It was a foggy morning, as I slowly savored my warm and rustic Peach Pie Oatmeal. Amber-colored maple syrup drizzled over top rustic rolled oats - mingling with silky plump chia seeds, sweet banana slices and a mountain of cinnamon-and-citrus tossed farmer's market peaches and nectarines. Vanilla accents and creamy soy milk circling the edges of the bowl. This was the perfect Monday morning escape to start a happy, calm day after a crazy busy weekend of showing my in-laws around LA.
Matching my mood, as I finished my peach pie oats, the dusty sky suddenly made way for brilliant stemming streaks of clear morning sunshine. And the puffy grey "beach clouds" (as I heard the weather man once call them) rolled away to make room for a sea of cornflower blue sky.
Peach pie oats, a blue sky Monday and my tour-guide-Kathy weekend..
Peach Pie Oatmeal .. almost better than the dessert version. almost.
Love me some oats .. especially after my busy weekend...
"Hello, my name is Kathy and I will be your tour guide!" It is not easy playing tour guide. But as they say, 'someone's gotta do it!' LA is not the most tourist-friendly town (navigation-wise) because you literally have to drive everywhere you go. And if you don't know the 405 from the 101 and you only know about Santa Monica Blvd from the Sheryl Crow song .. and have no clue what WeHo and The 'Bu are (short for West Hollywood and Malibu) .. you may suddenly find yourself on a double-decker bus, surrounded by tourists, listening to a cranky tour guide describe how Rodeo Drive is NOT pronounced Ro-dee-O.
True, touristy things can be fun (I actually loved checking out the hand prints at Sid Grauman's Chinese Theatre - some celeb's prints like Shirley Temple date back to the 30's! The first print ever was Norma Talmadge in 1926). But even when hitting classic LA tour spots, it is much nicer to get a personal 'insiders guide' introduction to this thirty mile zone known as la la land. And since I have lived in Cali much longer than my husband, Kathy tour guide it was.
We took them everywhere... Rodeo, Santa Monica, drive up the coast to Malibu, The Grove, 3rd Street Prom, SM Pier, West Hollywood, Hollywood, Chinese Theater, Century City, Hollywood Sign and Sunset Strip cruising. I am tired just thinking about it! But it was a blast.
I was playing it cool at first, but eventually gave in to the Hollywood fun..
And my fave must-see LA spot ... THE BEACH.
And then there was the dining..
I managed to squeeze in stops to M Cafe, Real Food Daily, Urth Caffe and Veggie Grill. They were shocked that the M Cafe BLT was vegan + they loved those crispy fries. Who wouldn't? And they loved RFD's blueberry coffee cake muffin. And though they were reluctant to try Veggie Grill's "fake chicken" (since they love the real thing) .. they finally gave in and were impressed. (Which didn't surprise me at all).
At Urth Caffe we dined amidst the outdoor glow of the heaters - I guzzled a giant 'bowl-looking mug' of my fave mint matcha latte alongside a vegan sprout sandwich with a mixed green salad. We also had a lovely brunch at Le Pain Quotidien and the fine dining highlight was Scarpetta Beverly Hills...
Scarpetta. Big thanks to Leslie .. @VeggieDreamGirl for tipping me off to Scarpetta's vegetarian menu with vegan options galore. OMG it was amazing. I had the Herbed Green Salad with shaved fennel and lemon vinaigrette. Then as my entree I had the most amazing mixed wild mushrooms with mustard seed and tarragon. Plus Caramelized Fennel with concentrated tomatoes and oil cured olives. And a dreamy soy latte after dinner. I was wildly impressed. I will be back there for sure!!
My cell phone snapped menu..
Before Scarpetta. Was loving my light mesh Anthro dress..
And M Cafe lunch yummies. Vegan Club Sandwich + fries to share. Juices for all.
So today I'm feeling quiet, tired, calm, satisfied. Ready for a fresh new week of delicious vegan eating, blogging, photographing and yes, more of that California sunshine too.
And so my salvation this Monday morning.. Peach Pie Oatmeal. Perfection. I switched up my usual fave - steel cut oats - for super easy/fast rolled oats. Pop them in the microwave with some water and salt and they cook up fluffy and thick in a flash. The chia seeds + soy milk make this velvet-y, rustic texture I love. Chopped pecans or walnuts would be a very nice addition as well.
Peach Pie Oatmeal
vegan, serves one
3/4 cup rolled oats
1 1/2 cups water
1/4 tsp salt
a few dashes cinnamon or nutmeg
a few drops vanilla extract
1 cup peaches + nectarines, diced (tossed in 2 Tbsp orange juice + cinnamon)
1/4 banana, sliced
1 tsp chia seeds
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 - 3/4 cup soy milk (add more as desired)
1-2 Tbsp maple or agave syrup (optional)
dollop of vegan butter (for that buttery peach pie accent)
2 Tbsp pecans or walnuts, chopped
Nutrition Facts: Calories: 425 kcal, Fat: 9g, Carbs: 72g, Protein: 17g
Good source of calcium, iron and vitamins A and C.
1. Make oatmeal by heating oats, salt, vanilla extract, dash of cinnamon and water - use stove top or microwave. Head until water is absorbed and oats are fluffy and sturdy. I like my oats on the dry side so that I can add in plentiful amounts of soy milk to soften them up.
2. Dice peaches and nectarines and toss in a dash of cinnamon and the orange juice. Set aside.
3. Add oats, a splash of milk, chia seeds and more cinnamon to serving bowl. Stir gently and add fruit over top. Add more dashes of cinnamon.
4. Drizzle sweetener over top. Add additional soy milk and toppings as desired. Serve warm.
And if you want REAL vegan peach pie. Check out this recipe + video.