Yum Yum: Steel cut oats, two-ways

With LG Fashion Week upon us, a well-balanced diet becomes essential to surviving until Denis Gagnon takes his bow on Friday evening. While our moms always stressed the importance of eating breakfast, we’d become bored with our morning bagels and were looking to shake things up.

Steel cut oats are a delicious, healthy and surprisingly versatile breakfast option. Generally, steel cut oats fall into the “sweet” breakfast category, but inspired by a similar recipe in Gwyneth Paltrow’s cookbook we decided to give a “savoury” option a whirl. To our delight, both forms of oats are satisfying and relatively easy to make, which is important when you’re cooking first thing in the morning. We’ll wolf these down each morning this week to keep us fueled for the delightful craziness that is fashion.

Steel cut oats, two-ways – sweet & savoury

Image source.

Oats (serves 4-6*):
1 cup steel cut oats
3 1/2 cups of water
pinch of salt

Sweet toppings:
brown sugar
chopped almonds
raisins
1/2 cup milk

Savoury toppings:
finely chopped green onions
finely chopped kimchi
soy sauce
sesame oil

Preparation:
1. Rinse the oats in a fine mesh strainer. Add water and oats to a medium-sized sauce pan. Bring water to boil and then reduce heat to medium-low, keeping the water at a simmer. Cook for about 20 minutes or until the oats reach your desired consistency. Remember to stir the oats occasionally so they don’t stick to the pan.

2. For sweet oats, stir in about 1/2 cup milk and cook for another 5 minutes. Divide oats into individual bowls and top oats with brown sugar, chopped almonds and raisins. Feel free to add as much or as little as you like.

3. For savoury oats, remove from heat and divide oats into individual bowls. Top with a dash of soy sauce and sesame oil, then sprinkle in some green onions and/or kimchi. 

 *Make ahead method: You can make the oats ahead of time and re-heat for breakfast another day. Stop at step 1 and refrigerate the leftovers. When re-heating in the microwave, add a bit of milk (for sweet) or water (for savoury) before heating. Then top however you’d like!

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Yum Yum: Gwyneth Paltrow’s "My Father’s Daughter"

We’re always on the lookout for cookbooks that offer healthy fare that don’t skimp on flavour – not always an easy task. When we heard Gwyneth Paltrow was releasing a cookbook we were a bit skeptical. Actors aren’t necessarily known for their chops in the kitchen, after all.

After hearing some great buzz about GOOPy’s book, we decided to give it a whirl and oh boy – are we glad we did. Recipes run the culinary gamut, from salad dressings to fried oyster po’boys to vegetarian paellas, and most have a “make vegetarian/vegan” suggestion. If you’re looking for red meat or pork, you’re in the wrong book. If you’re a seafood or poultry lover then we highly suggest picking My Father’s Daughter up.  

Here are two of the recipes we tried the other night. Gwyneth suggested serving these together, so we did. Enjoy.

Best Stir-Fried Chicken
serves four

4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into small cubes
2 tbsp cornstarch
Coarse salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1/4 cup peeled and minced garlic
1/4 cup peeled and minced ginger
1/2 cup minced green scallions (white & green parts)
Pinch red chili flakes (optional)
1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp coarsely chopped fresh cilantro

Toss the chicken with cornstarch, a large pinch of salt and quite a bit of pepper.  

Heat oil in large, non-stick wok over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, ginger, scallions and chile flakes (if using) and cook, stirring, for one minute.  

Add the chicken and cook, stirring occasionally, for five minutes. 

Add the vinegar, sugar, and five or six grinds of black pepper. 

Boil on high for three minutes, or until the sugar has caramelized and the whole mixture is dark brown and sticky and lovely. 

Add the soy sauce, and cook for another 30 seconds. Serve immediately over fried rice (recipe below), sprinkled with cilantro. 

Photo via GOOP herself.

Fried Rice with Kale and Scallions
serves four

1/2 pound kale, stems discarded
1 1/2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely minced
3 large scallions, cut into 1/8-inch diagonal slices
2 1/2 cups cooked brown rice
1 tbsp plus 1 tsp soy sauce

Cut the kale leaves in half lengthwise and then cut crosswise into very thin ribbons (chiffonade). Steam the kale for 7 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the vegetable oil in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. 

Add the garlic and cook for two minutes, stirring constantly, being careful not to brown the garlic. 

Raise the heat to medium and add the steamed kale and scallions. 

Cook for two minutes and then add the rice and cook for another two minutes, stirring. 

Add the soy sauce and cook for 30 seconds more.

Health in a bowl.
Photo via Milk & Mode