Category Archives: cornmeal

Maybe I am a Little Rude…

Weellll…I guess now I know who I can count on to share a banana with me, and who I can count on to hide the last one. Unfortunately for me, if I were to ever live with any of you, you’d all be hiding your bananas so if I was in a banana crisis myself, there would be none around.

Fine. I see how it is.

I jest, I jest. What matters is that we share when it counts. Moral of the story, though, is to never take the produce. Everything else is fair game. As my boss says, “sharing is for kids.”

At least I share with him. Even if I am a little rude about it.

So there I was, having an intelligent conversation with my boss, when my pretzels and apricots caught the corner of my eye. Ooh. I started munching. First it was pretzels, and then apricots. Together but separate, y’know?

And then it was “oooh, it’s kinda fun to split the apricots apart! they’re so gooey!”

Gosh, I’m so polite.

He was still talking.

I was still sort of listening.

My thoughts moved along to “hey, lets make a pretzel-apricot sandwich!”

He was still talking.

I was eating.

My input to the conversation? “Look! I just made a pretzel sandwich! It’s really good! Wanna try it?!”

Luckily, we weren’t talking about anything critical. Not that I recall, anyway…

Luckily, he’s as “into” food as I am. The pretzel sandwich was a hit, but he mentioned it would only be better with some cream cheese and cayenne pepper. I instantly vetoed that idea.

Though when I had a little remake of my pretzel-apricot sandwich earlier, I threw in some cashew butter.

Mreh, no denying the yum-factor…but I’m sticking to my guns and saying the pretzels and apricots have got a good thing goin’ and don’t need anything else.

But maybe it could be transferred to pumpernickel.

It was okay.

But we all know – okay, well at least Tat and I know – that the real way to eat pumpernickel is like so:

With almond butter and date syrup.

Oh, yes.

Dense. Chewy. Pumpernickel-y.

And oh-so-hideous.

Seriously. The only thing my homemade pumpernickel is missing?

The canoodling couple on the package.

I even slept with it at night for it to sour. This bread relies on being given 18-24 hours to just sit and, well, be dough. And then it requires a sloooooowwww baking time.

Oh, and did I mention it needed a warm place to sleep for the 18-24 hours? Well, being that I made this when it wasn’t even 0* out, I took that as a damn good reason to turn my space heater in my room on for just a little bit longer than usual 😉

When it first went in the oven (for hour one of five) I was alittle worried. It wasn’t a deep, dark pumpernickel color like I thought it would be. I was disgruntled. I didn’t know that the low and slow baking process is what gives it that color.

It emerged deep, dark and pumpernickel-y. Crisis averted.

And hey, it’s not even gross like I thought it might be when smeared with hummus and a roasted red pepper! Phew.

Of course, just because I can make pumpernickel bread doesn’t mean I can make pancakes anymore. Seriously – my groove was stomped on and thrown out the window this morning or something.

As much as I hate to admit this, there were two takes on pancakes this morning.

Take one fed the trash. And you know I hate to do that. But they were inedible. I don’t know why. The  middle would not cook. Oh, yeah – probably because I accidentally dumped in flat seltzer water because I’m all out of milk and am too belligerent to go shopping before this weekend. Oh, and I don’t get my day started by forcing down an inferior breakfast, thank you.

Take two, above, I burnt. Not a bad thing necessarily as I don’t mind burnt bread/toast/pancakes/cookies/whatever – and I actually really enjoyed the taste. I accidentally dumped in nutmeg instead of cinnamon, but that ended up being an error that worked out for the better. They were perfectly spiced.

However, the cranberries were…hear me out here…fizzy on my tongue. WTH? Maybe someone who knows anything about food science can tell me if maybe the acidity of cranberries react with baking soda? Because that’s all I could think of. I never use baking soda in pancakes but decided to throw it in there for the hell of it, and while the pancake itself was fine, the cranberries in the pancake were just…weird.

Yes the cranberries themselves are good. I had them just the other day.

It’s a mystery. Or maybe not. Maybe I should just get a clue in the kitchen?

OH and while we’re on the topic of ugly food, look at last night’s dinner.

Polenta stuffed pepper with mashed yuca.

Wow, don’t you just want to gobble that up?! You’re all probably shocked to learn this was actually the best stuffed pepper I’ve ever had. I’d share the (really easy) recipe but I’m 99% sure anyone who sees this picture would just as quickly decide it’s something they wouldn’t eat in a million years.

Hey, don’t judge a book by its’ cover!

Edit: Since a couple people were curious, here’s the recipe for the peppers. As you can see, I was out of a lot of…well, out of almost everything…so it’s been kept pretty simple. Simple is good!

Polenta Stuffed Peppers

Serves 1 as a main, 2 as a side. For a more complete meal, maybe throw in some chickpeas, or have some marinated tofu on the side! I had a side of mashed yuca, which complemented perfectly.

  • 1 medium-large red pepper, sliced in half and de-seeded
  • 1/4 c. fine- or medium-ground cornmeal/polenta
  • 1/2 c water
  • 3 white mushrooms, diced
  • 1/2 c. stewed diced tomatoes (I used fire-roasted)
  • 1 T. nutritional yeast
  • 1 T. hummus
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat the oven to 375*. Bring the water to a boil over medium heat in a small saucepan. Once boiling, lower heat and slowly add the cornmeal, 1 T. at a time, stirring or whisking all the while. Once all combined, add in the tomatoes and nutritional yeast and season with salt and pepper. Continue to stir/whisk over medium-low heat until thickened. Remove from heat, stir in the mushrooms and hummus, and divide the mixture between the two peppers. Bake for 45 minutes, or until firm to the touch and the peppers are cooked through.

I loved having mashed yuca with this – its likeness to mashed potato really complemented the pepper. I followed a recipe out of Appetite for Reduction for mashed yuca with cilantro and lime. Even though I had no cilantro…

Anyways.

It’s All Star weekend. Don’t you wish you were my neighbor so you could come over for some of this pumpkin crumb cake?

AND YES, All plans are being made around the all star festivities.

Alright, everyone’s gotta have a really simple, maybe random combination of foods that they love together. Like apricots and pretzels. What’s yours?

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Filed under almond butter, baking, bread, breakfast, cooking, cornmeal, dinner, food, food blog, health, healthy living, lunch, pancakes, polenta, vegan, vegetarian

Worse Comes to Worse, It’ll Catch Fire

extreme wedding cake challenge, anybody? haha. “The worse that could happen, is our cake catches fire.” Wellll, I guess that’s a good motto to live by. I’ll do that from now on.

Why not have pumpkin-nanner oats for breakfast? I mean – the worst  that could happen is it catches fire 🙂

Thas’ right – my P.Chop rendezvous last night involved the discovery of two cans of pumpkin puree! I still have those three cans in my cabinet from the used foods store – but have been hoarding them for fear of using them. Last night was meant to be: I wasn’t even looking for pumpkin, but it was like the pumpkin was looking for me…I don’t scour the lower-most shelves for products that I know are out of stock until october 2010, but there they were: two solitary cans of (Price Chopper brand) canned pumpkin puree. Oh, hello. They came home with me.

I was almost nice enough to just take one…but then decided otherwise 🙂

The base today consisted of:

-equal parts oat bran, rolled spelt flakes, and rolled barley flakes

-wheat bran

-drizzle maple syrup, ground cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg

-pumpkin puree, about 1/3 of a sliced ripe banana, and trail power

The toppings:

-chia/acai icing with some pumpkin stirred in

-milled golden flax

-golden raisins, crystallized ginger

-ginger preserves, cinnamon raisin PB

and bananas sauteed with some pumpkin, ground cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg and maple syrup in a bit of almondmilk.

The cawfee? Stayed traditional with some Green Mountain French Vanilla again.

Yum! Pumpkin was a nice change of pace from my usual fruity-tropical concoctions lately. I missed it! And yes – of course this means there will be an abundance of pumpkin over the next couple of days.

I think I slept the latest I’ve slept in a while this morning! I didn’t roll into the kitchen until almost 8. It was sort of nice, but at the same time I felt a little off-kilter! That and, I had plans to drive into town and clean the office, which is a 2-hour foray alone – so I was a little bummed to be getting a late start. I knew the weather was supposed to be overcast, so I wanted to get everything done and hope there was still sunshine to enjoy afterwards!

I bopped my way into town, willing the dreadfully dark clouds looming in the distance to turn around and head back the other way. I wanted to go for another run/walk when I got home, and would love even more to squeeze in another quick ride! I can’t say for certain it worked, but by the time I got home it actually looked like it was clearing up – but still chilly!!

I waffled between snacks before heading out, and finally decided…

english muffin with honey-apple butter, applesauce mess

…it’s been ages since my warm applesauce messes! Needed to happen. Applesauce, some better n’ pb, dates, and pretzel snaps. And don’t forget about the delish english muffin 😉

Side note: I totally got one stuck in our toaster when I decided to have one at 1 am. I got so frustrated – I was tipping it upside down, shaking it, you name it – but I got it stuck under the little holder thing! haha. only me. Eventually I left it for morning. My mom was curious as to the situation, lol.

But, moving on – I leashed up Kaia and bundled myself up (re: HAT!) and set out. I love having her company, and – she keeps me movin’! The girl walks. Which is good! She’s not bad when it comes to running, either – she used to pull me all over the road, having to stop and sniff every little thing. I actually wasn’t sure if she’d be this way, so I was thinking I’d be mostly walking today, but it actually worked out quite nice. I still did mostly walking due to the roads being really soft and muddy, but got some good stretches of jogging, too.

I didn’t think we’d been out for too long, but by the time we got back it was 12:00, and we had left at 11:15! We definitely enjoyed ourselves. I cannot get enough fresh air lately. Not surprising, even though it was pretty chilly out. Eventually, though – I tried to buckle down on my paper writing. I didn’t get too far before a snack deliberation was in order.

Salty?

These piqued my interest yesterday (because Price Chopper still doesn’t have popchips – grr!) and figured I’d give them a try. They were good – but I realized I didn’t want salty. I’m sort of a sweet-snacker.

And decided on old faithful: kashi, spoonful of cranberry instant oats, almondmilk, chia seeds, portion of a vita-top corn muffin, raisins. Mmmm – hit the spot! Now I was tided over just enough to pump out that paper before breaking for lunch – which, even though you know about, thought you wanted to see it again. Who doesn’t?!

hello, beautiful.

This beautiful wrap also brought about some beautiful sunshine. Whaa?! It was supposed to be raining! But – this chica won’t complain about excess sunshine, so I soaked it up, naturally. [horse warning! :P]

And played with Jiggy! I debated taking Mel for a quick ride – my mom was gone for the day – but decided I didn’t want to go out alone. It’s not as fun to me! No biggie, though – I was just as content brushing them and giving them some lovin’. (Since, isn’t it obvious they’re sooo neglected?)

I did, however, transform myself into a walking, talking hairy monster. Lesson: Never wear fleece around horses, especially in the springtime. Every single hair they are shedding, will cling to you.

ALL RAKED!

Okay, so this is only a small portion of the raking that took place – but you get the idea! Yucky spring, makes everything look so bland.

HOLD. THE. PHONE.

Being the nommer that I am, eventually it was time for another snack. Uhm, holy cow. Has anyone else had these Yogi Granola Crisps? I found them and jumped for joy last I was in Hannafords, but am just getting to try them. *DANGER*: consume one, and you may feel the urge to consume the whole bag.

What's not to like? Oh, that the bag's too small? Touche.

Seriously, though – these are amazing. Do the ingredients get any better than that?! And the flavor? The flavor!! Holy cow – I’m one heck of a cinnamon-raisin fan, and these do not disappoint. I was in crunchy-crispy cinamon-y raisin-y granola heaven! They are perfectly sweet – not too much so that the oat-y, whole grainy taste was disguised, which is one peeve I have with many other companies.I enjoyed a few right from the bag before catching myself before the granola affair started.

…and fixed a proper snack! Okay, more like small meal, but who’s keeping track? (uh, okay – obviously my camera is, but I digress.)

The last of my flax tempeh in a repeat lavash whoop-de-do from yesterday – though I laid off on the cinnamon raisin PB and used a little more Better N’ PB this time. Gotta watch myself somewhere. And I keep forgetting about that Better N’ PB. It’s actually not that bad – lately I’ve been melting it into my night time mini bowls of oats – but it’s certainly got nothing on a real nut butter.

And, of course – pumpkin-chia greek yogurt. Ohhh, this was a little bit of heaven in a bowl right here.

I tinkered around online a bit more before my Mom came home and we went for a long walk out back. I haven’t been back there lately (we have about 35 acres – and there’s a trail leading from the back of our house to the other side of the “mountain”) and she wanted to show me all the water. So fun! I should have brought my camera along – it brings you to a creepy-cool old marsh at one point.

When we got back, the ribs Henry was making were just about ready, so I hustled up to make my dinner. Naturally – I had a gameplan, so the decision wasn’t the hard part 🙂

This is the dinner I intended to make yesterday, but just wasn’t hungry enough. I wasn’t really tonight (granted, it was “dinner time” at 5:15) but I wanted some cranberry-orange polenta, dang it! So I did the durn thang.

Not only that, but – I tried cottage cheese, and I didn’t hate it. I wouldn’t call it love, but it could grow to be that way. AND! It doesn’t stop there – I know this polenta is a winner because my mom loved it, too! She liked polenta to begin with, but she said she was weary of the cranberries “and jazz.” I was too, mom – I was too. I mean, I was throwing everything in there. But, it all resolved itself into one beautifully delicious mess.

For the polenta, I brought to a boil 1 cup water and 1/2 cup almond milk, frozen cranberries and orange zest.

Once boiling, I slowly whisked in 1/2 c. cornmeal. Once it was smooth, you can switch over to a wooden spoon, and season with salt, black pepper, lemon pepper, rosemary, and a dash of cumin. I also ended up adding some dried cranberries since I didn’t have a whole lot of frozen cranberries (tear.) as well as juice of half of the orange.

Slice up three or so biigggg leaves of fresh basil, and stir in as well, in addition to approx. 1/3 c. plain cottage cheese. Keep stirring over low heat until most of the cottage cheese curd-things (ew…haha) are all gone.

Wine and dine! I was thinking of adding some chicken sausage, but lately I’ve just not been that into meat…I dunno. I’m still all about fish and seafood, as well as some turkey stuff I eat (turkey bacon, and those applegate farms turkey hot dogs are actually amazingly delicious and have been my Tuesday night lifesavers) but for some reason just haven’t felt the desire for the chicken and ground turkey I used to have a lot more of. Oh, well.

Not to self: buy the right cornmeal next time you’re in the store! The only thing holding this polenta back from being 100% spectacular? The fact that I had medium grind cornmeal. I’m not the brightest crayon in the box, I guess. For some reason, this didn’t phase my mom at all. It didn’t make me hate it by any  means, but it did make me think about what could have been.

Dessert for two? Oh, let me process that right up!

Crystallized ginger, have I told you lately that I love you?

Yep – got my mom hooked, too 🙂 I kept it simple so as not to overwhelm her – so I did the same as last night. Banana, mango, dollop of greek yog, some acai powder, chai spice blend, and a tiiiiny sprinkling of sun crystals. Naturally, I topped my portion with granola and crystallized ginger.

What’s one “health food” you’ve introduced to your family that they ended up loving? I love sneaking it in there! For instance – my mom and sister and Kale chips. I think that was the most fun, because my sister hates to admit when she’s wrong – but she was all about those kale chips after finally being persuaded to just give them a taste!

Have a great night, everyone! Back to the bump n’ grind tomorrow…

p.s. anyone else watch Hoarders? My mom’s remarks – “I watch this show to make me realize your whole grains, nut butter, and jam collection is really pretty normal after all.”

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Oh, Kale…

…I can’t believe we’ve never met before, but believe me, we will be spending a lot of time together in the future.

Can you all believe tonight was my first time having kale?! I know, I know – it seems like something I’d have been eating nonstop. But for some reason, as long as I’ve been saying to myself “I really need to try Kale.” it just gets pushed off my grocery list “until next week.” Truth be told, I was minorly afraid of it. I honestly had no idea what to expect. Was it like spinach? And what did you do with it?

I decided the best way to test the waters was with kale chips and sweet potato balls with kale.

Yes, I just said sweet potato balls.

After foragin all day, I pretty much wanted a gigantic plateful of veggies for dinner. The kale chips were basic enough : toss with olive oil and seasoned salt, bake at 350* for 10 minutes. And oh. my. god. New addiction? I think so. I have seriously been missing out before this.

In addition to the kale chips, I found an almost forgotten about broccoli crown and sugar snap peas, and had a couple slices of tomato left from lunch. I did a good ol’ burnt broccoli sautee – except this time with mesquite barbeque sauce rather than mustard. The BBQ was good! I didn’t burn/crisp it quite as much as I normally do, and it was a nice switch-up from the usual burnt broc I do.

And sharing the spotlight with the kale chips? Sweet Potato and Kale Balls.

I had to bust out our biiiig plates for this dinner.

I saw a photo & title for Sweet Potato and Chard Balls and from there thought “well, why not Kale?” and decided to run with it. It was scary, considering I had no idea what Kale even tasted like. But I’m thinking they were a success.

Ingredients:

-1 sweet potato – boiled and mashed.

-1 sprig Kale, washed, dried, and torn into small pieces

-1 slice turkey bacon, diced

-1/4 red onion, diced

-1/2 T. nutritional yeast

-salt and pepper

-paprika

-chili powder (optional)

-1/4 c. cornmeal

Destructions:

Combine all ingredients, leaving out the cornmeal. Once mixed, roll into balls, and roll individual balls in cornmeal. Bake at 400* for 15-20m.

(er…that’s actually a guess…I baked them with the kale, and 10m at 350* was wayyy not enough time…so I ended up tossing them around in a sprayed frying pan real quick. I wouldn’t recommend this – give baking them a shot. heh…)

What’s your favorite Kale recipe?

Do you have, or did you have, any foods that you want to try, but at the same time are almost afraid to try?

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Filed under all natural, bacon, cornmeal, dinner, food, food blog, foodblog, health, healthy cooking, healthy eating, healthy living, recipe, sweet potato, sweet potatoes, vegetable, vegetarian, veggies

Productively Unsuccessful

Figured I’d break today up into two posts, even though I’ll probably be eating dinner in like…2 hours anyway. I’m bored. Just busted out my last paper and got a mock-portfolio together, as well as went into town earlier this morning to clean my office. And managed to find a cool run-down barn long the way that I snapped a couple photos of! Film though, so they’ll have to wait to be seen 🙂 For a while there I was feeling really lazy and unproductive…but I guess I did get some stuff done today after all! hah.
This morning started off with an amazing yet severely unphotogenic mix!
1 Tbs each of: Yellow Cornmeal, Bulgur Wheat with Soy, Wheat Bran, and TVP, with 3/4 c. brewed coffee, 1/4c. soy milk, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, Truvia, and 1/2 thinly sliced banana stirred in quickly. Topped with 1/2 nanner, red raspberry preserves, and a portion of my Barney Butter sample! 

What did I think of the Barney Butter? Um, yum. Hello. It is definitely way different than the Full Circle 100% Almond Butter kind I purchased recently (which, by the way, has definitely grown on me.) but in a good way! While I’ve come to love the Full Circle kind, it’s not something I enjoy by itself, necessarily, whereas the Barney Butter is sweetened and is actually, to me, more like a different sort of peanut butter! And let me just say…even though I’m way behind on realizing this…it is amazing in a hot breakfast cereal concoction! I don’t know why it took me so long to hop on the nut-butter-in-oatmeal train. I don’t know if I was even living then, apparently! So, definitely scurry on over and see if Barney Butter is still giving away some free samples! Mine came super fast – I don’t think it even took two weeks – which is pretty unique when it comes to samples. Definitely a good company. And where would I be if Karla hadn’t given me the heads up about it? Pretty sure I’d still be under a rock.
Last night while I was surfin’ the web I started looking into breakfast polenta! Since polenta is just yellow cornmeal which is very similar to grits, I figured it’s had to have been done. And my oh my, it has! There’s tons of sugary concoctions out there, so I decided to incorporate it into what is becoming my morning mish-mosh of grains! Since cornmeal doesn’t have anywhere near the nutritional value of Bulgur or TVP, I decided to just replace one of the tablespoons of TVP with yellow cornmeal to see what the outcome would be. Not a huge difference, really. But worth experimenting with more! This breakfast makes me so full! Which is sort of sad since it all adds up to a normal portion size. I’m not sure if I want to cut it back a bit and maybe add a little more fruit or not. I know I should at least be eating that much for breakfast, so I’d like to leave it, haha. Why is my stomach so small?! I’m such a grazer. 
P.S. I apologize for how unappetizing this breakfast combination looks. I know Bulgur has a brown color already, but the coffee instead of water makes it even more brown…resulting in…well, you can imagine. Hopefully the delicious bananas, jam, and Barney Butter disguise it a little bit?
This is going to turn into a very review-y post, I can tell!haha.
Afterwards, I got ready to go into town and clean the office & see if I couldn’t find some cool old barns. I like getting the office out of the way early in the day, and usually don’t leave it for Sundays. I was just not in the mood yesterday. I knew I’d have some papers to finish and wanted to work on getting some photos together for a portfolio, as well, so I hustled in and out.
Since it’s a good drive, by the time I was done it was almost noon and I was ready for a snack, so I tried one of those SoyJoy bars I’d tried a while back. Initial reaction? hmm. Interesting…. 
First I thought it almost had a chemically, artifically taste, but an intriguing taste, so of course I tried more. And whaddya know, it grew on me. Halfway through though, I became interested in the ingredients and discovered it has parmesan cheese in it. Uh, what? I admit, I must have been in a rush because checking ingredients in foods is usually a given before I buy it. But after that, I kept tasting a Parmesan cheese after-taste. No joke. I’m not sure if it’s psychological or legitimate…but I think that’s what I tasted at first too. I just…wouldn’t have thought in my wildest dreams it was parmesan cheese.

Anyway, cutting to the chase: Raisin Almond SoyJoy=okay. Not bad. Not sure I’d buy it again, though, due to how many bars are out there that I do love. HOWEVER! I have a bunch of other flavors to try, and only some of them have parm cheese! So I’ll definitely let you guys know what the dealio is with the others.
What are your thoughts on the Parmesan Cheese and SoyJoy bars? 
haha, sorry…gotta ask.
MOVING on.
Heaven.
Oh, how I love wraps.
Oh, how I love Cedar’s Hummus wraps. (Or should I say Hommus? Why is there such a discrepency in the spelling of hummus, anyway?
In La Tortilla: Roasted Red Pepper Cedar’s Hummus, dijonnaise, red pepper, 2 fried egg whites, romaine, red onion, President Mediterrnean Herb Feta Cheese, and tomatoes.
Holy yum. I love feta cheese…and was ecstatic to see a new President flavor! 
Only thing that coulda made this better was some beans!
Or if I’d remembered the pickle…ah well.
And this may come as a shock, but I’m currently enjoying some of the delicious frozen greek yogurt 🙂
What’s your favorite wrap or sandwich? And what should I make for dinner?

Hah. Kidding. Except not really…
Catch ya’ later!

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Filed under breakfast, bulgur, cornmeal, dinner, foodblog, grits, health, healthy living, hummus, lunch, polenta, recipe, review, TVP, vegetarian, whole grains, wrap