Tag Archives: Polenta

Guess Who’s Back?!

23 Jun

As my buddy Kanye or was it Nas or perhaps P. Diddy once said, “Guess who’s back in the muthf’in house??!”

Yup! ME!

My hiatus has been long, but muy necessary and muy exciting! I decided to quit my job and relocate to the city I love, and I have therefore been eating out of bags, containers and drive-thru windows. My heart is happy, but my guts are ready to mutiny. This past weekend, after celebrating my 33rd birthday, I decided rather than lose my power to something called “entrails” for goodness sakes, I had better get my act together and cook. My wallet will be much happier too.

An adequate amount of shame finally arose to the surface last weekend as I was chowing down on a very delicious barbequed rib when someone said, “Aren’t you vegan?” My answer was, ‘Not when it comes to ribs.”

Which is not entirely true. I’ve just been a hot mess when it comes to meat and eating. I tend to revert to eating meat during highly stressful times. This didn’t happen when I smoked, however, I’d rather live with the pain of inhaling a burger. I do not want to die from inhaling tobacco. So meat it is. Now that I’ve started running regularly and also I’m back at it with yoga, my desire for beef has greatly diminished. Thank goodness!20130623-212200.jpg

All this was the prompt for my trip to Trader Joe’s, which is literally walking distance from my house. It was time to get myself something good to eat. Now normally, I’m anti-too many pre-made meats. But I realize that the reason it’s been so easy for me to eat poorly is that my standards have been too stringent. Either I’ve got to be in the kitchen cooking like I normally do, fancy, most things from scratch, etc. or I’ve got to eat like a dying carnivore. This black and white thinking is neither sustainable nor realistic.

The transition back to healthy eating has to be painless or else I won’t make it. Therefore, I loaded up on seitan sausages, tempeh, polenta, and some other stuff. For tonight’s recipe, I was craving polenta. I paired it with Trader Joe’s Italian sausages, roasted red and yellow peppers, and their delicious Power Greens. I believe even the diced tomatoes I used were from Trader Joe’s. The result was a delicious meal that immediately made me exclaim, “Holy Crap!!” My roommate thought something was wrong, but I clarified, “I’m fine. That’s just really fricking good!” It’s vegan, mostly gluten-free, it’s got carbs, protein, greens and it’ll hold me until my morning smoothie. A good way to start the journey back to good eating. My entrails are happier already.

And apparently somebody named Crooked I sang “Guess Who’s Back” featuring Snoop Dogg. Who the hell is Crooked I?!

 

Horseradish Edamame Polenta Cakes

16 Feb

This week’s food challenge item was edamame. Say WHAT?! Edamame is to sushi what pinto beans are to rice.

Edamame and sushi

Edamame and Sushi. Photo Courtesy of ka-chou

Like why would you put it with anything else!? It’s the item we were given, though, and that’s the nature of a challenge.

So, what to do, what to do. I wanted something original, I wanted something pretty, I wanted something someone else would want to eat. I accomplished only one of these things. I am not a food artist and so my plating will probably never be anything other than some shit thrown on a plate. lol Many people have made horseradish grits before (for instance this chick, who I’m worried may have an authentic addiction, judging by her flickr account), but I didn’t see anything about cakes. And I sure didn’t see anything about edamame polenta. Therefore, I figured it was fair game to give it a go. I’d say they were a bonafide success.

 
What’s in ThemPolenta Cakes

2 cups broth
2 cups milk
2 tsp salt
1 1/4 cup yellow cornmeal
3 tbsp Earth Balance (or butter if you choose)
4 tbsp Horseradish (this is very horseradishy, adjust to taste)
1/2 cup pureed edamame
1/4 tsp cayenne
2 cloves garlic
1 cup of nutritional yeast

What I did

Edamame

To puree the edamame, I put the edamame in a food processor with 1/4 cup of water and pureed it on high. then I dumped it into a bowl and added another 1/4 cup of water as well as 1/4 cup of the cooked polenta and mashed this with the hand blender. If you have a powerful food processor, which I do not, this could be condensed into one step.

Polenta Cakes

Preheat oven to 350. Bring the broth, milk and salt to a boil. Once it is boiling, reduce heat to low and add the butter and cornmeal. Cook until thickened, stirring often. This took me about 20 minutes, but you’ll have to judge when it’s done based on the cut of your cornmeal, your heat and what you use for liquid. Once this is cooked, I folded in the remaining ingredients. I sprayed a muffin tin with olive oil spray and then added the polenta to the tins. This cooked for 40 minutes in the oven.

Polenta Cakes with Chorizo
Though these cakes by themselves were quite frickin’ delicious – if I do say so myself – my choice of topping and plating were a tad circumspect. I topped them with soyrizo, which was good, but the “sauce” I made was too heavily arrowrooted, and therefore came out a little sticky. I won’t tell you what it looks like to me. :-/ I don’t know what I would top these with in the future, but I have about 8 more cakes to figure it out.

I hope you give them a try and feel free to link to your pictures or recipes in the comments section below!