ;)

        • Wow, that’s bitter!! Usually I’d say streetcar/subway would be faster than driving. . . but I guess if a walk is involved on both ends, that adds up, too. Hopefully the weather will ease up! I do hope you are at least enjoying the work once you’re there??

  15. What a brilliant idea! I’m definitely bookmarking this one lady :)

  16. How did you know that I was eyeing this recipe? I think you had me at the words “oatmeal” and “pan-fried.” Thanks for linking up to 5-Ingredient Mondays!

  17. I just adore savory oatmeal! I’ve never made it like this before–I’m going to have to try it!

  18. I’ve really been enjoying the recipes on your site! Thank you so so much. I’m making a (strong) effort to reduce carbohydrates in my diet, and for that, your site has been magical. I just made this recipe and found it really tasty and satisfying. I added an ear of corn and some cayenne pepper which I though added a nice snap and kick, respectively ;). Can’t wait to try another recipe! Do you have an all-time favorite dinner or side dish?

  19. at the risk of sounding dense- how much oats make two cups of end product porridge?
    also, so curious, why does it matter if it’s cold?
    TIA

    • Mim, it depends on how long you cook it and how much water is absorbed, but in general it’s about double, so one cup dry is about 2 cups cold (I find in my case, I usually get a bit more than double the dry amount). The oats solidify when they cool. If you try to make this with just-cooked oats, it’s like. . . oatmeal porridge (ie, pasty, spreadable goo). Once cool, you can actually cut it in wedges. Hope that helps!

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