Unlike some other grains, which may have nutty or wheaty flavors, oatmeal tastes, well, like nothing. An oatmeal pessimist tastes bland. An oatmeal optimist? Aaaaaah, they taste a blank canvas.
Since I eat oatmeal just about every day for breakfast, I'm working hard on my optimism. It occurred to me that oatmeal doesn't have to be tied to sweet - cinnamon, fruit, sugar, etc. Why not try something savory? I mean, rice can be sweet and savory, right? Quinoa can be sweet and savory, too. Why not oatmeal?
Because oatmeal is a blank canvas, I found having it well seasoned was the key to doing savory oatmeal. Don't skimp on the seasonings! My garden is overflowing with sage, oregano, chives, rosemary, and parsley. Amazingly, those herbs survived the winter and have spread. I flavored the oatmeal using what's in my garden, but feel free to try the dried versions. 1 Tbls of fresh herbs equals one 1 tsp of dried. Think about swapping the water for beef or chicken or vegetable broth. There are lots of possibilities. Here's my first crack at a savory oatmeal...there will be many more to come!
Savory Sausage, Tomato, & Parmesan Oatmeal
1/3 cup quick cooking oats
1 Jimmy Dean Fully Cooked Turkey Sausage Patty, diced fine
1/4 cup chopped tomato
1 tsp chopped, fresh herbs (I used sage and oregano from my garden)
salt and pepper to taste
2/3 cup water
1 tsp grated parmesan
In a large, microwave safe bowl combine all ingredients through water.
Microwave on high for 1 minute, 50 seconds, or until done. It may take a little longer since the sausage and tomato both release their own juices.
When done, sprinkle with parmesan, stir, and enjoy!