Thursday, July 23, 2009

OATMEAL! for dinner!???

If you haven't tried steel cut oatmeal yet, MAN! are you in for a treat! I was first tempted to try Mccann's Irish Steel Cut Oatmeal because of its being from Ireland. I'm a dead sucker for anything from Eire, from Kerrygold cheeses and butter, to an occasional Guinness stout ("It's good for you!"), and now Irish oats.

First, why Irish and steel cut instead of American rolled oats. Several reasons, but here are the top three:

1) Mccann's are purer. As many of you know, my sweetheart Jo Donna is allergic to gluten, which is found in wheat. She can't eat anything with wheat flour in it - breads, cake, pie, breaded fried foods, pizza, many candies, etc, etc, etc. Now oats are gluten free, but she hasn't been able to eat them because they get contaminated during processing with flour which is ground and prepared in the same facilities as almost all oatmeal brands. Except, it turns out, Mccann's from Ireland who only mill oats in their facilites, and therefore keep them pure of the nasty gluten she can't eat.

2) Steel cut oats are much, much better for a body than rolled oats. Rolled oats are partially cooked (steamed) before the rolling process, then steamed again afterwards. This removes some of the nutrients. Steel-Cut Oats are whole grain groats (the inner portion of the oat kernel) which have been cut into two or three pieces using steel discs. This process preserves all the natural nutrients and flavor of the oat.

3) Irish oats are better quality. Quoting from their website: "The temperature, humid climate of Ireland promotes the slow ripening of the grain. It enables the oats to draw the goodness from the soil and yield up a crop with fuller, plumper grains." (Sure, and isn't everything better in Ireland!)

READ MORE ABOUT Mccann's Oats at
(BTW, you may be askin' your self, "Now Seamus, me boy, is this an advert for old Mccann's?" HA! I only wish! If anyone from Mccann's wants to toss money my way, though, I have a big basket to catch it in!!!!)

Now the recipe for super oatmeal for dinner:

Prepare the oats as directed on the can:
* four cups of water, brought to a boil
* one cup of oats stirred in
* boil for a few minutes, until they begin to get a little creamy, then
* simmer, stirring often, for 30 minutes

at this point the oats are done and you could eat them as is, but wait! there's more ...

* add 1 tsp of sea salt
* stir in 2 tsp of non-dairy butter spread (we use Smart Balance Light with Flax Oil)
* add one tablespoon of milled flax seeds (not just the seeds, but the ground ones you find with the baking goods)
* mix in 1/4 cup of vegetarian bacon bits

Stir this all together and cover the pot tightly; let it sit for 10 minutes to allow the flavors to merge.

Serve this nutty, rich, super dish either as a main course or as a side dish.

You're welcome.!

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