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January 26, 2011



I love savory oatmeal. I usually do soy sauce or miso and green onions. I can't wait to try this.

Wendy (Healthy Girl's Kitchen)

I cannot tell you enough how much I love your blog!!!!! I have never made a savory oatmeal, but I'm going to tonight! I'm gonna make your recipe, I have all of the ingredients in my fridge and pantry (that rocks too!).

I'm also a big fan of Mark Bittman. Everything from his cookbooks comes out perfectly. I am so excited about his shift right now, I'm practically jumping out of my skin!

See you tomorrow night?


Sounds fabulous!

Kathleen @ Kat's Health Corner

I have never made savory oats before, but now I want to! :) Looks amazing, and so easy!!! :) YUM!


I look forward to trying these recipes.
I can't tell you how grateful I am that I found your wonderful blog. I have learned so much and have made many healthful changes. I look forward to every post.

Jack Potter

Mark Bittman wrote about a savory oatmeal dish some time ago-- oatmeal cooked with sliceed celery, with soy sauce and a dash of toasted sesame oil. We have enjoyed it ever since as an occasional change from raisin-sweet or neutral oats for breakfast (though lately we leave out even the dash of high omega 6 sesame oil, and it's still good).


This sounds so good - I'm making it tonight!

Gael in Vermont

I'm definitely trying the savory oatmeal this weekend! Actually I see it more like risotto! In that direction, there are endless possibilities to explore. It's just a paradigm shift in my way of thinking about oatmeal. Wonderful. Also, I can't let the picture of Rip Esselstyn and you go by without a sigh of total jealousy! He's quite the hunky guy! I'm moving to Cleveland!

Healthy Librarian

Gael--you're brilliant. Risotto-like--you hit the nail on the head! It really is like a meal--and like you said--with endless possibilities. Also, who knew how jam-packed nutritious nutritional yeast flakes were? BTW--you won't find Rip in Cleveland--he lives in Austin, TX.

That oatmeal also is incredibly filling.


My father has a wonderful veggie garden and often has more Swiss chard than my parents can consume when I periodically visit. I started to add Swiss chard to oatmeal. I use the stalks which require a longer cooking time which are added at the start of the cooking process whilst the leaves are added at the end of the cooking process. Furthermore I also add bananas or some other fruit and cinnamon. The heaping bowl of oatmeal keeps me going for a while.
I find it tasty and a great way to add more greens to my diet. I've also used rocket or boy choy with oatmeal.


Pam Mayne

Hi -- I, too, LOVE your blog. I haven't found many blogs or forums of people eating an Esselstyn diet, and it's just so great to get these hits of information and inspiration!

Okay, my question -- does "greens" here mean just leafy greens, or any green veg, like broccoli? (Regardless, I can't imagine getting to 6/day without green smoothies, either!)

Thanks!! Pam

Healthy Librarian

Hi Pam,

Thanks so much! When Dr. Esselstyn runs through his list of green GO-TO foods it's like this: Vegetables-lots of greeny leafy ones to restore & heal the endothelial lining of your blood vessels. Kale, Swiss Chard, Cilantro, Collards, Bok Choy, Parsley, Spinach, Broccoli, Brussel Sprouts, Cauliflower. Looks like broccoli is on the list. But, just to sure, we better ask him! Oh, and cauliflower isn't green--but it's good.


Hey, green smoothies don't have to have too much fruit! For today's smoothie I packed the hopper full of dandelion greens, dino kale, parsley, and arugula. Then I added a lemon, baby beet, carrot, small knob of fresh turmeric root, chia seeds, wild blueberries, and a few frozen strawberries. I admit I'd never choke this down without a nice thick glass straw, but it truly fills me up, gives me more energy, and my skin tone looks better than it has in years. Can't get around the no chewing, tho'.

Healthy Librarian

OMG, MG--you are amazing--and this sounds fabulous.

I know it's hard to answer this question--but what are the approximate amounts you have in this?

1 big carrot? 1 baby beet (cooked or raw?), how much wild blueberry (about a cup) & strawberries (maybe 5?)? This is the MOST dynamite nutrient smoothie I've ever heard of.

Then, next question: Do you pack your VitaMix full with a combo of dandelion greens, dino kale, parsley, & arugula?

How much water to you add?

Last question? Did you find turmeric at Whole Foods? Heard of turmeric--never knew it was a root.

If it's giving YOU enough energy for your crazy schedule--it's got to be good!

Can't wait to try it in my VitaMix. Thanks for sharing this recipe!

Your patients are so lucky to have a doc like you.


HL, you are the amazing one! I think that literally every time I read one of your posts. As I admire your work I find myself wishing I could do what you do. On further reflection it's probably better that I get to learn so much from you. I wish we could hang out. :-)

My smoothies are limited only by the size of the Vitamix container. I cram as many greens as I can into the hopper. Dandelion and arugula go bad fast, so I try to use them within a couple days of purchase. Kale, parsley, and cabbage keep longer. Oh, and I include the stems!

Today, I had no room for celery, but I usually add that, too. I usually add 1-2 carrots. Any size will do, but mine tend to be smaller as I buy them in 1 lb bags. I add raw beet to most smoothies, either a single baby or a chunk of a larger one. Gives it a deep fuschia color.

Re: fruits. I usually add half-to-one cup of frozen wild blueberries in every smoothie plus one other fruit. Today I added ~5 organic strawberries. I know they're not in season, but they add a nice flavor. I often add half a lightly peeled grapefruit. Orange gives a very nice flavor, too. A peeled lemon or two is refreshing. But the point is that adding two of the above fruits really doesn't break the sugar bank. On rare occasions I'll add half a banana or a whole one if I'm serving someone less accustomed to weird smoothies. :-)

I get the turmeric at Whole Foods. For the sake of accuracy, I should add that it's a rhizome, or an underground stem. It has a fairly unique flavor that is stronger than the powdered version. Fresh ginger (also a rhizome!) goes wonderfully in smoothies. Savory smoothies (e.g., lemon/parsley/tomato/beet/celery) do very well with a little cayenne.

I fill the container about 3/4 full with water after I add the solid contents. When blending, I always wrap a clean rag around the tamper and spout to avoid splash. My ex-boyfriend didn't find this necessary and my kitchen wall tells the tale (which reminds me, I really need to re-paint!).

I want to emphasize the importance of a good glass straw to get these smoothies down. At a minimum, the veggie bits get stuck in teeth and blueberries/beets stain. For more strongly flavored smoothies, the straw really softens the flavor. You can water the smoothie down more if it's too thick for a straw. I use smoothie straws from They're strong, not too expensive, and have a great warranty. The skinnier version is great for tea or coffee. Be sure to get the pipewire cleaner (comes with all sets or is available for sale).

Hope this helps. I'm the first to admit that this approach is unconventional, but I know I'd be a lot less healthy without my veggie-heavy smoothies. Let me know how your smoothie adventures go!

Healthy Librarian

MG--Thanks, so much for taking the considerable amount it took to write this out!

Let the "real" vegetable smoothie experiments begin!

BTW, I told my husband about your concoction & he said, "Print it all out. I want to try it."

Great idea about the glass straw, too.

I also think it would be great to hang out!


This was very good, but I think it was a little heavy for me. But I didn't give up on savory oatmeal. This morning I made oatmeal and then added spinach, nutritional yeast, pepper, green onions, some low sodium tamari and a squirt of Sriracha. It was amazing. I had it again for lunch!! :)


You know, I should add that I really don't use recipes for the smoothies. I buy whatever looks good at Whole Foods (oh, how I miss California farmers markets!) and chuck it into the VitaMix. My rule of thumb is that if you can eat it raw then it's fit for the VitaMix!:-) I might limit certain potent ingredients if I'm serving the uninitiated since I can see how my smoothie tastes have evolved since I started doing this last June.

Another great perk is that my produce never goes bad anymore!

Tom Riley

We've been eating the Savory "Cheezy" Breakfast Oatmeal with Shitake Mushrooms lately and really love it. I have to say that I feel much better when I have it versus what I was having before, steel cut oats with lots of dried fruits. No more enery swings or "hang overs".

We have one suggestion though and that is to use kale instead of the spinach since we've always been told that spinach keeps you from absorbing the calcium. Perhaps also, the stated calcium, 17%, should be revised.

Thank you so very much for the wonderful recipes and all that we are learning from you.

Healthy Librarian

Great idea about the kale--I used spinach because it "melts" in a minute in the microwave & it's very mild--won't overpower the other flavors. Not true, that spinach completely blocks calcium absorption--maybe you'll absorb less than from other greens, but it's not something to worry about as long as you're eating kale & other greens, too. is it working with the kale? Do you pre-cook it--or just mix it in while the oatmeal cooks?

I don't get any negative effects from the fruited oatmeal--but, boy did I stay full and feel energetic with the savory variety.


Hi Healthy Librarian,

I LOVE your blog! I had picked up hulled buckwheat at the co-op because I thought I remembered Brendan Brazier mentioning it in Thrive Nutrition. Ha, actually I think he only mentions buckwheat FLOUR / pancakes. By the way I tried your bean pancakes in the past and they were awesome!

So I wanted a really simple tasty recipe and wasn't finding one quickly and remembered this post. Thank you for listing the ingredients in the Bone Suckin' Sauce too. I just mixed up organic dark brown sugar with cayenne and paprika - yum! All I did was toast the buckwheat in a pan then cook it (like rice); add chopped sundried tomatoes and dried shiitake mushrooms (had to nuke those in water to chop them, mine were too hard to break) and my 3-ingredient wish-it-was-Bone Suckin' Spice, and add the microwaved 2.5oz baby spinach per serving. My husband said it was good. (I purposely left out the nootch because I'm trying to convert him to plantstrong - and get him off statins!) and he's not a nootch fan, or even really onion/garlic. Also very simple because with my (developing) cooking skills if it tastes decent I try to quit while I'm ahead, but someone else might be happy to hear this worked well for buckwheat!

Sorry for the long comment, I could go on and on about your blog. Thank you SO much for turning me on to the Engine 2 book, I love it!

Connie T.

Re: your "before" photo with Rip: It is time to update your mug shot that comes to us with each blog. We want to see the new you!

I enjoy old fashioned oats, 1/2 to 3/4 cup extra water to accommodate 1 cup of frozen broccoli florets, dash of salt, 1/16 teaspoon ground turmeric and same of ground ginger. Cook 5 minutes, stir occasionally, until it reaches desired consistency. Top with walnuts. Yummy.CT

Donna Benjamin

Where do you purchase the Bone Sucking Sauce and California Sun Dried Tomatoes? Do you know if they carry them at Heinen's or Giant Eagle? I've never been able to stomach oatmeal until I found a recipe on the Oh She Glows web site for Sweet Potato Oatmeal Breakfast Casserole. Knowing the health benefits of oatmeal, I was thrilled to find an oatmeal recipe I really enjoyed. I'd like to try this recipe, especially since it's made with steel cut oats which I've heard were more healthy than rolled oats.

The Healthy Librarian

You're right Connie T. about updating the photo for my blog! I'm usually the photo-taker in the family - so I just need to get my husband to take one of me--but then the whole photo thing creates this dual conflict thing in me between modesty & vanity. That's why I haven't done anything with that yet!

I like the addition of broccoli, ginger & walnuts in your morning oats.

Donna B.

For the oatmeal I use Bone Suckin' Rub (it's a dry fabulous tasting mixed seasoning)--the sauce I also use on tofu or burgers--but not in the oatmeal.

I've found it at the 2 Heinen's I go to (so if yours doesn't have it, I'm sure they can order it for you). The seasoning & the sauce are shelved in the barbecue sauce aisle.

The chipotle powder is Pioneer brand--and I've picked that up at out-of-town Whole Foods in Cincy, St. Louis, & Florida--but it's not at my local store. Try Penzey's.

The California sun-dried julienned tomatoes are also at Heinen's, but they're hidden (in at least 2 stores) on the lower shelves of the produce display for tomatoes, garlic, & avocados. You'll see mostly sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil--but walk all around the square display & you'll find the California-made bags.

I've only found dried shiitake mushrooms at Whole Foods (in the produce section). But fresh would be just fine. Let me know how it turns out!

I've got to try the Sweet Potato breaksfast casserole. Sounds so good!

Sherry Cooke

Delicious! I had to modify a few things. Did not have Tumeric, the rub, or the dried shitakis. I threw in a few dashes of the ingrediants from the rub and used Baby portabellos. It was so hearty and warming. I will take this for lunch too!


Have you tried this with the overnight soak method, like the pumpkin oatmeal?

The Healthy Librarian

Yay, Sherry! So glad to hear you also loved it. I had some before I left this morning--then went to 1 hour of spinning, one hour of yoga (Burning 600 calories0, then 1 hour of grocery shopping, 30 minute ride home--and over 4 hours later I wasn't the least bit starving, tired, or dying for food. That is totally NOT how it was when I ate the fruited oatmeal for breakfast. This stuff rocks!

Jennifer, ND,

I do it both ways. I do the overnight soak, but keep it in the fridge because it has one cup of soy milk in it.(or any non-dairy milk). It's quicker cooking that way--& sometimes I need to add more water to it while it cooks--I like it real thick. I don't notice any taste difference--it just speeds things up if you do it before you go to sleep. But then you have 3 mornings of already made oats!


I use your crockpot method so I have enough oatmeal for the week, but I use 1 1/4 cups of steel cut oats and 1/4 cup of barley to 5 1/2 cups of water and 1 cup of soy milk, with all the extras upped a bit. The barley adds a textural interest, as well as the benefits of barley

Mike Cherol

Love the site and thanks for all the info you provide.

I played around with this recipe challenge and made an Oat Cake with San Marzano tomato/ kale "gravy".
It is a two step recipe that may be a bit more involved than what you requested. I made this originally with Field Roast
Italian faux sausage, but realize many heart patients would omit, so I simplified where possible.

The oat cake is combined with my home made fat free roasted red pepper hummus, but WFM has a couple
brands that save time. Please let me know if you would like the recipe I will forward it.

Thanks again, great idea!

The Healthy Librarian


Yes, yes, yes! Definitely, forward the recipe to me! Can't wait to try it. Sounds amazing.

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