I had another one of those evenings with the hope that a little work now could make for an easy week. First, I prepared a pot of oatmeal, so that breakfast would be on hand in the mornings. Second, a pot of Olde World pilaf (in the bulk bin at the grocery store - it's an amazing mix of rices, lentils, split peas, black-eye peas, etc.) cooked with carrot, onion, fresh rosemary and a drizzle of olive oil for an on-hand lunch or dinner side throughout the week. And thirdly, some cute little mini pizzas for little Lou.
For the mini pizzas, I cut out shapes from a flat bread using mini cookie cutters. Then spread with some spaghetti sauce, topped with finely chopped pepperoni slices and sprinkled with grated Parmesan cheese. I placed them under the broiler until the cheese was golden, then they were ready to pack into Lou's lunch for the next day. They were super cute and the perfect size for her to be able to pick up and enjoy. I look forward to continue doing this with different topping ideas. I can just see her excitement now with the thought of a cheddar, broccoli and chicken rendition. I'm a fan of vegetables - she is not..
I've also been having quite a bit of fun with oatmeal lately. I love oatmeal. And I love melding food groups together so that I can feel that with each bite I take, I'm giving my appetite a party of nutrients. Hence, why I put currants in my cookies.. Ha!
3-1/2 to 4 cups water
1 medium sweet potato, finely chopped
2 heaping cups old-fashioned oats
1 large apple, chopped
1/3 cup dried cherries, chopped
Ground ginger, cloves and nutmeg
Pinch of salt
In a large saucepan, bring water and potato to a boil. Reduce heat. Add the oats, apple and cherries; season with spices and salt. Cover and simmer until potato is tender (add more water if needed). Remove from the heat and let stand covered for a few minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Sweeten with maple syrup. Enjoy now or spoon into half-pint jars and refrigerate to have individual servings on hand throughout the week. Yields: 6 servings.
For last weeks oatmeal, I didn't use sweet potato and added in a shredded carrot with the apple and used currants instead of cherries. For even more of a breakfast treat, leave space at the top of the jar; then in the morning throw on a good dollop of plain yogurt and a sprinkle of brown sugar. You're more than welcome to heat up the oatmeal and stir in some milk, but after it has been chilled I really like the texture that it forms when cold. A healthy breakfast that takes no time in the morning, that's a good way to start the day!