Oat Bran "Polenta" with Mexican Beans ~ Meatless Monday

Giving leftover oat bran the 'polenta treatment' ~ what a great way to eat more of this superfood!

Ixtapa, Mexico
I've recently returned from a 2-week long vacation and I'm slowly easing back into my routines, both around the house and on the blog.  I went to another Club Med EXGO Reunion (read about my first EXGO reunion here) and this time I took my son.  This latest reunion was at the Club Med village ~ Ixtapa Pacific.  We met lots of new people and became really good friends with a lovely family from San Francisco. :) 

Since I've been busy working on editing our trip photos, I've been thinking a lot about our vacation and all the different types of Mexican foods they served ~ as well as some interesting new spins on old classics.  They served polenta a few times on the dinner buffet and since I happened to have some cooked, leftover oat bran in fridge  that looked a lot like chilled polenta, (once I took it out of the round Tupperware container) I decided to give it the 'polenta' treatment.

I sliced the cold oat bran 'polenta' into a few discs (just like you would from a tube of precooked polenta), sprinkled on some zesty spices and then 'fried' the discs in a little oil.  I topped the 'fried polenta' with home cooked pinto beans, some Mexican fixin's (chopped white onion, cilantro, sofrito and chipotle hot sauce) and salt/pepper from my cool new shakers (Thanks, L!).  It made for a marvelous meatless lunch that would be good for breakfast, brunch, or supper, too.  I just love finding new and unusual ways to enjoy my oats!

The cooked oat bran really tastes a lot like polenta when you slice and cook/fry it after it's been chilled overnight in the fridge.  It would be easy to adapt this for an Italian version, just by switching up the spices/toppings.  All the more reason to make some extra oat bran in the mornings ~ now I can eat it for a quick lunch or dinner, too.  :) 

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