Disclosure: I created this recipe using oats I received for free from Quaker Oats. I was not compensated for my time. Opinions are my own. 

Back in September I had the pleasure of attending an event hosted by Quaker Oats at the James Beard House to kick off their More Taste, Less Waste campaign. We enjoyed a lovely breakfast of recipes created by award-winning chef Marco Canora of NYC’s Hearth restaurant to show beautiful examples of how oats can be used to help recover foods that often go to waste. As someone who’s all about repurposing leftovers and getting creative with what’s on hand (good for your bank account and the planet), this was right up my alley. More nutrition, less food waste, an excuse to play mad scientist? Love it!

I learned some interesting things about food waste during the event’s panel discussion. For example*:

  •        An estimated 30-40% of food goes to waste in the United States.1  (approximately $161 billion worth of food in 2010)
  •        By keeping wholesome and nutritious food in our communities and out of our landfills, we can help address the 42 million Americans that live in food insecure households.2
  •        (Used in the animation) Reducing our nation’s food waste by just 15% would be enough to feed more than 25 million Americans annually.2

Um, wow! It definitely got me into thinking more mindfully about reducing food waste even in my own tiny NYC kitchen. Every little bit counts!

Something I’ve always loved about oats is the fact that they’re the perfect blank canvas for all kinds of flavors— incredibly versatile for incorporating into dishes where you might not expect them. Meatballs and meatloaf, for example, are among my favorite non-obvious ways to use oats. And I”m all about savory oatmeal for breakfast, lunch, or even dinner.

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Today I want to share an oat recipe that was inspired by an apple oatmeal pancake we enjoyed at the breakfast. I created this savory version using oat flour. I made a large batch and stored it in a sealed container in the fridge so I could have it handy for future use, but you can also make it fresh each time. It’s really easy! All you do is pulse rolled oats in a food processor until they look like flour. BAM! Oat flour.

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Anyway. This recipe is great for using up scraps of veggies. I used zucchini here but almost anything would work! I think this would also taste with a little cheese thrown into the mix. Or why not top with some tahini? I love basic recipes like this that are easy to customize and make your own, based on what you’re in the mood for—or what you have handy and are trying to use up before it goes to waste.

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Speedy Savory Deep-Dish Oat Pancake

Serves 1 

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup rolled oats (or pre-made oat flour)
  • 1 tablespoon ground flax
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 cup grated zucchini
  • Cooking spray or oil to grease ramekin

Directions:

  1. Pulse oats in a small food processor until they’re a powder consistency.
  2. Mix oats, spices, and beaten egg until well combined. Fold in zucchini.
  3. Grease a ramekin or microwave-safe bowl with cooking spray or oil.
  4. Microwave on HIGH in 30-second intervals until middle of oat cake is set.

What do you like to make with random odds and ends in your fridge? 

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*Sources

https://www.usda.gov/oce/foodwaste/faqs.htm

https://www.nrdc.org/sites/default/files/wasted-food-IP.pdf

Disclosure: I created this recipe using oats I received for free from Quaker Oats. I was not compensated for my time. Opinions are my own. 

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