Don’t limit yourself to sweet oatmeal; make this savory oatmeal breakfast and get some vegetables into your morning. This fun spin on huevos rancheros features a fresh pico de gallo salsa and some heart-healthy avocado. If you want a high-protein dish, the eggs, cheese, yogurt, and black beans have you covered. Skip the pancakes this weekend and try this colorful, veggie-packed breakfast.
Many folks pile dried fruits, maple syrup, honey, and other sweet foods on their oatmeal. If this describes the only way that you enjoy oatmeal, you are missing out on the versatility of this whole grain. Expand your culinary repertoire this weekend with a savory oatmeal breakfast.
This tasty entrée, made with steel-cut oats, takes longer to prepare than quick oats. Plan ahead and save this recipe for when you have more time in the morning. Alternatively, you can do as I did and serve it up as a hearty dinner option.
Don’t try to take a short cut and use instant or quick oatmeal here. The coarser texture of steel-cut oats works perfectly as a rice, quinoa, or barley substitute in savory dishes. It’s worth a little extra time to get the chewiness and nuttier flavor that you won’t find in the faster-cooking rolled oats.
(And if you do need ideas for rolled oats, check out the recipes that incorporate oatmeal on this website. Many of them use quicker oatmeal varieties.)
Give your breakfast a nutrient boost with avocado
I’ve developed this recipe to enter in the Food & Nutrition magazine fresh avocado contest. In full disclosure, my family is a long-time fan of this heart-healthy fruit. We love avocados so much, they were the first food we introduced to our son when he was ready for solids.
(In thoroughly pureed form, of course. And yes, a higher iron item was chosen as his second food.)
Avocados are rich in monounsaturated fats, the same type of healthy fats that are abundant in olive oil. They also contain an assortment of essential nutrients, such as folate, vitamin K, and vitamin C.
One-third of a medium avocado is considered a serving. The exact portion size that is best for you depends on a variety of individual factors, including your total energy needs. Also, those who eat fewer than three meals per day may require more substantial portions.
Do you know how to pick a ripe avocado?
To make sure you are maximizing the deliciousness of your dishes, choose avocados that have reached peak ripeness and use them that day. Some indicators can aid you in picking the perfect fresh avocado. Do you know what they are?
For one, riper avocados tend to have darker skin, though sometimes color does not indicate ripeness. Large indentations may mean bruising.
A second tip is to give avocados that you plan on purchasing a gentle squeeze. They should have a little give under this pressure but not too much. Underripe avocados are firm like bricks, while overripe ‘cados feel a little mushy and bruise easily with a squeeze.
Unlike an underripe avocado, the stem of a ripe avocado usually pops off easily. The area under the stem should not be dark brown. This typically indicates the fruit is past its peak.
If you do purchase an underripe avocado, put it in a paper bag with a banana. Fold the top of the bag over and leave it at room temperature for a few days. Bananas give off a lot of ethylene gas as they ripen, which can help ripen avocados that are too hard.
Get those avocados perfectly ripe and creamy before putting them to use in recipes. Using the best ingredients is one of the easiest ways to let your dishes shine.
And now for the disclaimer…
All recipes on this website may or may not be appropriate for you, depending on your medical needs and personal preferences. Consult with a registered dietitian or your physician if you need help determining the dietary pattern that may be best for you.
The calorie information is an estimate provided as a courtesy. It will differ depending on the specific brands and ingredients that you use. Calorie information on food labels may be wildly inaccurate, so please don’t sweat the numbers too much.
For more information on how the three recipe levels may help with a weight management goal, refer to this post. Let’s get cooking!
Savory Oatmeal Breakfast: Huevos Rancheros with Avocado
- ¾ c steel-cut oatmeal, dry
- 1 t chili powder
- 1 t cumin
- ¼ t garlic powder
- 1½ c tomatoes, chopped small
- ¼ c white onion, chopped small
- ¼ c cilantro, chopped finely
- 1 T lime juice
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 medium jalapeno, seeded, finely chopped
- 6 large eggs
- cooking oil spray
- 14.5 ounce can black beans, drained (heated if desired)
- 4 ounces cheddar, shredded
- 1 medium avocado, sliced
- ½ c Greek yogurt, non-fat (plain, unsweetened)
- 6 T salsa verde (pick one with no added sugar, no added oil)
- cilantro, sliced limes, salt, pepper (as desired to garnish)
- Stir the chili powder, cumin, and garlic powder into the steel-cut oatmeal. Cook the oatmeal with water according to the package directions. It will take 30-45 minutes.
- Make your fresh pico de gallo by mixing the tomatoes, onion, jalapeno, cilantro, lime juice, and garlic.
- Divide the oatmeal between three plates when it is finished cooking. Spread it thin; it is your canvas for the rest of the ingredients.
- Sprinkle the cheese on top of the hot oatmeal. It should melt on top of the hot oats
- Arrange the pico de gallo, black beans, avocado, yogurt, and salsa verde on the plates.
- Mist a pan with cooking spray and fry the eggs to your liking. Put two eggs on each plate.
- Garnish your plates as desired with chopped cilantro, sliced limes, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Enjoy!
This is a level 3 recipe (weight maintenance and active lifestyles). This large, hearty meal will keep you going when you need some serious fuel to last you until lunch. The recipe (as written) has 41 grams of protein per serving. If you use one egg instead of two, you still get 35 grams of protein with this vegetarian entree. If you are following a lower-carb way of eating, the obvious way to cut carbs in this meal is to skip the oatmeal. This time-saving move subtracts approximately 150 calories per serving. No matter your way of eating, I recommend keeping the fresh fruits and veggies, as well as some sources of protein in this dish. These items will help to keep you full on fewer calories while providing an assortment of essential nutrients.
Have you ever tried a savory oatmeal breakfast? What are some of your favorite oatmeal add-ons?
Please leave a rating if you try this unique spin on the classic huevos rancheros. (Huevos oat-cheros? Haha) I hope that you enjoy it!