I am cheap.

Well, more of a frugalist.

While I am not a complete disciple of Mr. Money Mustache, one interesting tid bit in his Spartan living is how he controls cost with food. He simply eats super cost effective products. While I still indulge my family with expensive high quality food products, I am also a fan of cost effective meals. A very big fan.

In college, I would often cook for myself some rice and stir fry the toughest, chewiest, piece of top round I could find? Why top round? For 3.49 a pound back then, it was one of the cheapest cuts of meat I could find. Was it tender? No. Was it tasty. You bet. Done.

A big fan of a large breakfast, I find myself wanting to 3 sunny side up eggs, bacon, and two pieces of toast with my mom’s delicious strawberry jam. Of course, now that I have to drive to work, that luxury of enjoying a well cooked meal is gone due to time constraints.

So what do I do? I prepare a whole mess of oatmeal. Okay . . .  so how is this noteworthy?

In the way I cook it.

Okay-let me explain.

I am a big fan of steel cut oat oatmeal after discovering it from my favorite celebrity chef, Alton Brown. It’s less processed, nuttier, and heartier than regular rolled oats. The downside with steel cut oatmeal, is that it takes quite a bit of time to cook. 20-30 minutes if you boiling and stirring. One could cook it overnight in a slow cooker, but I find the results to be soft and mushy. I like texture in my oatmeal.

Experimenting one night, I boiled a pot of water, turned off the stove, threw in the steel cut oats, placed a lid on, and walked away.  The darn thing boiled over with the residual heat and made a big mess on the stove.

So the next experiment I did the next few days was to let the pot cool for a few minutes before placing the lid. The next day, I had a properly textured oatmeal that simply need a quick reheat in the microwave.

With the exception of the reheating-I used the minimal amount of energy required to cook the oatmeal, since I allowed it to cook/simmer over night with the residual heat.

Brilliant right?

Let me know what you think.

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