As I (Jena) have probably made clear on multiple occasions, I am an instinctive cook rather than a recipe-follower. So here we have an example.
I have recently gotten totally obsessed with oatmeal because it’s one of the few things you can make in single-person portions with relative ease, and have been experimenting with various fruit-and-spice combinations at breakfast time. (Ginger, peaches, pecans, cranberries, and a drop of cinnamon and brown sugar is the winner so far.)
So why not oatmeal for dinner? I found Mark Bittman’s Savory Oatmeal recipe and decided, without having tried it, to improve on it.
* oatmeal (1/2 cup per person)
* water (3/4-1 cup per person)
* garlic (1/2-1 clove per person, to taste)
* ginger (to taste)
* sesame oil (?)
* mushrooms (5-10 per person)
* unripe mango (optional; 1/2-1 per person)
* scallions (to taste)
* soy sauce (to taste)
* Sriracha or something similar (to taste)
* peanut butter (optional; 1 T per person)
1. Stir-fry oil, garlic, ginger, mushrooms, and mango. Don’t forget, as I always do, that sesame oil smokes at an even lower temperature than olive oil.
2. Add water and oatmeal. Make sure to stir frequently.
3. Add soy sauce and hot sauce to taste.
4. Realize that, since the dried shrimp lady had already gone home by the time you went to the market, your dinner has exactly no protein. Remember that you have walked 4-5 miles *and* attended a long tai chi class today *and* may go out dancing tonight. Decide that peanut butter is the best available source of protein and mix it in.
5. Serve. Top with lots of chopped scallions.
Calories per serving, in case you care:
peanut butter (90)
oil (about 100)
mushrooms, garlic, ginger, scallions (negligible - max 50)
mango (about 100)
Total: about 500 for a very large bowl of food. Bonus points: nothing processed, no simple carbohydrates, lots of antioxidants (garlic, ginger, mango).