Pumpkin Pie Baked Oatmeal

IMG_1917So, how was your Thanksgiving Day? Did you have a good meal with family and friends? Did you celebrate at all? Thanksgiving Dinner has always been something of a passion of mine and I’ve been honing my Thanksgiving Dinner “skills” ever since I moved into my first apartment over 8 years ago and cooked my very first turkey.

An ambitious tyke even then, I made a homemade Greek-flavored marinade to inject into the turkey which promptly clogged up the injector and resulted in several sprays of Greek marinade all over my face and my tiny kitchen. Amazingly, it turned out to be pretty tasty — messes aside. I’d actually gotten a head start in Thanksgiving training by watching my mom. When I was old enough, I would stay up late into the night on “Thanksgiving Eve” to help her put the finishing touches on the desserts and the preparations for the main courses. Admittedly, I was mostly licking the pots and pans and getting more and more of a sugar high, but I liked to at least think I was helping in some way!

Whether you cooked the meal yourself, went pot-luck style, or had some sort of newly-invented Thanksgiving celebration, IMG_1920you can’t deny that having a feast that is reflective, restful, and festive requires a lot of behind-the-scenes planning and care. The last thing you want your guests to see is you running around with your apron in flames and a turkey-shaped roman candle behind you.

Kudos to everyone out there brave enough to stand at the control center of the home kitchen and put forth such a feast! I get a little nervous every year, admittedly. I even create timetables and spreadsheets so that I don’t crack under the pressure. And very year — without fail — I manage to screw up somehow and it leads to momentary crises.

After the big meal, of course, the planning isn’t necessarily done. There are the leftovers to contend with. For maybe a day or more, you might get by with what I like to call “Thanksgiving Aftershocks” — miniaturized smorgasbords that fit onto one plate and are microwaveable stand-ins for dinner that help you get through the recovery time needed after making such a meal. Usually — often by the end of the weekend — I’m feeling up to cooking again. On Sunday, I made an interesting soup from Cooking Light which cleverly incorporated not only leftover turkey but even leftover mashed potatoes and the scraps of fresh poultry herbs I IMG_1903had hanging around: Turkey & Potato Soup with Canadian Bacon. The soup was super easy to put together, required very little actual cooking, and was delicious. Though — now that I’ve made it — I can tell you that you definitely could substitute bacon for Canadian Bacon and get even more flavor — especially since the recipe calls for such a small amount.

Sometimes, the problem isn’t leftover side dishes or entrées but leftover ingredients, perhaps even expensive ingredients that you don’t want to waste. For instance, the rolls I made for Thanksgiving Dinner required 1/4 cup of ricotta cheese to be worked into the dough — leaving me with about 1.5 cups of leftover ricotta cheese (which does tend to spoil when you turn your back). Fortunately, I’d managed to find a delicious creamy pasta recipe which incorporated most of my leftover ricotta. Now I’m on a mission to use up the rest!

Today’s recipe is a good solution for what to do if you have any leftover canned or mashed pumpkin. I promised you that I am constantly creating seasonal variations on baked oatmeal, so I’m seizing this opportunity to be both thrifty with leftovers and seasonally crafty! I managed to put the finishing touches on IMG_1673this variation while we were in our vacation cabin so that I could share it with you in a moment such as this. (I also began work on another variation on the same trip… but that’s a tale for another time.)

If you don’t happen to have any leftover pumpkin, go ahead and get yourself another can — it probably went on sale the day after Thanksgiving, anyway! It’ll be worth it to have this guilt-free chance to eat what is essentially HEALTHY pumpkin pie for breakfast!

Pumpkin Pie Baked Oatmeal
A Tales of Thyme & Place Original
Serves 4-6

    2 cups rolled oats
    1/4 cup chopped pecans, toasted
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
    1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
    1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    2/3 cup pumpkin purée (canned or homemade)
    3/4 cup 1% milk
    1/3 cup sucanat or light brown sugar
    1 large egg
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
    1 cup low fat plain yogurt
    1 tablespoon maple syrup (grade B preferred)

    Preheat oven to 350-degrees. Coat a square 9-inch baking pan with cooking spray.

    In a medium bowl, combine the oats, chopped pecans, baking powder, and spices.

    In a separate medium bowl or a large measuring cup whisk together the pumpkin purée, milk, sucanat, egg, vanilla, and salt until well combined.

    Pour the pumpkin mixture into the oat mixture and stir until combined. Pour into the prepared baking dish and dot the top evenly with the butter pieces. Bake 25-30 minutes or until set in the middle. Allow to cool 5-10 minutes.

    Meanwhile, in a small bowl, stir together the yogurt and maple syrup until combined.

    Slice oatmeal into 4 or 6 squares. Place a square in each of four bowls. Top each oatmeal square with 1/4 of the yogurt mixture.

IMG_1676
The maple-sweetened yogurt is a breakfast-y stand-in for whipped cream while the hearty, pumpkin and spice-infused oatmeal is a haughty retort to those who say you can’t have pie for breakfast!

A few tips for making this recipe shine:

    * Remember that you can toast small amounts of pecans in the microwave on a small plate. It only takes about 1 minute, but do stand by to make sure they don’t scorch. Wait for them to cool before you chop them.

    * If you don’t have the individual spices listed, you can substitute 1 1/2 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice in a pinch.

    * It’s very important to let the oatmeal cool for at least 5 minutes before you slice and serve it. Otherwise, the slices will fall apart and will be no less delicious, but look far less appetizing.

In case you were curious, the nutrition facts for this breakfast treat are quite sensible. If cut into fourths (an entrée-sized portion), each serving is 405 calories, 14g fat (4g saturated, 5g mono, 3g poly), and 5g of fiber. Or — if you’d rather have it as a side, slicing it into sixths leaves more calories for the rest of your day.

(As usual, James prepared the table decorations for our Thanksgiving Dinner. We like to make use of bits and pieces of the outdoors as well as incorporate new things and old things. The turkey in the centerpiece, for instance, was a gift from a friend of ours presented to us on Thanksgiving in 2006. It’s fun to mix old with new — plus it keeps you from buying new stuff every year!)

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~ by Jason on November 30, 2010.

4 Responses to “Pumpkin Pie Baked Oatmeal”

  1. I made something very similar for breakfast yesterday morning! Great minds think alike. However, I skipped the nuts and added golden raisins. Yum!

    • We really DO think alike. As I was putting the entry together for this recipe, I thought to myself that adding golden raisins would be a neat addition! (‘cept I would leave in the nuts!) 😉

  2. I really enjoy your blog…recipes…photos…and the way you write. (I teach a high school English class before I go to work, as a realtor. I even told my class about how well you write.)

    I really enjoyed the Ohio trip posts. My husband is from Athens and has taken our family to all of the places you visited. In fact, we were there this past July.

    Thank you for all of your posts!

    • Thank you very much for reading, Kerry — and for your kind words. If an English teacher approves of my writing, I consider it quite the compliment! 🙂

      We really enjoyed visiting the Athens area. We actually had more adventures than I had space/time to write about (e.g. the Circleville Pumpkin Festival, a fabulous meal at Casa Nueva, and a rainy but scenic tour of Ohio University). Maybe I’ll work those stories in later this winter when I get tired of writing about darkness, cold, and snow and all the dreary introspection that’s likely to bring about!

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