Beans


Yesterday we went to a little zoo outside of Boston. We found this bear in desperate need of a dietitian. ūüôā He is holding a box of Fruit Loops for anyone that can’t see.

He was a lazy bear.

It was the perfect weather to go to the zoo, 60 degrees and partly cloudy. Some leaf crunching was involved as well.

Dinner tonight was literally just four items made separately and mixed together. I wanted a veggie-heavy dinner with my beloved brussels.

For the brussels I simply halve them, spray them with olive oil and add S&P. I roast them at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes or until I think they look done.

The polenta, on the other hand, I just flew by the seat of my pants. I added them to the pan after the mushrooms were done sauteeing and broke it up until it was more of a mush. When I realized that it needed some liquid to break down better, I added a tablespoon of veggie brother and some water. To spice it up I added some dried basil. It was quite good. I was surprised though, that whole log of polenta turned into what you see. If we both had big appetites, we could have easily finished it.

I heated the baked beans. And this is what we had.

The mushrooms mixed with the beans and polenta turned out to be my favorite part. If I made this again I would have had the brussel sprouts seperate and dipped them into BBQ sauce per usual.

As a new vegetarian, I am always focused on what “protein” we are going to have at our meals. Not because I really miss the meat component of meals, but because I really do think it provides satiety like other things cannot. Baked beans are a really simple “protein” to keep on hand for meals.

Lastly, someone sent me this story of what a 6,000+ calorie lunch does to your body.

http://blogs.abcnews.com/theworldnewser/2009/07/what-exactly-does-a-6190-calorie-lunch-do-to-your-body.html

It is definitely interesting and I have seen things like this before, but I am curious what the effect of a normal meal, like the one I just ate, would have on the body? I think I can guess what chain restaurant they ate at too, can anyone else?

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I really wanted to make homemade pizza tonight so I forced myself to use our leftovers from our chicken dinner.

Boy am I glad I did!

I put the leftover lentils on a bed of spinach and added some dried cranberries, peanuts and leftover smoke gouda cheese. I topped it all with a drizzle of fig balsalmic vinegar. It was amazing! I definitely need to rethink leftovers more often.

On another note, I used my husband’s dSLR camera which takes amazing pictures. I swear this looks better on film than it did in real life!

Food can be so pretty.

I ended up going to Bed Bath and Beyond today and got us a new duvet cover which I am really excited about. It’s the small things, right?

Here is our homemade pizza also. What can I say, I love taking photos!

It was some of our best yet. I don’t think this is why, but I learned that you should never scoop flour. Instead, you should spoon it into the measuring cup. The “scooping” compresses it too much, so I learned. Not going to lie, it made a mess to do it that way. Oh well. Have a great night!

Tonight I made a recipe from Martha Stewart’s Dinner at Home cookbook, with a few tweaks.¬† I have never really roasted a chicken before. The recipe called for four bone-in chicken breasts but unfortuantely there were only two at the grocery store so I also had to get some thighs. I slathered the chicken in margarine (the recipe called for butter)¬†and salt and pepper (the recipe called for all kinds of herbs which I omitted)¬†and simply roasted it at 450 for about 30-35 minutes. Surprisingly it turned out golden on the outside and juicy on the inside. I think the fact that the chicken still had its bones really helped to retain some moisture. Score!

One nice thing about this cookbook is that it is brokens up into seasons of the year and then also gives recipes for entire meals. So all three recipes that I used were made to be served together.

I had never cooked endive before but this is the before picture:

This is usually served raw in salads but roasting it brings out the bitter flavors (or at least thats what the cookbook tells me). Honestly, I never would have thought that bringing out bitter flavors would be a good thing!

After roasting I added some sherry vinegar to the endive and put it back in the oven for about 5-10 minutes. I was surprised to taste it and see how well the flavors worked together.

The lentils were boiled with celery and shallots. I am very sensitive to anything from the onion family so my secret weapon when chopping onions or shallots are these goggles.

I could not take a picture where I didn’t look like a dork!

What a great invention!

I was worried that boiling the lentils and vegetables would leach out some of the flavors but I don’t think that happened. After it boiled for about 25 minutes I drained it, added the contents back to the pan¬†and added some olive oil¬†with spinach. It was so simple!¬†I think next time I might omit the oil. I really don’t see what it added to the dish.

Here is what the meal was supposed to look like:

And this is how it turned out:

Not too bad! This is my plate that had the thigh. The breast meat turned out better I thought.

Thanks to Martha for nourishing us so well tonight!