In a couple of weeks, I will be visiting Los Angeles to attend the IACP conference. It's my first time in LA and it's also my first time attending the awards, it's going to be fun and I'm looking forward to meeting and making new friends! If you have any suggestions on what I should eat or where I should go, please drop a little line below to let me know, I'd love to check out some of your recommendations on this trip.
I love oats as much as my mother hates it. Several years ago she had an accident and had to stay for more than a week in the hospital and she said all they fed her was oatmeal. She avoids it like the plague ever since. Me on the other hand, I can never have enough oatmeal or oats. Judging by the fact that I eat oatmeal about five times a week. It's usually a staple at breakfast but there are times when I'll use it as a rice substitute. Don't get me wrong, the textures are different, one more sticky than the other but it's still delicious in savory form. Whether you wash the oats in cold running water or if you fry them before you boil, they will still be clumpy and sticky. At least that's been my experience but that unmistakable chewy texture of steel cut oats makes it a winner.
I used Bob's Red Mill's steel cut oats and hemp seed hearts I find steel cut oats to be a closer substitute for rice when it comes to using it in savory dishes as a grain, it's just like a wheatberry but less chubby and more soft yet it has that beautiful chewy nature. Hemp heart seeds on the other hand taste like little flakes. When it sticks to those roasted beets as soon as they come out of the oven, that texture... it reminds me of Indian sesame candy, chikki but without all that sugar.
Here are some of my kitchen tips that you might find useful when making this dish,
- The best way to tell whether the beets are roasted and cooked is to look at the baking pan. If you notice water from the beets in the pan, then continue to roast them until only the olive oil is present.
- You can adjust the consistency of the oats by adding a little water once they're cooked.
- Hemp hearts do not need any cooking, just fold them into the beets and that's it.
- You can sub the beets out with carrots if you're not fond of beets. Adjust the roasting time accordingly.
savory oatmeal, hemp hearts with garlic roasted beets
yields: 4 servings
3 cups diced beets cut into 0.5" cubes, peeled
1 tablespoon garlic minced
3 teaspoons fine grain sea salt
4 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup hemp seed hearts
1 cup steel cut oats
3 cups water
1/4 teaspoon black pepper powder, freshly ground
1 cup diced red onion
1/2 teaspoon red chili powder
1/4 cup raw peanuts
1/4 cup grated goat cheddar
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh mint leaves
1 large lemon
1. Place a wire rack at midlevel in the oven and preheat to 400F. Place the beets, garlic, 1 teaspoon salt and 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large baking pan and mix to coat evenly. Roast the beets in the oven for about 40 minutes until they are tender and a knife can pass through the beets easily. Remove from oven, mix in the hemp seed hearts and keep warm until ready to use.
2. While the beets are roasting, prepare the oats. In a medium-sized stockpot, bring the water to boil on medium-high and then add the oats along with 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon olive oil. Reduce the heat to a low simmer, cover with a lid and cook until the oats are tender, this should take about 10 to 12 minutes, stir occasionally. Remove from stove and keep aside
3. In a medium-size skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil on medium-high heat. Add the red onion, 1/2 teaspoon salt and chili powder, sauté until light pink and almost translucent, this should take about 5 minutes. Remove the onions from the stove and stir into the oats.
4. In the same skillet, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil on medium-high heat. Add the peanuts along with 1/2 teaspoon of salt and the black pepper. Toss to coat and fry the peanuts until cooked, this should take about 90 seconds to 120 seconds. Add the cooked peanuts to the oats.
5. Fold the roasted beets with the hemp seed hearts into the oats. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Garnish each serving with 1 tablespoon of grated cheddar, mint leaves and a little lemon juice. Serve immediately.
Disclaimer: Thanks to Bob's Red Mill for sponsoring this post. All opinions expressed are solely my own.