Pet Therapy and Secret Ingredient Oatmeal [WIAW]

On Sunday, the inevitable finally came to be…

Libby I officially became a cat lady. I’m the type of girl who loves curling up on a Saturday night with a cup of tea and a book; all that was missing from classifying me as a spinster was the cat! A few months ago, I filled out an application to foster animals through the Kingston Humane Society. To be honest, I didn’t really know what I was getting myself into, but I couldn’t be happier with how it’s been going so far.

Libby Cat The fostering program is really cool; it facilitates short-term placements for pets who need to take a break from the shelter for health reasons, before they can be considered for adoption. It takes a burden off the Humane Society, but also give the foster volunteers a chance to experience having a companion animal without the long-term commitment (I can’t adopt at this point, because my Dad has allergies). They also set you up with all the supplies you need!

Libby Computer Having Libby around has been an absolute joy. Lately, I’ve been in the midst of mid-term season which only adds stress to the pot. I was feeling pretty overwhelmed, but as soon as Libby arrived I’ve noticed my stress dissipate. My roommates and brothers are loving having Libby around too; we literally just sit around and watch her play. She is terrified of mirrors and loves anything dangly. She loves belly rubs and sitting on laptops. I’m going to be sad when she has to go back to the shelter, but I’m hopeful that she will find a forever home where someone will love her as much as I do! I could talk about Libby all day, but being a Wednesday I’ll move on to more delicious topics. Thanks to Jenn for hosting!

The colder weather has made oatmeal a daily requirement. There’s nothing like a big steamy bowl of oats; especially after a chilly morning run. I’ve found a great way to amp up the volume of my morning breakfast with a special secret ingredient.

Vegetable Oats

Yes, that is cauliflower; orange cauliflower to be exact (though I expect the colour doesn’t matter much). I’ve experimented with adding produce to oatmeal for a while now; shredded apples work great, as do finely sliced banana. Amy intrigued my appetite for vegetable laden oats with her take on zeggs; since I don’t eat eggs, I simply omitted them and was quite happy with the result! Next on my list of veggies to add to oatmeal was cauliflower, inspired by recipes for so-called “cauliflower rice“. With the right toppings (and natural sweeteners if you like), the vegetables becomes disguised, leaving you with a happy belly full of oats and an extra dose of veg!

Secret Ingredient Oatmeal

Serves: 1

Prep time: 2 minutes

Cook time: 5-10 minutes


  • 1/3 c. rolled oats (GF if required)
  • 1/2 c. vegetable, grated (zucchini or cauliflower have worked for me)
  • 1 c. water or non-dairy milk
  • 1 tbsp. ground flax seeds
  • 1/2 banana, diced very small
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • optional toppings: nuts, nut butters, additional fruit, etc.


  • Choose your desired vegetable and grate very finely. Zucchini is a ‘less vegetable-y’ option, but I have had success with cauliflower as well!
  • Combine all ingredients in a small pot and simmer until liquid is absorbed.
  • Top with desired toppings and dig in!

Secret Ingredient Oatmeal- hello, veggy!

If you’re a bit uncertain about this recipe, start by adding a bit of zucchini to see if it’s palatable. If you find out you like it (and I hope you do), slowly increase the amount as desired; you may even find you enjoy lost of veggies in your oats! If you’re using cauliflower, add a bit more water and be sure to grate it very finely; it will soften up and hide within the oats best that way. As for toppings, put on whatever your heart desires! I like to stir in some frozen berries as the oats are cooking, and top it with a few dollops of nut butter!

In other culinary successes this week, I whipped up Kathy’s Pumpkin Pistachio Kale Fried Rice Bowl for my brothers and housemate Jenn. The picture I snapped is not worth sharing, but we can all attest that the recipe is a definite keeper!

Pumpkin Chai Loaf On a final (and very exciting) note, my recipe for Pumpkin Chai Loaf is featured in the Vegan Cuts Fall Harvest ebook (on lucky page 13)! It is packed with fall recipes, tips, and includes some valuable coupons; you can click here to download it for free.

Fill in the blank: I like to put ____ in my oatmeal.

Don’t forget to enter for you chance to win a Booda Butter Gift set; contest ends Sunday at midnight!

I submitted this recipe to Strange but Good!

 Thanks so much for reading! Leave me a comment, or follow me on, FacebookTwitter, Pinterest, and Instagram; I’d love to connect with you!

About Suzanne Poldon

runs on plants. eats out of mason jars. bends like a straw.

23. October 2013 by Suzanne Poldon
Categories: Food, Personal, Recipe, Vegan | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 34 comments

Comments (34)

  1. I’ve put zucchini in my oatmeal before along with some spices (cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg) to make “zucchini bread oatmeal” and I loved it! But my favourite produce to add to oatmeal are bananas, apples, and pumpkin.

    I’ve never thought to add cauliflower, but you’re making me a bit curious about it now!
    Chelsea @ Chelsea’s Healthy Kitchen recently posted…Pinterest hits and missesMy Profile

  2. Also that’s awesome that you got to temporarily adopt Libby! I would love to do something like that once I move out again just to test the waters to see if I can handle the commitment of getting my own dog.
    Chelsea @ Chelsea’s Healthy Kitchen recently posted…Pinterest hits and missesMy Profile

  3. What an amazing experience! And cauliflower?! Genius. Definitely trying this.
    Amy @ The Little Honey Bee recently posted…Breakfast [WIAW 18]My Profile

  4. Thank you for fostering Libby! I love putting chai & goji berries in my oatmeal!

    • I feel like she’s doing more for me than I am for her!! Gogi berries in oatmeal; I should give that a try as I do not like them on their own!

  5. produce-wise, I like banana slices in my oatmeal…I never would have thought to try cauliflower! And I love that you’re fostering cats – a friend of mine’s family did it growing up, and they would have up to 20-30 cats at a time zooming around their house. A little zoo-like, but it was fun!
    Sam @ Better With Sprinkles recently posted…WIAW: Thanksgiving Dessert.My Profile

  6. Woah, that is such a cool idea! I’ve used cauliflower as rice before but I never would have thought about it in oatmeal!

  7. What a lovely thing to do Suzanne! I miss my dog while I’m away at university- it’s definitely comforting to have an animal around to cuddle.
    I love carrots in oatmeal, with raisins and walnuts (carrot cake style), but haven’t tried other veggies I don’t think. Nice way to use up any veg languishing in the fridge.
    I don’t think my favourite will ever be anything other than banana + pb oatmeal!
    Emma recently posted…Raw Foods for WinterMy Profile

  8. This is going to strange, but my favorite topping for my oatmeal as of late is to kale blended with some Mediteranean pine nuts and Sacha Inichi seeds to make what I like to call “kale butter” and then top it all off with blueberries. It’s also an excellent combo with peanut butter! But then again, everythig is better with peanut butter :)

  9. Clearly we had the same idea with cauliflower today :)
    Davida @ The Healthy Maven recently posted…Cauliflower TabboulehMy Profile

  10. I have a few friends who fostered some kitties at Queen’s. I’m not a cat person but they were pretty darn cute. Love the idea of adding a veggie to oatmeal!
    Christine @ Gotta Eat Green recently posted…Healthy Spooky Almond Joy Bites [vegan and gluten free]My Profile

  11. This sounds really tasty. Oatmeal is a blank canvas-make it into anything you like! The pumpkin chai loaf looks tasty also ! Thanks for sharing your recipes!
    Fran@BCDC recently posted…Strange But Good~October 25My Profile

  12. Haha, I love how you added veg to your breakfast. I don’t do that very often but I should definitely do it more often. ;)

    Btw, yesterday we were chatting and I learned cats cannot be vegetarians. They need meat to live.. crazy, eh?
    janet @ the taste space recently posted…White Bean Paprikash with Soy CurlsMy Profile

  13. What a cool idea!!! Both the oatmeal and the cat-fostering. I need to look into doing both. :)

    Thanks for linking up! Pinning this one to try.
    Laura @ Sprint 2. the Table recently posted…Strange But Good: Mexican Pumpkin Pan-letteMy Profile

  14. Oh my goodness, Libby is an absolute beauty!!! Congrats on entering the cat lady world, it is one I know well. :)

  15. Pingback: Healthy Vegan Friday #67: Delicious Fall Goodness

  16. Pingback: Banana Cornbreadhello, veggy!

  17. Pingback: health vegan friday # 67- spooky halloween foods - the veggie nook | the veggie nook

  18. I loved reading this post and feeling such compassion from you towards animals. I think what you are doing is really great! My son suffers from allergies otherwise our home would be probably be a farm lol.

    I have never added veggies to my oats. The thought never even crossed my mind until now :) you’re a brave one!

  19. I love cauliflower in pretty much anything, but I have to admit, I’ve never tried it for breakfast. Adding it to the to-do list right now; thanks for the inspiration!

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