Silver Linings…With Oatmeal

Overnight OatmealI have a confession: I’ve been a little lazy lately. Even though I prefer to brown bag my breakfast and lunch most workdays, I’d been relying a little too often on the little sandwich/salad/soup shop (part of a small chain) downstairs in my building. I’ll admit, it was nice to order a salad or a crustless veggie quiche online, state when I wanted it, and get a text when it was ready to be picked up.

But convenience isn’t convenient when the salad you order isn’t the salad you get. (Cue the classic saying, “Burn me once, shame on you. Burn me twice, shame on me.”) Shame on me for relaxing my good habit of bringing my own food from home! After Friday’s latest salad snafu, I had about 75% made up my mind to swear off the shop, but when I emailed their complaint line to get my money refunded (I didn’t have time to have a new salad made so I just gave them back the incorrect one), their version of a peace offering (other than refunding my money) was to send me a “CookieGram” for four ginormous cookies.

They mess up my salad orders, and they try to give me cookies? Customer service fail! (I let them know my sentiments, fyi.)

A Return to Overnight Oatmeal

But there’s always a silver lining, and this time it’s that this minor debacle has nudged me back into line about packing my lunch (and breakfast for mornings I don’t have time to eat at home). It’s also reunited me with overnight oatmeal, which couldn’t be easier to make but does require having the forethought to put it together the night before (thus the name). I actually was so on the ball Monday night that I put together the dry ingredients for three morning’s worth of breakfasts. This week’s concoction is:

  • 1/3 cup thick cut rolled oats
  • Tablespoon dried cranberries
  • About 6 pecans
  • ½ tablespoon chia seed
  • A hearty dash of cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • About ½ cup plain Greek yogurt
  • A teaspoon of Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Butter

The night before, combine all ingredients in a jar (or other container) and stir well to combine before refrigerating. The mixture will “stiffen” overnight as the oats (and the chia seeds, if you use them) absorb some of the moisture from the almond milk and yogurt. Yummy…and more budget friendly than buying breakfast (another definite upside of brown-bagging)!