Garden, Plant, Cook!

Saturday, September 05, 2015

Oatmeal & Eggs - It's What's For Dinner, or Breakfast or Lunch

Dear Folks,

I have written about author Leanne Brown and her kickstarter first book called "Good & Cheap: Eat Well on $4 a Day."

I downloaded her PDF of the first book (and gave a donation).

She has now published the first public release of the book for the general public and is in Phoenix for a book signing at the Phoenix location of Changing Hands (300 West Camelback Road) (602-274-0067).

Book Signing by Ms. Brown at Phoenix Changing Hands, September 15th

I continue to be so impressed with her approach on how to solve the ongoing dilemma of eating healthfully on a budget.

I encourage you to buy her book - you are also in turn creating a donated book to a worthy person or family as she donates a book for each one sold.

This is a keeper of a cookbook.

The recipe which initially caught my eye in the first book was her Fried Egg on Oatmeal!  My kind of good-for-you-satisfying-food.  I have made savory oatmeal before -- you just need to think oatmeal (Old Fashioned kind cooks up in 5 MINUTES!) instead of rice, potatoes, pasta or polenta.  In fact my earlier post on her book and this recipe contains nutrient comparisons between polenta and oatmeal (also how to cook the perfect fried egg).

I did make the oatmeal / egg recipe but did not take a picture.  So last night thinking about giving her book another plug I made it for our dinner.  (Deane says he wants it for Breakfast next time and it is certainly suitable for any meal.)

A 'keeper' as Deane says, satisfying, tasty and the cost was less than $1.00 for our two meals (2 eggs, 1 cup of oatmeal plus flavorings).  I used dried onion and Mexican Oregano from my garden, salt and pepper, and a small amount of my homemade butter spread (made from organic butter and avocado oil) and a bit of grated Parmesan cheese.

So here is the picture and my recipe version of Ms. Brown's Oatmeal & Fried Egg meal.

About the picture.  My egg is done a bit more than Ms. Brown's - from top to bottom the oatmeal plated, topped with the cheese, and then the egg added (note the crisp edges on my egg because of the butter in my recipe).  The last picture is taken from Ms. Brown's first book - the PICTURE that caught my eye immediately wanting make this recipe.

Oatmeal & Egg
Makes 2 Servings

1 cup old fashioned oatmeal
1 3/4 cups water

1 tablespoon dried onion
1 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
Salt and Pepper
2 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon butter spread divided
2 eggs

Set up small frying pan to cook eggs in - have lid handy, and heat the pan on medium high while you cook the oatmeal (the pan has to be screaming hot to cook the eggs).

In a pot add onion, oregano and sprinkle of salt, stir in water, oatmeal and 1/3 teaspoon of butter.  Bring to a boil then reduce to simmer stirring regularly - think polenta stirring, until thickened and water is absorbed - about 5 minutes.

Divide the oatmeal onto two plants and top with 1 tablespoon each of grated cheese.

Crack eggs in a small dish and add salt and pepper.

Add rest of butter to pan and swirl to coat, immediately slide eggs in, cover and set timer for 1 minute.  When timer goes off remove covered pan to cool burner and set timer again for 1 minute.  The 1 minute increments can vary up to 1:20 for each step depending on the size of the eggs and how hot the pan is.

Rest 1 egg on each mound of oatmeal and enjoy!

Normally monochromatic dishes are not what I recommend - you know the mantra of have a rainbow on your plate.  The next time I make this dish I will fold in slivered greens and fresh basil to make it colorful.

You can certainly saute some colorful peppers in the pot before adding the oatmeal ingredients.  Make it fun, delicious and CHEAP!

I am not able to make the book signing (darn) but a friend is going and will purchase a copy for me.

I hope you try this recipe, read up on Ms. Brown's story, buy the book and share this post with friends, family and anyone you think can find help with Good & Cheap recipes.

-- Catherine, The Herb Lady

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Watermelon Rind Jam - More Re-Cycled Foods.

Dear Folks,

I saw this posted on Yahoo from Food52 and had to share another great use for food scraps normally discarded.

I'm pickled and candied watermelon rind and honestly they were okay, but I'm not hurrying to make more.

I have the last of the Black Tail Mountain Watermelons I was planning on cutting open today and then I saw this recipe and I'm going to make it.  (Normally I do compost all kitchen scraps that are not used for making stock.)

Do read the whole article.  The peel is discarded in the basic recipe, but the article author did try a version with peel, so you may want to try both version, perhaps split the basic mix in half and add peels to one half and see what you think.

Olia Hercules' Watermelon Rind Jam

    • 500 grams (1 pound) watermelon skin, tough thin green rind peeled and discarded, white skin finely chopped
    • 300 grams (10 ounces) golden caster sugar (or substitute superfine sugar or demerara or turbinado, ground fine in the food processor)
    • 4 limes, halved and thinly sliced (optional, see note in Author Notes above)
    1. Mix all the ingredients together in a container, cover with cling film, and leave in the refrigerator overnight.
    2. Cook the mixture in a non-reactive saucepan over low heat, making sure the sugar melts before it boils, for 50 minutes or until the watermelon skin turns translucent.
    3. Pour into 2 warm sterilized 450-milliliter (3/4-pint) jars, seal and let cool. Store in the refrigerator. It should keep unopened for several months.
Note:  you can certainly water-bath can the jam for shelf-stable storage.  I would can half-pints for 10-12 minutes, pints for 15 minutes.

Food52 has launched a "Cooking with Scraps" column - you may with to check out.  This is the kind of side cooking ideas I just love.

And one more recipe for watermelon - a "watermelon pudding" which is described as similar to lemon curd.  Love the idea - they strain the pulp out - I might try it with the pulp (again not to waste anything).

And finally the watermelon seeds.  If it is an heirloom you may wish to save the seeds for replanting (here in the desert plant watermelon in January or February).


You can roast them just like pumpkin seeds.  Rinse well, dry, toss with a bit of oil and a dash of salt. Spread on a baking sheet and bake at 350 for 10-15 minutes, stirring half way through.  Watch so they do not burn.

All the melon cucumber seeds can be roasted - some may be too small to bother with, but why toss them out when you can make a fun snack.

Talk about using ALL the fruit - this is a winner of a set of options for the beloved watermelon!

-- Catherine, The Herb Lady

If you would like more recipes check out my cookbook "101+ Recipes from The Herb Lady"

Lulu (my publisher site)


amazon - print

Barnes & Noble - print and Nook ebook