Saturday, November 15, 2008

CHEAP EATS: Oriental Oats Recipe Update

Monday I posted about one of my favorite cheap eats, oatmeal. I included a recipe for Oriental Oats that I had found in my Le Leche League cookbook, but noted that I had not tried it. Well, it was a busy week and one evening I found myself wondering at 5:30pm what we were going to have for dinner. That recipe popped into my mind and I decided to try it.

I began mixing up the recipe although I wasn't exactly sure how it would actually turn out because I had never cooked anything quite like it. You mix rolled oats and eggs and cook them while you stir fry up some veggies. We used onion and broccoli because it is what I had handy. Then you add the veggies, some broth and soy sauce into the cooked oat mixture and cook it until the liquid has been absorbed.

This was a HUGE hit with my family! This actually shocked me because as I was cooking it, I kept getting grilled by my hungry children: "WHAT are you making? WHAT is it called? WHAT are you putting in that?" I explained it as best as I could and figured if they were hungry enough they would it it regardless. So, imagine my surprise when they couldn't get enough of it! The oat/egg mixture gets somewhat chewy and reminded me of the consistency of ground beef in the finished dish. Thank goodness I made some rice to serve this over or we wouldn't have had near enough. I will be doubling the recipe next time because my kids pigged it down. Even Patrick who is not real big on rice and stir fry type dishes really liked this.

Because of our recent budget constraints, I have been trying to make more meatless meals, but my family, especially hubby, sometimes feels cheated with these. I was really happy to find a dish that satisfied everyone and is very economical to make. I figure that entire meal only cost $2-3 to feed our family of 7. It also was balanced with carbs, veggies, and plenty of protein. Although meatless, it included eggs as well as the combination of whole grains and veggies which creates a complete protein. In all actuality, this cheap eating is probably going to help our health as well as our wallet.
Here is the recipe again:

Oriental Oats

2 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
4T. oil
2 cups chopped or sliced mixed onions, sprouts, mushrooms and broccoli
3/4 cup water
1 T. soy sauce

Combine eggs and oats in a bowl; mix well. Cook in 2 tablespoons oil in skillet for 3 to 5 minutes or until dry and separate. Saute vegetables in remaining oil in small skillet. Add to oats with water and soy sauce. Simmer until liquid is absorbed, stirring occasionally. May add 1 cup chopped meat. May substitute butter for oil; may substitute broth or stock for water and soy sauce. Yield 6 servings. (From "Whole Foods for the Whole Family" LeLeche League International)

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