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Strawberries & Cream Oatmeal

Recipe Info

Difficulty: Easy
Mess Level: Low
Yield: 1 Serving
Prep Time: 5 min
Cook Time: 5 min


For the Oatmeal:

  • ½ Cup Rolled Oats
  • 1 Cup Water
  • ½ Tablespoon Butter
  • Pinch of Salt

For the Toppings:

  • ¼ Cup Granola
  • 3 Ripe Strawberries
  • 2 Tablespoons Heavy Cream
  • 2 Tablespoons Honey or Brown Sugar


  1. Slice or quarter the strawberries and set aside.
  2. Cook the oatmeal according to package directions. When it’s nearly finished, stir in the butter and salt. Add the brown sugar as well if using.
  3. Transfer to a serving bowl and top immediately with the cream, granola, and strawberries. Drizzle generously with honey if using and serve promptly.

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Make It...

  1. Gluten Free: Yes! This dish is naturally gluten free.
  2. Vegetarian: Yes! This dish is naturally vegetarian.
  3. Meal Prep: Follow these steps if you want to prep ahead of time:

    1. Simply slice the strawberries up to two days ahead of time and hold in a sealed container in the fridge. If making this recipe for more than two people, I recommend cooking the oats until they are halfway done and make sure everyone is ready to eat before you turn the stove back on to finish them. Oatmeal degrades quickly so we want to serve it piping hot.

Ramblings of a Line Cook

It was 7:59 am on a Tuesday. I’d arrived two hours ago to set up for breakfast service which began promptly at 7:00 am. Geoff appeared around the corner, chefs coat on, apron in hand, having managed to secure all the buttons in their correct holes while somehow also looking like an aging, helpless toddler with an untrimmed beard.

I glanced over from the flat top where I was flipping pancakes - The hot commodity of most mornings - And raised an eyebrow at the miserable sight. “A bit early for you?” I asked. “It doesn’t matter how early it is, it's just the fact that I have to wake up at all.” He said while slowly shuffling onto the line and tying his apron strings.

I nodded shortly, working around his non-moving form to fill the order and popped the finished plates under the heat lamp just as Sherry came zooming in to collect the plates and a half-gallon of orange juice before hitting the swinging doors open with her sturdy shoulder and calling back at us “Mary is here, she’s going to want her oatmeal.”

Geoff groaned dramatically and went stomping towards dry storage to find the oats while making disgusted noises in case I was at all unsure what his stance on oatmeal was. He threw a half cup of oats into a pan and topped them with twice as much water. Brought it to a boil and walked away, coming back a while later to make sure the oats had turned from their original form to a gummy, overcooked, gelatinous mass.

I was horrified. He sent that ugly-ass oatmeal out into the dining room with a bullet cup of blueberries, a scoop of brown sugar, and a general aura of misery. I hastily filled a ramekin with cream and forced it onto Sherry’s already crowded tray in hopes of salvaging the unfortunate mass that would be someone’s breakfast.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve sent out my fair share of plates that I am not proud of on busy weekend nights when the tickets are fifteen deep and you’re running out of everything you prepped, all the burners and the grill are full, and there is no end in sight.

And this was the moment I understood something that had been waved under my nose for years by fellow line cooks. From Emily working the hot station in the tiny kitchen in Maine giving a disgusted look to the well-done steak, to myself never quite able to get behind a heavy hollandaise sauce at, well, any time of the day, to Geoffrey, unable to comprehend how a bowl of oatmeal could actually be good. And I realized that if someone does not like something, the odds are they are not going to cook it well.

Later, I boiled a shallow pan of oats and water, waiting until they were nearly finished cooking to stir in a pat of butter and a pinch of salt. Added the brown sugar and poured the porridge into a serving bowl. I topped it with a quick pour of cream, a handful of granola I had made, and a good bit of fresh berries. And I stood in the corner savoring a few bites and reassuring myself that oatmeal, was in fact, a great thing before the next wave of tickets came in.

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