Oats 'n Beans

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Start with tomato-y beans (assuming you don't already have some buried in your freezer, I've included a basic recipe below), add some rolled oats, water, salt and pepper, and in 10 minutes (more or less) you've got a wonderful and totally surprising breakfast. (Of course, this would be no less satisfying as lunch or dinner.)

Makes: 2 servings
Time: 8 minutes (if you’re in a hurry)


  • ¾ cup cooked beans in tomato sauce (see below)

  • ¾ cup rolled oats

  • 1 ½ cups water, more or less

  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


1. Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan and stir. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until thick. I like this kind of soupy, so I usually add a little more water.

2. Taste and adjust seasoning. If time allows, if you don’t like your stews tongue-burning hot, or if you just need a little more time, cover and let sit. The mixture will thicken further.

3. Garnish as desired and eat.

Bean and Tomatoes


  • 2 tablespoons butter or extra virgin olive oil

  • 1/4 cup chopped shallot or scallion

  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

  • 2 cups peeled, seeded, and diced tomato (drained canned is fine)

  • 4 cups cooked or canned navy or pea beans, drained

  • 1/2 cup chicken, beef, or vegetable stock, juice from canned tomatoes, or water

  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


1. Put the butter or oil in a large, deep skillet over medium heat. When the butter is melted or the oil is hot, add the shallot and cook, stirring, until it softens, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the thyme and cook for about 30 seconds.

2. Add the tomato and cook, stirring occasionally, until it breaks up and becomes “saucy,” about 10 minutes. Then add the beans and stock and turn the heat up to medium-high. Cook, stirring, until the mixture is hot and creamy, about 5 minutes.