Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Growing Oatmeal Breakfast

Growing Oatmeal Breakfast - made July 2-7, 2019, modified from The Hungry Girl Diet Book
I joined this weight loss challenge at work. It started this past Monday and runs for 10 weeks until the end of September. Person with the highest percentage of weight loss wins. The end of the challenge nicely coincides with my dad’s upcoming birthday party which we’ve turned into a family reunion in late September and my niece’s wedding in October. Both events where it’d be nice to shed a few or 15 pounds for the pictures. So game on.

In serendipitous timing, I’d bought the Hungry Girl Diet Cookbook a couple of weeks prior. At first I thought I was going on the Hungry Girl Diet, lured by the testimonials of people losing 10 pounds in 4 weeks. But past experience has taught me that diets don’t work for me. They work for a couple of weeks and I drop the pounds then I stop and they come back on. Instead, I decided I would incorporate what I liked from the cookbook into my long-term way of eating and substitute or supplement the dishes that worked with my less-healthy choices.
Plus, the work challenge at the office. My vain and petty soul wants to win. I’m undecided whether I’m going to go dark on my baking blog during this challenge or post occasionally with the “diet” recipes that I like. Either way, if you see me posting a full-fat, full-on sugar baking recipe, you know I cheated am taking a foodie break.
As for this recipe, I am normally not a big fan of oatmeal. I don’t mind it, especially in an oatmeal chocolate chip cookie (ha) but it’s not my normal breakfast fare. Still, perhaps it was time to start eating like a grown up. Fortunately, even if I’m not an oatmeal fan, I can at least eat it and find it tolerably okay. 
I didn’t have any canned pumpkin or no-calorie sweetener when I first made this recipe so my first couple of morning breakfasts did without those things. The oatmeal was pretty bland and I kept upping the cinnamon. I didn’t mind the blandness that much because my taste buds themselves are pretty bland but the oatmeal is immeasurably helped by the chopped Fuji apple I added to it each morning. I did eventually end up making a Target run to get the ingredients I needed and made it the proper Hungry Girl way by the third morning. That way turned out a bit more creamy than the incomplete way I’d started with but I adjusted. It’s still bland but that was okay. I do recommend topping with apple chunks or your favorite fruit to provide a little texture and sweetness.
The great thing about this dish? It’s genuinely so filling that it takes me upwards of half an hour to consume the whole serving. I’m normally a fast eater and breakfast can easily be a memory within 5 minutes so this helps slow me down. I've now been having this breakfast every day for the past couple of weeks and have actually grown fond of it enough to keep on with it. It helps that it's only 300-ish calories and keeps me from becoming hungry again until an hour or so before lunch, at which time I eat the rest of the Fuji apple to tide me over until lunch.
1/2 cup old-fashioned oats (not instant)
1 no-calorie sweetener packet
1 teaspoon cinnamon
dash of salt
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup fat-free milk
1 1/4 cups water
1/4 cup canned pumpkin
1/4 to 1/2 cup apple, cut into chunks
  1. In a nonstick pot, combine all ingredients except canned pumpkin and apples. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer. 
  2. Add pumpkin and cook until thick and creamy, 12-15 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl and let cool and thicken. Top with chopped apple.

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