Allow me to introduce this recipe with a fun fact I’ve learned about myself: I am a volume eater. Meaning, my hunger levels are best balanced when I consume food groups that allow me to fill my plate (or bowl) with large serving sizes that individually container low(er) caloric and macronutrient density. Meaning, I could eat two dishes that meet the same macros and calories, but if dish A has more bites than dish B, I will be undoubtably more satisfied from dish A. Since nobody likes me when I’m hangry (not even me 😉 ), if there’s a way to add volume to a meal, I’ll find it.
The inspiration for this sweet, voluptuous bake came from one of all my time favorite post-workout recipes. I owe it to my girl KP (@KP_ingitsimple) for revolutionizing the way I ate breakfast when she shared her Cauliflower Egg White Oats with the world. A typical serving size of oats couldn’t satisfy my growing gains, and just when I thought I had to give up on the oatmeal dream, KP dropped the cauli. BAM! Instant volume. Double the meal, double the fun.
As someone with an impossibly tiny timeframe to eat breakfast, walk my puppy, and spray 16 layers of dry shampoo into my hair all between CrossFit and my daily commute, how could I take this recipe from it’s needy and time-consuming (although worth it) perch on the stovetop to an oven-ready, meal prep friendly dish? Behold: The Cauli-Oat Bake.
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. This subtly-sweet dish is completely customizable with endless possibilities for flavor combinations (I included ideas below!), it requires minimal prep and even less attention as it cooks, and of course, it is voluminous. Before you get all ~weirded out~ about cauliflower, don’t knock it ’til you try it! The textures and flavors of this dish blend so smoothly, you can’t tell where oats end and fibrous veggies begin.
Cauli-Oat Bake (yeilds 3 servings)
For the base:
3/4 cup instant oats (I love the Unsweetened Instant Oatmeal from Trader Joe’s, made with whole grain oats, quinoa, amaranth, flax, and chia! Use 1.5 packets)
1/4 cup rolled oats
3 cups frozen riced cauliflower, thawed
3/4 cup egg white
3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
2 tbsp maple syrup
*you can totally use 1 whole cup of rolled or instant oats, I split the measure here for texture preference.
To fill n’ top: Combination suggestions below + 1/2 banana
Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a small baking or pie dish (8×8 or smaller depending on the preferred thickness of your bake) with coconut oil spray and set aside. In a large mixing bowl, combine all base ingredients (make sure cauliflower is completely thawed!) and mix thoroughly. Fold in filling ingredients of choice, except nuts. Thinly slice 1/2 banana and arrange on top of oat mixture, pressing lightly to allow for settling. Bake for 35 minutes or until golden brown. Remove dish from oven, top with nuts of choice, and bake for an additional 5 minutes until nuts are roasted and fragrant. Best served warm, in bowl of greek yogurt, with a heaping tablespoon of nut butter 😉