Polenta


Yesterday we went to a little zoo outside of Boston. We found this bear in desperate need of a dietitian. ­čÖé 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?

Well I attended my first spinning class at Healthworks and it was awesome!! I love everything about it. The loud, fast music, the large group and the workout. It really gets my heart rate up. I am actually feeling kind of motivated to make some kind of fitness goal, but I want it to be both realistic and challenging. I tend to think of something extreme and set my mind on it….for about a week. I am excited to try out more classes. It should be interesting to see how it works going after work since it is in a busy part of Boston, right on Comm Ave.

I have been wanting to make polenta lately and we finally picked some up at the store. I again tweaked a recipe and made it my own.

I started out my saut├ęing one package of baby bella mushrooms in about 1 Tbsp butter and 1 tsp oil. After it cooked for a good ten minutes I added about 1/2 cup of the red wine that we had lying around.

We enjoyed a glass as well. ­čÖé

After adding the wine and letting it reduce for about ten minutes, I added about 1 tsp flour and another 1 Tbsp oil. It turned into this:

I love the purple color. The flavor was also awesome! Very light but full of flavor. I was telling my husband that it didn’t even need salt, it had tons of flavor without it. Would it be bad to tell my patients to cook with wine?

I added a handful of spinach after the roux was made. I thought it would add some nice color and nutrition. I like the idea of always having some fresh spinach on hand.

I baked slices of polenta in the oven at 400 degrees for a good 25 minutes. I just drizzled them in olive oil and added some salt and pepper. They didn’t brown! I had it in my head that they would brown nicely but it just cooked and sizzled. Oh well.

This was the finished product.

I layered four polenta slices on the plate and then added the mushroom sauce. It was a very light dinner. The bad thing is that now we have a few polenta slices left with no sauce. Tomorrow night will probably consist of throwing together some leftovers.