Healthy Breakfast Idea: Rethinking Oatmeal

by Guest Blogger on October 31, 2009

This guest post is by Earl Fischer, my awesome brother in law. He describes a cheap meal that makes use of a popular breakfast staple.

Necessity is the father of invention. But invention appears to have many fathers. Frugality is one of them. Desperation, too.

I may not be a chef but I can humbly claim to have above-average skills in that culinary vestibule known ordinarily as the kitchen. These skills were acquired not through formal schooling but due to necessity and frugality. We all need to eat so I guess it almost follows that we need to know how to cook. Employing a cook can be costly so in order to keep frugal, one should also learn how to cook.

Many years of experience in the kitchen has helped me to develop my creativity and skills as a cook. While a true chef’s creations are oftentimes concocted through experimentation, whereby he comes up with new dishes as a result of working with and combining well thought out ingredients, my creations come about through resourcefulness and the ability to “scavenge” well. I come up with my creations by using what’s left in my fridge and pantry.

My Healthy Breakfast Idea: The Oatmeal Sandwich!

Raw oatmeal. Image from Sherman Heart

As someone who likes easy meal ideas, I now take pleasure in sharing one of my most recent creations with you. I invite one and all to try the … (drumroll) …oatmeal sandwich for breakfast. This interesting meal actually made its first public appearance in the 1960’s Henry Fonda-Lucille Ball starrer, “Yours, Mine and Ours.” Here are some tips on how I’ve put this together:

For the oatmeal, I use the most popular brand because that’s the only oatmeal I like. If the oatmeal is too watery, just let simmer for 15 to 20 minutes to reduce the water. Use wheat bread because it’s got fiber, which our body needs.

So what do you think of this healthy food idea? This dish actually makes for a very nutritious breakfast. It’s not only high in fiber but it also helps lower cholesterol. You’ll get the proof from the label on the oatmeal packaging. If you are conscious of protein in your diet, have an egg on the side. For your beverage, have orange juice to receive your daily intake of vitamin C. Skip the coffee because it has absolutely no nutritional value and it adversely affects your body’s capability to absorb calcium, or so they say. The cheapest orange juice brand is good enough.

I really enjoy this sandwich. I’ve tried it open-face and triple deck. Try sprinkling a little salt to add some flavor. If you have some leftover lettuce and tomatoes from the previous night’s salad, you can get more adventurous and double your nutrition with lettuce, oatmeal and tomato!

Did you think I was kidding? Try it yourself!

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{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Shaina November 1, 2009 at 7:13 pm

I can imagine that tasting a little too bland. I suggest some jam or jelly to go in between the oats and the wheat. Tell me what it tastes like Earl, then I’ll try it myself.

2 Earl Fischer November 1, 2009 at 11:33 pm

Jam or jelly would be fine. Bear in mind that when it comes to food, everything is according to your taste. I haven’t tried it yet with jam nor jelly but I’ve tried it with chopped jalapenos and I got a real kick out of it.

3 The Smarter Wallet November 2, 2009 at 8:01 am

This is quite unusual. To be honest, I’ve never heard of such a meal before. I must see it to believe it…. 😉 Maybe one day!

4 Rina November 9, 2009 at 11:16 pm

Fantastic post, thanks for submitting to the MIFS carnival!!

5 Stephanie November 10, 2009 at 12:29 pm

I learned how to cook in exactly the same way you did, out of pure necessity using whatever we had in the cupboards. Oatmeal sandwiches, however are new to me. 🙂

6 Wren C November 10, 2009 at 6:44 pm

I’ve certainly added a plethora of food types and flavorings to my oatmeal–I fancy myself an oatmeal connoisseur, but I think an oatmeal sandwich… well, it doesn’t sound very good. Oatmeal, as a whole grain, has loads of fiber–no need to overdo it in one meal by adding bread. A more well-rounded (and tasty) addition to oatmeal would be fruit, right? That’s what I’m sticking with for now. 😉

7 Joe November 10, 2009 at 7:19 pm

For goodness sake, wise up.

There are basically two kinds of oatmeal sold… rolled oats and steel cut oats. Both are the same, just how they are obtained from the harvested oat plant.
Steel cut oats need more cooking, and do not come in the instant variety. Instant oats are always rolled oats.

Now here is the real truth: steel cut oats are more nutritious. But you will need to look harder to find steel cut oats, and it is mostly sold only in bulk.

Here’s what I do: before going to bed, I boil some water, add some steel cut oats, bring to boil again, cover tightly, and turn off the flame. The residual heat slowly cooks the steel cut oats, and I just warm it up in the morning.

Once you have eaten steel cut oats, you will wonder why you ever put up with the instant rolled oats.

8 Earl Fischer November 11, 2009 at 4:04 pm

True, oatmeal sandwiches don’t quite sound appealing. One can just imagine how bland they would taste. But it is an avenue of opportunity to become creative in the kitchen and on the dining table. When it comes to food, the sky is the limit. I am reminded of an episode in Iron Chef America where a Japanese chef came up with halibut ice cream. I’d also probably react and say “For goodness sake!”

9 The Smarter Wallet November 12, 2009 at 10:34 am

@Earl…. lol! 🙂 Can’t wait to try your oatmeal sandwiches one day…. Maybe an opportunity shall arise.

10 Eli November 13, 2009 at 9:01 pm

You may be on to something here with your Oatmeal Sandwich, Earl. Try it with a lot of mixes. May be some nuts for chewy nuttiness. The Vege burger/ Veggie burger took a lot of experimentation and trial runs. It is now a marketing wonder studied even in business schools. With the current wave of health consciousness and belt-tightening, this may have a market. Just develop the taste and make sure to patent and trademark the product. That will solve the necessity and frugality part.

11 Funny about Money January 5, 2010 at 5:52 am

Awwww…c’mon. You’re putting us on, right?

Steel-cut or Irish oats really are way superior to the usual stuff you get in the grocery store. BTW, if like me you don’t care for gooey sweet stuff, you can treat oats just like pasta, with tomatoes, some chopped green onion or chives, and parmesan cheese. Maybe some tomato and onion would make a nice garnish for the oatmeal sandwich?

12 The Smarter Wallet January 5, 2010 at 3:09 pm

Thanks for all your suggestions! Could be interesting to add tomatoes and onions in the mix there. Personally, I like my oatmeal sweet, but using it like pasta seems like a great “outside the box” idea!

13 LeanLifeCoach January 5, 2010 at 8:05 pm

Sounds messy, but add lots of brown sugar and I am all over it!

14 Michelle January 8, 2010 at 7:28 pm

Oatmeal is a grain, just like rice. You can use it in many rice recipes after some experimenting. It is quite good with olive oil, salt and pepper instead of milk and sugar. Try it as a substitute in all kinds of grain or pasta recipes.

15 fetu January 9, 2010 at 2:02 am

Seeing as you are into frugal eating, you might be interested in an old frugal Scots trick with oatmeal. Cook a whole big pot then put it into a cake pan to cool down (I have heard of using a wood drawer). Then slice it up cold like a brownie as you need a slice to snack on or take out into the field to eat while working on the farm. Those were the days when it was a staple food in Scotland.

16 Janet Ann February 13, 2010 at 2:31 pm

For a fast healthy snack I also drink my oatmeal by adding ground oatmeal groats to smoothies. YUMS!

I eat oatmeal sandwiches all the time, but with a different twist. I put the raw oatmeal in my Magic Bullet blender and in seconds turn it to flour. then I add a bit of yeast and some liquid ingredients and healthy it up with nuts and other whole grains and whatever seasoning seems appealing and knead it into bread dough. My oatmeal bread is so chunky and wholesome and good that sometimes it is a meal in itself, just warm with butter melting over it. However, one of my favorite uses for this dough is making burger buns. Mmmm, a cheeseburger wrapped in my oatmeal bread is my idea of an oatmeal sandwich.

17 Earl Fischer February 13, 2010 at 10:45 pm

That’s something worth trying, fetu. Thanks for this comment!

18 Sparkky August 10, 2010 at 3:45 pm

Why would you worry about getting your daily Vitamin C intake?
Vitamin C is used in almost everything as it is the cheapest possible preservative.

Furthermore, coffee is an excellent source of anti-oxidants, something which most people don’t get enough of. The debate that it prevents calcium intake is a possibility, but for the vast majority of the population your calcium intake is not a problem at all. If you were a woman in your 50’s I might give it a second thought at a doctors recommendation, but if you’re just a 20 year old guy/gal looking for an easy breakfast; it shouldn’t even cross your mind.

Orange juice is great if you’re trying to put on weight, but not so much if you’re trying to lose it. I’d recommend if you’re looking for a sweeter beverage that isn’t calorie dense that you try making your own iced tea or iced coffee. Both are very simple to make and you can control the amount of sugar. I love iced coffee with a little shot of vanilla and some milk. Very little calories, lots of flavour and great in the morning, or evening.

19 Earl Fischer November 24, 2010 at 9:55 pm

Thanks for your comment, Sparrky!

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