As a writer, I find myself constantly reflecting on the days ahead, the days behind, and the days that exist purely in my imagination. These musings surface their way out of my pool of thoughts, and become the driving force behind the words I share with you, as well as the more select, private ones, which are sealed away in scribbles and jottings on endless sheets of lined paper. Either way, the practice of writing almost always ends in the same sense of enlightenment; one that can only be achieved after a bit of soul-searching and thoughtful consideration.
Take a look at any of my posts, and you’ll find these reflections weaved into every aspect of this blog. In the dawning light of the morning and the company of only the sun; this is the time of day when my thoughts are clear and I am able to best accept the lessons that life continually allots.
This morning, life handed me a less-theoretical, but just as important, lesson. In fact, it may be the most genuine one to date. It struck me unexpectedly; an overwhelming sensation that moved me to the point of tears. Today’s life lesson:
Never, under any circumstances, attempt to rub the sleep from your eyes while handling a bottle of Sriracha.
Not being the first time to feel the staggering pain of sriracha, my eyes only poured water profusely for about five minutes, in a pitiable attempt to extinguish the fire. I desperately tried to further their effort by placing my head under the kitchen sink- to no avail. My entire face flushed a lighter hue of the febrile, vibrant red sauce, and my breath quickened into wheezes and gasps.
While it may seem like an overdramatized reaction, I assure you that it was not. Especially while cooking, I’ve become practically impervious to the dangers of the kitchen, and am usually able to continue with my work as though my pan-seared fingers weren’t scorching, or the near miss with the mandolin hadn’t just happened. This time, however, no amount of rebuff could deny the pain that swallowed my entire skull.
Luckily, I recovered from the blow fairly quickly and returned my efforts back to the srirachas’ true and original intention: Breakfast. The combination may seem bizarre, but it can’t possibly be worse than the sriracha-spiked peanut butter and jelly sandwiches that I constantly hear ravings about. This dangerously-addictive sauce is just that; dangerous (I found out the hard way) and very, very addictive. When thinking about what would work well beside it, I turned to the only flavors capable of matching its’ appeal: Salty peanut butter, sweetly-roasted chickpeas, and a drizzle of maple to sweeten. Individually, these ingredients are enticing. When put together, the result was just as tempting as it was torturous.
I hope that, unlike myself, you don’t have to explore the torturous side. But try out the recipe, and you’ll surely know what I mean when I say that this breakfast (or dinner, if you prefer) is tempting, and endlessly delicious.
Upon first bite, this oatmeal may taste mediocre at most. But as you dig in, and the spoon finds its’ way faster and faster, the flavors begin to contrast and combine into something beyond mouth-watering. After you pass the srirachas’ first kick, it becomes more refined in flavor; balanced out by cool, creamy peanut butter and sweet chickpeas. The chickpeas on their own are enough to sustain a meal, but here, oats and peanut butter further their crunchy, nutty appeal and become a supreme combination of sweet-and-salty. Every individual ingredient is flaunted, but not overwhelmingly so. Sriracha Peanut Butter Oatmeal with Maple Roasted Chickpeas would hold perfectly as a savory and robust breakfast, quick and filling dinner, or even a snack for days when you need a little kick.
Feel free to use more or less sriracha depending on your heat tolerance. A dot is a lot! I also encourage you to make extra chickpeas for later. They truly are addicting, and stand as a great salad topper, side dish, or protein-rich snack. Enjoy.
- 1/2 cup oats
- pinch of salt
- 1 cup liquid (milk of choice/water)
- 1/2 tbsp. maple syrup, agave, honey, or sweetener of choice (if you have a big sweet tooth)
- 1/4-1/2 tsp. sriracha hot sauce (add more or less to taste)
- 2-3 tbsp. peanut butter, or other nut butter
- handful of hot Maple Roasted Chickpeas (see below recipe)
In a pot, bring the oats, salt, and liquid to a boil. Cook, while stirring, until the oats begin to thicken. Add in the optional sweetener, if using. Once a consistency a bit thinner than desired is reached, turn off the heat and transfer to a bowl.
Starting with a minimal amount of sriracha, stir it in with the peanut butter, which should thicken the oatmeal a bit further. Taste, and add more or less of both.
Top with chickpeas. Enjoy.
For Maple Roasted Chickpeas (You'll probably have a few extras. Store them in the refrigerator, for up to 3 days. Feel free to multiply the recipe.)
- 1/2 cup chickpeas/garbanzo beans
- 2 tbsp. maple syrup (honey or agave could also work)
- sprinkle of salt, to taste
Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Set aside.
Rinse the chickpeas in cool water very thoroughly. Removing the skins is optional. Gently dry them off a transfer to the prepared baking sheet.
Drizzle with the maple syrup, and roll the beans around so that they're all coated. Season with salt. Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes, until they are golden brown in color, crisp, and crunchy.
Best served immediately, or warmed.