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Oats - good for lowering cholesterol....but most recipes use oats in sweet food. Anybody suggest savory dishes using oats?

  • b

I read that oats are good for lowering cholesterol. But most recipes using oats are for sweet stuff (cookies and similar). Can anyone suggest savory dishes in which I can use oats?

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    1. Sorry folks. The moderators moved this post and I see that it has already been answered.
      I had posted in the wrong place! Had I known that, I would have seen the excellent answers.

      1. Rolled oats can be used to make crackers or oatcakes, mixed with some percentage of flour to make it easy to handle.

        I like using whole oats as a grain - I boil them in lightly salted water until tender, and serve as a side dish, or use in a pilaf.

        1. This isn't savory, exactly, but I once made a wonderful oatmeal-honey infused vodka. You could leave out the honey if you don't want something sweet.


          1. The Scots have a good savory oat dish, skirlie. Only problem is, the oats are fried in cholesterol (butter, beef drippings, or bacon fat).

            2 Replies
            1. re: paulj

              I take it the oatmeal is precooked?

              1. re: Sharuf

                No, they start with raw oats. Think of a savory granola. Scottish oat meal is finer than our rolled oats, or the Irish steel cut, more like bread crumbs.

            2. I haven't tried this soup, but my friend sent it to me a ways back. The soup is her mom's invention. The meat in the recipe is stew beef, but I'm sure you could substitute ground turkey in whatever level of fat you'd prefer. (In my area, we can regularly get 99% fat free breast meat or 93% fat free.)

              And just because I'm always adding stuff to virtually any recipe I make, I don't see any reason why you couldn't successfully add some Tuscan (AKA dinosaur/Lacinato kale/cavalo nero) near the end of cooking. Simple remove the thick center stem and cut into thin crosswise strips. Ditto for adding a bit of tomato paste or a can of fire-roasted diced tomatoes.

              OAT AND POTATO SOUP One of Mom’s best soups!

              1 lb. stewing beef
              2 medium onions
              1/2 lb. diced carrots
              2 lb. diced potatoes
              1 C. oats (not rolled oats)
              10 cups cold water
              Salt and pepper

              Place beef and cold water into pot and bring to the boil. Remove the scum. Add onions, carrots and oats and simmer for 3/4 hour. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add potatoes and boil a further 1/2 hour, or until potatoes are soft.

              • Mom doesn’t say how many this serves. All her recipes feed an army.

              1. Perhaps its mentioned in ghg's listing of topics, but what about congee- or juk-style oats?
                Although juk is a rice-based prep, I made oats with savory broth plenty of times (and yeah for breakfast).
                You can start with chicken broth and go from there.
                One of my favs is to cook onions in a pho broth, add oats, then sprinkle seaweed when done. Eat with siracha.

                2 Replies
                1. re: porker

                  It is difficult to work with. I have tried grinding it and using it as a breading - terrible idea unless you like really soggy breading. I've tried risotto with oats instead of rice, also terrible. The only trick is adding it to a soup as one might with rice or barley.

                  Other than that, like toddlers, use Cherrios as a snack.

                  I have thought about using it in making fresh pasta, but not done so yet.

                  1. re: law_doc89

                    I have a Scottish cookbook with a recipe for fried trout done very much like Southern catfish, except instead of cornmeal you use chopped steel-cut oats. I made that for a Burns Night dinner and it was a hit. I don't know how you were doing your breading; for this I buzzed about a half-cup or more of the oats (MUST be steel-cut, not rolled) in the blender, then seasoned the fish and dipped them in egg and milk, then rolled in the oats. Very crisp and good, this was.

                2. I use oats as a filler in meatballs and meatloaf instead of breadcrumbs. Also, it's quite tasty cooked in chicken broth, my usual breakfast, and as a thickener for stews and soups - just a little to give more body if one wants a less brothy soup.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: Gio

                    +1 on meatloaf. I use wheat germ too.

                    1. re: C. Hamster

                      +2 for the use in meatloaf and meatballs. I've used them as a binder in burgers too.

                      1. re: Musie

                        +3 meatloaf, meatballs and anything with ground meat that is suppose to hold together.

                        I use it in persian meat balls and regular western meatloaf.

                  2. Haggis!!

                    Traditional Scottish Recipes
                    - Haggis

                    Haggis, neeps and tatties It is a shame that the "Great chieftain o' the puddin' race" should be regarded (by some) with such a mixture of horror and humour. The vision of sheep's stomachs and other intestines seems to put some people off, but it has long been a traditional way of using up parts of the animal which otherwise might go to waste. Made properly, it is a tasty, wholesome dish, with every chef creating his or her own recipe to get the flavour and texture (dry or moist) that suits them. Personally, I like a haggis which is spicy from pepper and herbs, with a lingering flavour on the palate after it has been consumed.

                    One cookery book I came across suggested that the best way to get haggis was to buy it in the butcher's shop! Certainly, these days haggis can even be ordered online (see the Rampant Scotland Food Links). Finding a butcher who can supply sheep's heart, lungs and liver may not be easy although nowadays beef bung (intestine) is used instead of sheep's stomach. Since this is used also to make European sausage, they are out there for other nationalities as well.

                    If you find it difficult to obtain a beef bung from a butcher you can obtain a "haggis making kit" from "Sous-chef" via Haggis Making Kit which has enough to make five ½lb haggises (or one 2 ½lb haggis). The company delivers across the UK and Europe. Elsewhere, the search engines should come up with a suitable source in your part of the world.

                    Set of sheep's heart, lungs and liver (cleaned by a butcher)
                    One beef bung
                    3 cups finely chopped suet
                    One cup medium ground oatmeal
                    Two medium onions, finely chopped
                    One cup beef stock
                    One teaspoon salt
                    ½ teaspoon pepper
                    One teaspoon nutmeg
                    ½ teaspoon mace

                    Piping of the Haggis at a Burns Supper Trim off any excess fat and sinew from the sheep's intestine and, if present, discard the windpipe. Place in a large pan, cover with water and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for an hour or possibly longer to ensure that they are all tender. Drain and cool.

                    Some chefs toast the oatmeal in an oven until it is thoroughly dried out (but not browned or burnt!)

                    Finely chop the meat and combine in a large bowl with the suet, oatmeal, finely chopped onions, beef stock, salt, pepper, nutmeg and mace. Make sure the ingredients are mixed well. Stuff the meat and spices mixture into the beef bung which should be over half full. Then press out the air and tie the open ends tightly with string. Make sure that you leave room for the mixture to expand or else it may burst while cooking. If it looks as though it may do that, prick with a sharp needle to reduce the pressure.

                    Place in a pot and cover with water. Bring to the boil and immediately reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for three hours. Avoid boiling vigorously to avoid bursting the skin.

                    Serve hot with "champit tatties and bashit neeps" (mashed/creamed potato and turnip/swede). For added flavour, you can add some nutmeg to the potatoes and allspice to the turnip/swede. Some people like to pour a little whisky over their haggis - Drambuie is even better! Don't go overboard on this or you'll make the hggis cold. At Burns Suppers, the haggis is traditionally piped in and Burns' "Address to the Haggis" recited over it.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: PotatoHouse

                      Nothing wrong with haggis, but the OP seems interested in oats for their cholesterol lowering properties. I'm wondering if mixing with sheep lung and suet is slightly at odds with that goal?

                    2. A year or two ago I made savory oats (steelcut) three ways one day. One I don't remember at all, one was leftover shortribs and chopped vegetables (it was okay), but the third was a real standout: mix in peas (mine were frozen), parmesan, and black pepper. I bet sauteed onion and/or some fresh herbs would be good additions, too. Thanks for reminding me of this!

                      1. In Mark Bittman's Food Matters cookbook, there is a recipe that we have made (and liked!) using oats, Swiss chard and chicken. Let me know if you're interested and I'll try to paraphrase it tomorrow!

                        2 Replies
                          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                            we eat this often with both oats and bulgur.

                        1. I use oat bran as a soup thickener - usually fish based soups, but sometimes veggie ones.

                          1. Make some oat bread. A soft, yeasted loaf bread that is great for toast and sandwiches.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: sandylc

                              Yes, oat bread is one of my current bread machine favorites.

                            2. Use it to coat your chicken tenders or fried/baked chicken.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: travelerjjm

                                I add oatmeal to soup. It is an excellent grain and thickens nicely.

                              2. i sometimes do a grain combo of steel cut oats, barley, farro, etc sometimes with beans or sometimes not... some diced onions, garlic, other veggies, marinated or not, dressing, herbs.. nice texture addition to salad.

                                1. Substitute for grits or polenta (or any kind of starch: rice, potatoes, etc.). Savory up the oatmeal by sauteing onion or celery or carrots or garlic or ginger in the pan before you add the oats and water. Or add soy sauce, chopped scallions, spices, etc.

                                  Serve with roast chicken with a some of the pan juices drizzled on the oatmeal. Or top with stew. Yum.

                                  For something ore elaborate, I'd look at Middle Eastern recipes for Haleem, Keskek and Harisa for inspiration. These are all thick stews made with meat, veggies, legumes and either coarse wheat or barley. The wheat and barley could be easily replaced with oats.

                                  1. You can make savoury crumbles/crisps, too -- like the dessert ones, only as a main dish. I've done it with white beans, greens and garlic topped with a crumble made from oats, a bit of butter, salt and rosemary. ETA: Think of it as a pot pie but with a crumb topping instead of pastry.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. There are lots of them in granola and I like to mix the granola with Greek yogurt. Tastes good and healthy

                                      1. From "Out of Old Nova Scotia Kitchens" here is "Skirl in the Pan aka Fried Oatmeal"---Saute' chopped onion with chopped suet or salt pork "in a very hot pan---add enough oatmeal to absorb the fat, stirring for a few minutes until brown." To be served with eggs, meat, and potatoes.

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: Querencia


                                          "The Scottish Dictionary of 1841 defines “Skirl In The Pan” as: the noise made by a frying pan when the butter is put in which prepares it for receiving the meat."


                                          " The difference, then, between Skirlie and Mealie Pudding is that Skirlie is fried and Mealie Pudding is steamed, although both contain the same ingredients."

                                          another word derivation
                                          "Skirl is apparently ‘a scream or shreek, or to make the sound characteristics of the bagpipes.’ "

                                          'crackins' - same thing, but with pork fat

                                          This article also mentions oatcakes.
                                          Some places that sell Walkers shortbread also sell their oatcakes.

                                          1. re: Querencia

                                            Does that book have a recipe for Cape Breton oatcakes?
                                            The Canadian version is sweeter than the Scottish ones that I've had.

                                          2. here is a good one from Martha Stewart, picture and all. Oats topped with a soft fried egg and scallions.