My husband was taking care of his parents when we got married and we had many fond memories of that time. His father had a heart condition and was on a low-salt, mostly fish diet. His mother was diabetic and allergic to seafood. My husband usually prepared two different meals for them. The only time they ate the same meal was at breakfast when they both had oatmeal.
The Oatmeal Tweak
Being a diabetic, my mother-in-law always prepared their oatmeal the same way – just cooking it in hot water. My father-in-law never complained and ate it obediently every day. I took pity on him one day and poured a packet of instant chocolate milk onto his very bland-looking bowl. He gave me a mischievous smile and finished the chocolate-flavored oatmeal eagerly. The next day I added mixed fruits to his oatmeal and his enjoyment was obvious from how fast he consumed his meal. And my simple oatmeal tweaks went on as long as we were able to supervise their breakfast. The memory of my father-in-law’s enjoyment of his morning oatmeal still makes me smile to this day.
My Oatmeal Story
I needed to change my diet very recently due to similar health issues and now find myself having to eat oatmeal most mornings as well. I used to enjoy my oatmeal with a generous amount of condensed milk like my favorite breakfast dish, champorado – my doctor will never approve of this recipe or the champorado so I have to now get creative again.
My husband usually just has almond milk in his oatmeal – unsweetened almond milk, which is very bland. He sweetens it by adding a small amount of raisins or dried cranberries. This worked out quite well and I discovered that cinnamon adds additional flavor to this mixture.
This morning I tried cooking the oatmeal in coconut milk. I added a banana to it and a tablespoon of honey. My husband commented that it was very tasty.
Patting myself on the back, I decided to go out and look for other oatmeal recipes that will make our mornings a little less boring. I found a lot of recipes online, most of which I have to tweak to adjust the sweetness of. But I’m not complaining!
The Big Picture
My husband is getting with the program for lunch and dinner meals too. We’ve talked about going mostly vegetarian for a while now, we just haven’t completely followed through. He is a big fan of Joe Cross’ story, but he likes his meat in moderation. It’s a compromise for us, the bulk of the meal being vegetables with some animal-sourced protein from time to time.
And because my husband’s specialty has always been Filipino food, his vegetable repertoire has consisted mostly of salads and stir-fried mixed vegetables. My husband is a creature of habit, he usually sticks to what he knows so when I ask him to make dishes that are new to him, he usually resists. But he has agreed to try new things to show his support of this new lifestyle we need to adopt.
There are many resources out there and we intend to just go for it! I’ll keep you updated with what I find just in case you need a change too.