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Why You Should Be Eating Savory Oatmeal for Lunch

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As a defiant response to Sad Desk Lunches, the Food52 team works to keep our midday meals both interesting and pretty. Each week, we'll be sharing our happiest desk lunches -- and we want to see yours, too.

Today: Experiment with your oatmeal routine for a filling, cool-weather desk lunch.

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Weekends provide me the much-needed space to cook big batches for the coming week’s lunches. Lately, I’ve been super excited about the idea of savory oatmeal for lunch, and with the arrival of crisp fall weather I welcome another excuse to eat heaping spoonfuls of warm porridge.

April Bloomfield's English Porridge is my favorite recipe to draw inspiration from, but to make savory oatmeal, I like to sauté the steel cut oats in butter and shallots first before adding in the liquid. You can even cook the oats in vegetable or chicken stock instead of the more traditional water or milk to go full-on savory.

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More: Here's one of our favorite bowls -- for breakfast and lunch alike.

As far as toppings go, I like to add a drizzle of olive oil, some flaked sea salt, a little bit of spice, and perhaps a bit (or perhaps a lot) of pecorino cheese. And if I’m really going all out, I’ll add in some fried herbs (like sage), a sprinkle of bacon, a bit of hot sauce, or a poached egg. Because I store the portioned oatmeal in a small container the night before and put the toppings in little baggies, I barely have to do anything to prepare my lunch in the morning.

The best part about savory oatmeal? Experimenting is encouraged. Go crazy with whatever flavors and mix-ins you want.

Photo by James Ransom

Tags: savory oatmeal, oatmeal, not sad desk lunch, lunch