Thursday, June 25, 2009

Chicken and Apple Sausage with Oatmeal & Veggies

Yesterday, I blogged about making small incremental changes to the way we shop and cook rather than sudden big changes.

This is particularly important for people like single dad Brian, my guest this week, who confessed that he shops and eats the same foods out of habit.

So rather than try and change Brian and his way of doing things, I've attempted in my posts to work with his habits and patterns and come up with different ways for him to prepare and eat the foods his buys.

Earlier in the week, I remarked that he's comfortable grilling but not cooking meals from scratch. So I posted a breakfast idea for Brian and his boys using another cooking gadget: the waffle iron.

For some men it's not the food that's interesting, it's the gadget they use to prepare the food that makes meal times fun and potentially less (but sometimes more) habitual.

With grilling in mind, yesterday I suggested grilled tortilla pizza using foods Brian likes to buy, and which he found at Whole Foods at a price he felt was competitive.

Today, I've come up with another meal idea based on Brian's love of steel cut oats and his habit of cooking up batches at the beginning of the week for upcoming breakfasts.

Now oats are not just a breakfast food. This I discovered directly when living and working with a Scottish girl while cooking in France. And let me tell you if you think that scenario sounds rather odd, hearing French spoken with a Scottish brogue accent was odder!

Leslie managed to put oats in just about everything she cooked. I'm sure for many readers the classic Scottish dish, Haggis, will ring a bell -- boiled sheep intestine filled with oats, ground offal, onions and seasoning, or a variation on those ingredients.

Personally, I preferred the Whiskey-soaked-oats and heavy-cream dessert she made over the Haggis.

Anyway, the point is oats are versatile, and since Brian finds the ease and convenience of steel cut oats a plus, and since he cooks oats in big batches for later consumption, I played around with a simple dish I've made in the past, and included ingredients Brian purchases, and came up with the following:

Apple Sausage with Oatmeal & Veggies
1) To 4 cups of boiling water add 1 cup of steel cut oats. Stir till oats begin to thicken, then reduce heat to low and gently cook for about 30 mins
2) At the 15-min mark, add a cup of frozen peas, frozen corn, or your choice of a frozen veggie (Brian's boys like frozen string beans and broccoli florets) to the pot of cooking oats. Stir the veggies into the oats and replace the lid.
3) Slice up several of your favorite sausages. Brian had eyed the chicken and sweet apple in the pic above, and I think their slightly sweet flavor goes well with this dish.
4) Toss sliced sausage into a hot pan and cook, or of course if you prefer to grill, throw several whole sausages onto a grill & cook through, then slice into chunks.
5) At the 30-min mark, oats should be tender, and veggies will have steamed cooked.
6) Season with S&P or your choice of a hot or a spicy sauce, or a fruit chutney.

To Serve: Scoop a couple spoonful of cooked oats and veggies into a bowl. Top with grilled chicken and apple sausage. Decorate side of the dish with sliced apple or chopped beetroot -- I used golden beets, but red beets would add color and eye-appeal. If you decided not to add sauce or chutney during the last phase of cooking, serve as condiments instead.

Note: This dish could be served as a brunch, lunch or as a main evening meal. And chances are children, like Brian's two young boys, might just enjoy it too.


Julie said...

I appreciate your approach! And best to Brian. I too love to make healthy and easy meals. I've just posted a new recipe that I would like to share:

Julie said...
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Andrea (Off Her Cork) said...

Great post Louise and great job about making WF work for you! I'm still in the flip-flopping stage about switching to shopping there fully but it will happen!