Category Archives: polenta

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 ๐Ÿ˜‰

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 ย middle would not cook. Oh, yeah – probably because I accidentally dumped inย 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?

25 Comments

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 ย that could happen is it catches fire ๐Ÿ™‚

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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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 bananasย 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 ๐Ÿ˜‰

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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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 ย 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 ๐Ÿ™‚ 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.”

9 Comments

Filed under all natural, almond milk, applegate, banana, breakfast, chia seeds, college, cooking, cornmeal, food, food blog, foodblog, health, health blog, health food, healthy cooking, healthy eating, healthy food, healthy living, horseback riding, lunch, oatmeal, oats, organic, panini, polenta, pumpkin, recipe, review, salad, sweet potato, vegetable, vegetarian, vermont, walk, whole grains, wrap

Subliminal Messaging

Did everyone else get to enjoy beautiful weather today? Vermont was certainly graced with some beautiful sun and warm temperatures! Given the time of the year it is I should be crying that it was nearly 40*. Lately all I’ve been wanting is snow, snow, snow. We have none! But since beautiful sunshine came along with the warmth, there was no way I could complain.
I should have known it would end up being a beautiful day after seeing the subliminal message in this ridiculous bowl of banana cream pie breakfast:
Anyone else see the heart?!Not intentional.
This craziness involved the usual whipped banana bowl of grains, topped with more banana, coconut, walnuts, raisins, and whet germ. The chia-seed yogurt icing had some mashed banana, too! And almond butter and a maraschino cherry, just for good measure, of course.
I thought I’d died and gone to heaven after eating this.
I grabbed the buffalo turkey wrap out of the fridge that I’d made for lunch last night, an orange, a carrot, and a Z Bar and made my way to school for classes.
After my first one I learned of two amazing facts: 1. Int. to C.J. was cancelled, and 2. Photo would just be a “work day” if we so chose! Luckily I learned both these things in e-mails, so decided to do my own photo class by driving round Rutland and finding sketchy places to take photos. Strangely, I’ve never just walked around downtown with my camera with the intent to take photos. I learned that sometimes you overlook some of the neatest places!
I’ve got quite a few photos to go through to keep me busy tonight, tomorrow, and the next day! Hopefully I got one or two good ones. 
While I was in town, I took advantage of the time to explore our co-op! I’ve never actually been in there – another shocker, right? I told myself I wouldn’t buy much. And I did great until I got to the bulk section, where everything…uh…sort of added up. There’s so many fun things, and still feel like I hardly got as much as I wanted! haha. Finds included goji berries, other dried fruits and nuts, almond “mozzarella,” oikos, applegate farms turkey hot dogs, some bars, and some cookies! What I really wanted to find was coconut butter, but no such luck. My other stop was my favorite little organic deli/cafe, the Back Home Again. I about lived there all summer long, until I started school. (Then “Jess’s Budgeting Act” cut-off so much buying of meals, and encouraged the making & packing of meals. It’s ridiculous how much I spent a week buying lunches rather than packing my own!)They make amazing breads, and I needed some Spelt bread. They also sell yerba mate and mate energy bars, which are amazing. So I picked some of those up as well. Bliss. 




By the time I was done spending money and taking pictures, it was around 1:45 and I had only eaten all my snacks. They held me over so luckily I wasn’t so tempted by any of the delicious wraps and sandwiches at the BHA and decided I’d just enjoy my wrap grilled once I got home!
Look familiar? It hasn’t gotten old…but I’m almost out of those meatballs! I do miss hummus and veggie wraps though, so it’s all good ๐Ÿ™‚
Dinner was to incorporate one of my interesting co-op finds!
I had planned on just getting some really good marinated mozzarella when I went grocery shopping this weekend (I am picky about my mozzarella. Go big or go home. No skim over here.) but was quite fascinated when I saw this! Never even heard of it before, so of course I had to give it a try. I’m not lactose intolerant, vegan, or anything requiring me to avoid real cheese, but I was quite intrigued. And it’s quite good! But we’ll get to that.
On the agenda tonight was a Sausage Polenta Bake. I’d been tossing ideas around in my head all morning, and initially wanted to do sausage-apple, but wasn’t sure what veggies I had that would go well with that.
So, for 1-2 servings (my mom and I shared it but each had another sausage & sauce on the side) I prepared the bottom polenta layer with:
1 Pesto-Chicken Bilinski Farms Chicken sausage, diced
1/3 c. polenta/corn grits
1 c. water
minced garlic
diced scallions, red pepper, and yellow pepper.
garlic salt, pepper, and basil
I just prepared the polenta as usual and when it was beginning to pull from the sides I added everything in. Poured and spread into a mini casserole dish, and baked at 400* for 20m.
Pre-baking:
Then I decided on a middle veggie layer:
baby spinach – 1 c.?
broccoli crown, chopped
1/4 c. cream of broccoli soup
minced garlic
dijon mustard
salt, pepper to taste
Sauteed in a pan until cooked down & soup about evaporated. By this time your polenta should be about done, so go ahead and put this layer on top.
Top with some sort of marinara/tomato-based sauce on top, and then some mozzarella shreds. (or, in my case, almond mozzarella)
I initially thought I was going to have to make my own “sauce” with diced tomatoes and seasonings like I usually do, but my mom actually had a pot of spaghetti sauce on for some pasta and sausages she was making, so I just stoled some of that. Convenient!
Pop back in the oven until your cheese is melted, and dig in! (Caution: Contents Hot)
Basic, but good ๐Ÿ™‚ I still like my sausage-apple polenta casserole idea, though. Soon!
Now, however, it is time for dessert round 2 (round 1 was a mate bar!): chia seed pumpkin pudding!
If you have a local co-op, what’s your favorite find there? 
Or, if you’re grocery shopping, do you end up trying way more new things than you went there with the intention of purchasing? 
I know I’m guilty of having a grocery shopping new-foods problem!
‘Night everyone!

5 Comments

Filed under banana, breakfast, casserole, co op, digital, dinner, foodblog, hdr, healthy living, italian, oatmeal, organic, photography, polenta, recipe, sausage

Recollections

Weekend’s over already, back to work tomorrow ๐Ÿ˜ฆ Fast weekend. Seems like they always are lately.
I spent the rest of my afternoon going through old photos, remembering “the good old days”.
yep. I was an avid horseback rider from just about the time I could walk up until a couple of years ago, when life got in the way.
I would spend my summers working all day in order to get a ride in, or to help pay off board for my horse. There’s no better feeling than bringing a young or green horse along, and successfully competing in their first show. The bond is an amazing feeling, but then of course the time comes to start over with a new one, yet rather than feel sadness at selling your old friend, it’s just pride as you watch your “baby” show a new rider the ropes, and watch a new bond form.
Don’t get me wrong – there’s also those horses that you keep with you forever, both of you learning together rather than one educating the other. I was fortunate enough to be able to partake in both of these roles.
I got so busy senior year of highschool, with school, working whenever I wasn’t in school, and college stuff. Then I worked 9-5:30 all summer, and then started school. 
Whenever I wasn’t busy, I would try to divide my time between “me” time, family time, friend time, and horse time, but it just got to be too much, and horse time ended up taking the backburner.
My horse at the time, Burly, the first horse in this post, ended up sitting in a pasture for the better part of the summer. Of course he was still fed and cared for – he was at a boarding barn – but it killed me that he wasn’t getting the love and attention he deserved, from one person (me) rather than the usual come-and-go of other boarders and lesson students passing through the barn. Burly was the horse I had finally settled on, who I had purchased using the money I had saved up from prior resale projects. He had the best personality, and every time I stopped to see him he would still give me just as much love as a family member would, regardless of the fact that it didn’t seem like I was giving it back. You could tell how proud and happy he was after each successful ride we’d squeeze in, and it seemed like the more time off he’d get, the more heart he’d give me. Usually, it’s the opposite.
I couldn’t sell him, but I knew I needed to find someone for him.
Luckily, I am able to lease him out to a place where he is getting all the love and attention he truly deserves. Hopefully, within the next couple of years, I’ll be able to dedicate a larger portion of my time to horses, and possibly bring him home. But who knows if I’ll have the heart to take him back from where he is now?
Burly – Summer 2008


Lately, I really miss it, and am hoping to find time to ride for at least one day a week.

But, enough babbling. Just thought I’d offer a small peak into my life. I feel like you guys hardly know me!
Back to food. And stuff. haha.
It’s no secret that I love polenta. And it seems like lately, polenta is sweeping the food-blogger world! After seeing so many recipes pop up for polenta casseroles, I couldn’t hold off any longer and had to make one myself. Strangely, I started off with the inkling for a Mexican Polenta Casserole, but like most everything I do, changed my mind last minute to incorporate scallops. 
No, I don’t all of a sudden have a scallop obsession – see last night’s meal – in fact, I could take or leave scallops, really. But these scallops have followed me from my last apartment, and they need to be consumed. That’s a couple months. I mean, they’re fine in the freezer and everything, but really now.
Sorry for the poor photos. I wanted to leave it in that cute little personal casserole dish – kept it nice and warm! – rather than plop it all out onto a plate. It’s fitting because I coincidentally, accidentally stole that mini casserole dish from my last roomates. It’s the perfect size for one! anyways, you can’t really see the layers, but here’s how it went down:
For the scallop layer: Sautee ~10-15 Bay Scallops in minced garlic, lemon juice, dijon mustard, chopped onion, and chopped red pepper. Season with paprika, salt, pepper, lemon pepper, and chili powder. Set aside once done.
For the Veggie Layer: Sautee veggies of choice (I used broccoli, red pepper, tomato, onion, and carrot) in minced garlic. Season with same as above, or just some salt and pepper.
For the Polenta: Bring 1 cup water to a boil, and slowly whisk in 1/4 c. yellow cornmeal. Season with salt, pepper, lemon pepper, and garlic.

Layer in casserole dish – I went veggies, polenta, scallops, and then topped with tomato slices, parmesan cheese, real bacon bits, and red peppers. Bake for about 20m. at 400 degrees.
If you’re in a hurry, baking isn’t totally necessary since everything is cooked – but it’s definitely worth it. Gives the polenta a nice crust!

The scallops actually went really nicely with the polenta. Get a bit of everything! I liked the lemony flavor carrying through everything, but the chili powder gave it just the right mild kick.

Finish with:
a lime poppyseed oatmeal cookie and banana-raspberry-vanilla greek yogurt with dates, crystallized ginger, and total!

mmmm ๐Ÿ™‚
Have you had to force a favorite pastime to the backburner in order to make room for other responsibilities?

7 Comments

Filed under casserole, cookie, dinner, dressage, equestrian, foodblog, greek yogurt, healthy living, horseback riding, polenta, scallops, snack

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 ๐Ÿ™‚ 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 ๐Ÿ™‚
What’s your favorite wrap or sandwich? And what should I make for dinner?

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

3 Comments

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

Powerless!

Ugh…what a night! We are just getting power back…it’s been a miserable day. Rainy, windy, and all around sloppy! What happened to the snow?! Not impressed.
So, just a quick run-down of my day:
Does anyone else love having leftover pancakes? They are so good toasted! I had three leftover until I couldn’t hold off any longer and had one in the middle of the night last night, hehe. Figured I’d leave one for me until tomorrow morning, too ๐Ÿ™‚
Topped with some almond butter! And then some of the greek yogurt with jam. It was like AB&J on my pancake ๐Ÿ™‚ So good. Egg white, orange, and GMC Coffee accompanied it.
Packed my lunch of leftover coconut-chili chicken curry from Saturday night and hurried off to work. Our road was a sheet of ice, but luckily once I hit the main roads it wasn’t so bad. I left at 4:15 rather than my usual 5:30, too. I hate driving in storms in the dark. SO foggy, windy, and rainy, glad I came home when I did.
But not glad to have to cook by candlelight! I had this magnificent concoction dreamed up. But then I felt selfish when I think of all the people in Haiti without power, and here I am bummed that I can’t make one meal with lights – I mean, we have a gas stove, not electric, so I sort of still executed it! hah.
I present my candle light polenta bake! haha. It was actually, really good. Ideally, this would be made with a homemade polenta top, which I could have done since I have the cornmeal, but the idea only struck me because I had pre-prepared polenta to use. The “filling” was chicken sausage, diced tomatoes, parm & l.c. cheese, onion, basil, garlic, carrots, and red pepper. I initially wanted to make it creamier, but when you have no power you kind of try to just make one trip in and out of the fridge. It’ll happen again!
After I ate I pretty much decided to just crash. Layed on the couch dozing off by the fire for a while, but woke up around 9 and came to bed…I just happened to wake up hungry, and the power came back on right as I was finishing up some applesauce and a sandwich thin, haha. Happy to have it back so we have power for the morning, though. Will make life easier! And I have a paper to print!
Hope everyone else had a good night. Have you been having crazy weather too?!

3 Comments

Filed under food blog, health blog, healthy living, polenta, recipe, weather