Here we are, a third of the way through January. Maybe you didn't set any New Year's resolutions. Maybe you've already given them up. Maybe you're still going strong. Whatever the case, we don't judge. Change is hard, especially when that change involves your diet. If you set out to eat healthier in 2017–or even if you didn't–then why not get started with breakfast?
If your morning meal looks more like sugary dessert than real sustenance, it's time to reevaluate your culinary choices. Lucky for us, it doesn't get much easier than oatmeal. It's a nutritious, filling dish to start the day, not to mention perfect for when you're looking for something hot on cold winter mornings. Try any and all of the variations below, plucked from the pages of Cooking That Counts by the editors of Cooking Light ($15; amazon.com).
Each recipe starts the same way: Boil water, stir in oats and a dash of salt, and finish with one of the following variations. Bon appétit!
Goat Cheese–Cremini Oatmeal
1. Heat a medium skillet over medium heat.
2. Add 1 tsp olive oil; swirl.
3. Add 1⁄2 cup sliced cremini mushrooms; sauté 4 minutes.
4. Stir 1 1⁄2 tbsp crumbled goat cheese, 2 tbsp half-and-half, 1⁄8 tsp salt, and 1⁄8 tsp chopped fresh thyme into 1 serving of warm oatmeal.
5. Top with mushrooms and an additional 1 1⁄2 tsp crumbled goat cheese.
1. Stir 1 tsp sugar and 1 tsp prepared lemon curd into 1 serving of warm oatmeal.
2. Top the oatmeal with 3 tbsp fresh blueberries, 1 tsp mascarpone cheese, and 2 tsp sliced toasted almonds.
Pancetta, Fried Egg, and Red-Eye Gravy
1. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat; add 1⁄2 oz sliced pancetta to the pan. Cook for 2 minutes or until crisp.
2. Transfer to a plate; reserve the drippings in the pan.
3. Add 1 tsp flour to the pan, stirring with a whisk. Stir in 2 tbsp black coffee and 2 tbsp tomato juice.
4. Bring to a simmer; cook until gravy reduces by half.
5. Heat a small nonstick skillet over medium heat; crack 1 large egg into pan. Cook 2 minutes; sprinkle with a dash black pepper.
6. Top 1 serving of warm oatmeal with the gravy, egg, and pancetta.
Chai Spice–Pear Oatmeal
1. Heat a medium skillet over medium heat; coat pan with cooking spray.
2. Add ½ pear, thinly sliced, to pan; sauté 3 minutes.
3. Stir in 1 tsp honey. Cook 2 minutes.
4. Stir 1 tbsp 1 percent low-fat milk, 1⁄8 tsp cinnamon, 1⁄8 tsp cardamom, 1⁄8 tsp ground ginger, 1⁄8 tsp allspice, and 1⁄8 tsp vanilla extract into 1 serving of warm oatmeal.
5. Top with pear slices and 1 tbsp chopped toasted walnuts.
Pistachio, Fig, and Saffron Yogurt
1. Stir 1 tbsp fresh orange juice and 1 tsp honey into 1 serving of warm oatmeal.
2. Whisk together 2 tbsp plain 2 percent Greek yogurt and a dash of saffron threads; dollop on oatmeal.
3. Sprinkle with 1 tbsp chopped unsalted pistachios and 1 tbsp chopped dried figs.
4. Drizzle with 1 tsp honey.