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Vegetarian Recipes

Whole Oat Porridge


This whole oat porridge recipe transformed me from an oatmeal skeptic to a devoted fan! Creamy, hearty, and warming, it can be made sweet or savory.

It’s no secret that I’m not a huge fan of oatmeal. See, every morning in college, I cooked instant oats for breakfast. They were cheap, quick, and they filled me up, but after years of eating them day after day, I got sick of their mushy texture and bland taste. I thought that nothing could convince me to try oatmeal again, until I saw the Porridge section of Amy Chaplin’s new book, Whole Food Cooking Every Day.

I’ve been a fan of Amy for years – she’s the former executive chef of Angelica Kitchen (the NYC restaurant that first inspired me to eat more plant-based), and her first book, At Home in the Whole Food Kitchen, is one of my absolute favorite cookbooks. Her second book certainly lived up to expectations  – it’s packed with gorgeous photos and recipes for plant-based breads, soups, sauces, and more! Each chapter consists of a few base recipes with variations, which is a format I LOVE . The book is filled with creative ideas, but the Porridge section looked so stunning and inventive that, despite my hot oatmeal aversion, I had to try her porridge recipes.


Porridge vs. Oatmeal

As Amy explains in the book, oatmeal is a type of porridge, but porridge doesn’t just have to be made with oats, and it doesn’t have to be sweet. She shares recipes for making it with grains ranging from black rice to millet. In addition to including a base recipe for each grain, she has endless ideas for sweet and savory toppings, plus insights on ingredients’ nutritional value.

Putting my oatmeal qualms aside, I opted to try her whole oat porridge. Instead of using whole rolled oats or even steel cut oats, Amy uses whole oat groats, which I found in the bulk section of my grocery store. She starts by soaking them overnight and lightly blending them. When cooked, they create a satisfying, lusciously creamy porridge. Honestly, they’ve made me an oatmeal convert! Smooth, hearty, and delicious, her recipe makes the perfect porridge for warming up on cool fall mornings.

Porridge Recipe Variations

Once I made the base recipe, I tried two of Amy’s suggested variations:

  • Butternut Squash and Ginger – For this variation, Amy adds cubed winter squash and ginger to the porridge oats as they simmer. Amy’s recipe yields a simple, delicious breakfast with clean flavors. I amped mine up a bit with garlic and extra tamari. I also served it with a drizzle of toasted sesame oil in addition to the parsley, scallions, and herbs that Amy suggested.
  • Miso and Avocado – Miso & avocado make this one a super flavorful, velvety breakfast dish. Once you add the miso, the cereal will thin considerably. Continue cooking until it thickens, about 20 minutes, stirring frequently. Top with avocado, sesame seeds, scallions, and tamari, and enjoy!

I loved both of these savory variations, but if you prefer a sweeter breakfast, you can still use the base recipe! Top it with dried or fresh fruit, nuts and seeds, Greek yogurt, maple syrup, brown sugar, or a drizzle of coconut milk. Or, stir spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, or cardamom into the oat base.

This porridge keeps well in the fridge, so make a batch of one kind and enjoy it all week! Alternatively, prep the base recipe ahead of time, and make a bowl of porridge with different toppings each day. Reheat leftovers on the stove and stir in milk or water, as needed, to reach the perfect creamy consistency.


Author: Amy Chaplin

Recipe type: Breakfast

  • 1 cup whole oat groats, soaked overnight* (SEE NOTE)
  • 4 cups additional filtered water
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • Ingredients for 1 recipe Whole Oat Porridge (above)
  • 3 ½ cups cubed butternut squash
  • 1 tablespoon tamari, more for serving
  • 4 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
  • ½ garlic clove, grated
  • for serving: scallions, toasted pepitas, parsley, toasted sesame oil
  • Ingredients for 1 recipe Whole Oat Porridge (above)
  • 1 tablespoon white miso paste
  • for serving: avocado, tamari, scallions, sesame seeds, microgreens
  1. For the Whole Oat Porridge (base recipe): Drain and rinse the oat groats and transfer them to a blender. Add 4 cups fresh water salt and pulse until the grains are coarsely ground. Pour into a medium pot and bring to a boil over high heat, whisking frequently. Cover the pot, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking, until the grains are soft and the porridge is creamy. Serve hot, with desired toppings.
  2. For the Butternut Squash & Ginger Variation: Follow the directions for the oat porridge recipe above, adding the squash, ginger, and garlic to the pot along with the oat mixture and cook as directed until the porridge is creamy and the squash is soft. Add the tamari and adjust the seasoning to taste. Garnish with scallions, pepitas, parsley, and serve with sesame oil and tamari, for drizzling.
  3. For the Miso & Avocado Variation: Follow the directions for the oat porridge recipe above. Once your porridge has thickened, turn the heat off and stir the miso paste into the hot porridge until it’s dissolved. If your porridge becomes thinner at this point (like mine did), continue stirring over low heat until it thickens, 15 to 20 minutes. Serve with sliced avocado, tamari, scallions, sesame seeds, and microgreens.

*You CANNOT substitute rolled oats or steel cut oats for the oat groats in this recipe because the water ratio will be incorrect and your porridge will not thicken. If you want to use another type of oat, follow the cooking directions on the package of your oats.



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Vegetarian Recipes


“I want you to come watch the movie with us ON the couch, not be in the kitchen!”

I’ve been filling out this one-question-a-day journals for moms that I received for Christmas. It records a little thought or memory over the last year, and then starts again, so you can see how your answers change over a few years. One of the recent ones, prompted me to jot notes about what I am learning as a mom, and I found the question so general I was basically annoyed. I am a romantic, and also wildly pragmatic. In the span of a day I can tear up over the depths of love I feel for my kids, and also wish for them to have a mute button. We all have worlds within us; mothering pushing me into the corners of myself I am sometimes proud of or other corners ashamed of, but am I learning? Yes, every single day. Sometimes in the moment and other times after a particular season. But in 2021, my answer in the bullet journal was that I see my kids are wanting me to play with them. They aren’t registering all the service and shuttling and laundry and what it takes to pull off a week, they just want to play WITH me. It’s natural for me to move within lists and tasks and responsibilities and hustling, but playing is something I have to pay attention to. For them and for me. We usually do a family movie on Friday nights and my son (6.5), see quote above, pointed out that I don’t actually watch the movie, I tinker in the kitchen and he wants me in the couch cuddle. Flattered, and found out that I’d rather make granola than watch The Croods 🙂 So from annoyed, to passing on the question to fellow parents, what are you learning? Try not to be annoyed. Maybe circle back to it.

I published this recipe over on SKCC a few weeks ago and wanted it to live here. We’re trying to find more family-friendly vegetarian recipes (it’s easy for me to fill up on roasted veggies and big salads, not so much for the kids). This batch lasts us two meals – once with noodles, maybe half zoodles, and the second round on toast or english muffins with cheese melted on top, like a pizza sort of thing? It freezes well and is great to deliver to new parents.


Serves 6


2 Tbsp. of extra virgin olive oil
1 small yellow onion – roughly chopped
3 cloves of garlic
sea salt to taste
pepper to taste
1 head of cauliflower (about ¾ lb. or 12 oz. riced)
1/2 cup of raw walnuts pieces
1/2 tsp. of Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp. of fennel seeds – crushed
2 Tbsp. of tomato paste
2 Tbsp. of balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup of red wine (or broth of any sort, and double the vinegar to mimic the wine’s acidity)
28 oz. of canned, crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup of red lentils
red pepper flake to taste

For serving

12 oz. of pasta or choice, zoodles, etc.
fresh, torn basil


In a large Dutch-oven or stockpot, heat the olive oil over medium low heat.

In a food processor, pulse the onion and garlic into smaller bits. Add them to the pot with a big pinch of salt and pepper. Sauté to soften, about 3 minutes.

Pulse up the cauliflower florets to get a rice-like texture. Add the riced-cauliflower to the pot and sauté to soften, about 5 minutes.

Pulse the walnuts in the processor and add those to the pot along with the Italian seasoning, fennel seed, another few generous pinches of salt and pepper, tomato paste and balsamic vinegar. Sauté until fragrant.

Add the red wine, cook about 3 minutes, then add the crushed tomatoes, ½ cup water, lentils, pinch of pepper flakes and stir to combine. Turn the heat to low, put the cover ajar and let it simmer gently for 30-35 minutes. Turn off the heat, taste for seasoning and adjust.

Cook your pasta or zoodles according to instructions. Top with cauli Bolognese, grated cheese, fresh basil and enjoy!

The Bolognese will keep in the fridge for a week and can be frozen for a few months.

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