Tag Archives: guacamole

First Time Trying Polenta!

25 Aug

My tastebuds no longer find polenta shrouded in mystery. I’ve seen polenta in so many vegetarian recipes, but have had yet to try it and experiment with it. At its most basic, polenta is just corn grits that is boiled until a thick paste and can pretty much take the form of whatever dish you’re thinking of (sweet or savory!) I just picked up a bag of Bob’s Red Mill corn grits, googled for some general advice/ideas on what to do with polenta and pretty much just made it to see if I would even like it. This really isn’t a recipe or specific dish per se because I just wanted to use up some veggies I had sitting around. And the avocado was staring deep into my soul, beckoning me to devour it. So it goes. I am loving all the roma tomatoes I keep picking from our garden! They are small, sweet and beefy and I seem to be eating them with every meal. Yay lycopene! Overall, I really enjoyed the polenta! It was creamy and I can see it having much potential to develop into any sort of dish. I baked my polenta because I wasn’t too in the mood for mush! This went well with some roasted veggies on the side.

Basic Polenta

  • 1 cup corn grits / meal/ polenta stuff
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 cups milk of choice (I used almond)
  • Salt/pepper to taste
  • Spices of choice (i.e. onion powder, garlic, chili powder, sage, rosemary…depends on the dish you’re looking to make!)
  • 1 cup of shredded vegan cheddar cheese (optional)
  • Tbsp of favorite sweetener (this was an afterthought to the dish–just a hint of sweetness would make this even better)
Bring liquids to a boil in a large pot. Slowly whisk in corn grits and simmer for 5-10 minutes, or until thick, being sure to avoid lumps. Remove from heat and stir in cheese. The polenta can be eaten this way or fried in a pan for a few minutes, spread into a thin layer on a greased baking sheet and cooked for about 10-15 minutes, flipping once during that time. There are also many other ways to prepare polenta! Just do some googling and experimenting. Leftover polenta is awesome. I think I will be slicing some of mine up and grilling it! Yum.


First week of fall semester has been conquered! Just 14 more…eeek! I really think I’m going to enjoy my “Religious Movements of the US” class. I am constantly fascinated by the objective study of religions, their ideologies and effects on society and truly get sucked in by learning about cultural taboos, similarities between all religions and their historical background, whether rooted in fact or fiction. This can be a touchy subject for many people, but I love this sort of controversy and seeing what it stems from. Thank you, anthropology! 🙂 My professor for the course is definitely a button-pusher–from the moment she made her grand entrance into the classroom, she’s been dropping f-bombs, pushing boundaries and forcing us to think about our own beliefs. I really feel I learn the most from eccentric, critical professors that force your to think outside the box. Classes such as this one make me feel like the amount of money I’m putting toward my education is worth it. 🙂 But now, it’s late and I have to get up early! Goodnight moon!

Taco Pizza

7 Aug

deelish.

I saw Pioneer Woman’s post on Taco Pizza back in May and was intrigued. A combination of two things I adore: taco + pizza.  PW made the recipe very easy to follow and rather a quick meal to throw together, as long as you have the ingredients. I tweaked it a bit for my own tastes (and made it vegan!)

Taco Pizza, originally by the Pioneer Woman!

I only changed a few things, but followed her recipe pretty closely. Instead of black beans, I used vegetarian refried beans as the base (or sauce, I guess) of the pizza. I also used Mexican-style veggie crumbles, heated in a pan with cumin, garlic powder, onion powder and chili powder + some water. I smooshed the pizza onto my Silpat, making it thinner than I normally would. I assembled it as such: refried beans generously spread around, veggie crumbles, & vegan cheese (I grated some Follow Your Heart cheddar…not as good as Daiya, but it got the job done.) This was baked for about 20 minutes. Once done, I spread some homemade salsa on top with chopped fresh baby spinach.

My favorite part of this dish was the sour cream mixture drizzled on top. I made this using raw cashews (soaked for one hour), lemon juice and salt. Processed until smooth, then added one avocado. Along the way, just to help with texture and thinness, I added some water. Lastly, Cholula hot sauce was folded in and voila! A very flavorful, but dairy-free sour cream substitute. It was very rich-tasting and creamy, thanks to one of my favorite things in the world: the avocado. This had a sort of refreshing, cooling effect to the spiciness of the fresh salsa and pizza. YUM. Happiness.

Gardening, Food, Farmer’s Market, Zoo, More Food…

24 Jul
Tapir snoooozin' at the Denver Zoo

This is how I feel after a weekend of indulgent eating...

What a weekend! There was much running around and attempts to stay cool (mid-90s for the past week here in Denver! Though I shouldn’t complain–there are so many other places hitting over 100!) It seems as though many of my activities revolved around glorious FOOD!

Waiting for us Saturday morning at the community garden we’re a part of (at the library I work at) were tons of WEEDS due to last week’s downpours! We had a garden workday in order to combat this inevitable issue and made some progress…but of course, the work is never done. In our plot, we’re growing carrots, snow peas, jalapenos, habaneros, heirloom tomatoes and jack o’lantern pumpkins (which have COMPLETELY taken over). Had to trim the pumpkin vines back a bit since they were taking hold of one of our precious tomato plants. Can’t wait to see the pumpkins when they are ready to pick!

Denver is a great place to find interesting things to do on the weekends, like the Denver Food Truck Renegades Party! This was a great event that took place in an empty parking lot downtown (cement…so hot…) and was filled with 14 local, independent food trucks! We walked the .8 miles in the heat and it was so worth it! This was such a great people-watching opportunity (the anthropologist inside me was thrilled) and a great way to support these unique businesses!

http://www.bonbonbuggy.com/

Delicious treats from the Bon Bon Buggy!

http://www.steubens.com/

Steuben's is great restaurant in Denver and they also have a food truck!

Sunday involved a delightful (albeit sweaty) bike ride over to the Farmer’s Market in City Park! Also great for people watching, especially this week since there was a fun bluegrass/folksy band playing (pretty sure none of them had shoes on). We have so much food at home, but it’s just so tempting looking at the piles of fresh produce! We resisted and only got some whole wheat tortillas (delish!), some Argentinean lemonade (very sweet, almost had some hints of peach?) and a black blean & guac pupusa! So. good. Looks pretty simple to make, though I’m sure I’ll reject that statement once I try…

Such a happy sight--the mixing of food, people and sunlight!

Black bean and guacamole pupusa! yum!

Somehow this innocent trip to the Farmer’s Market turned into stopping at the Denver Zoo, buying a year membership and wandering around snapping photos of the pachyderms (best word ever), marsupials and birds! I love that we are within a 10 minute bike ride of the zoo! Though I don’t completely agree with the “zoo” concept (animals don’t belong in an urban setting), I do enjoy the educational aspect and understand that under certain circumstances, the zoo can promote mating for endangered species. Take the good with the bad, I suppose. The tapirs that they were “encouraging” to mate seemed pretty disinterested. Just wanted to sleep!

yummeh om nom nom nom

Om nom nom nom. Some of these may have disappeared before assembling the fajidillas!

Apologies for butchering the Spanish language with my made-up words.

The quesadilla/fajita hybrid! the fajidilla? quesajita?

With our goodies from the Farmer’s Market, we whipped up an easy meal of pseudo-quesadillas. Really, these were more like a mixture of fajitas and quesadillas. We grilled a bunch of vegetables (lightly tossed with canola oil and salt), layered them like a quesadilla with vegetarian refried beans and Follow Your Heart cheddar cheese. Grilled them a bit longer…whipped up some rice (which I forgot I wanted to make spanish rice! next time!)…and some guacamole! I absolutely love Haas avocados. Can’t get enough. Especially when they are 2 for $1 🙂 We really should have made only one fajidilla (quesadilla+fajita) because the thick zucchini squash really made them hearty! Quite tasty.

Another week gone. Another week closer to the Warrior Dash (eeek!) Going. to. pass. out. I can jog well at 5280ft here in Denver. The dash is at Copper Mountain which I think is like 7000-8000ft above sea level. Ack! Oh, Oxygen. I need you. It will be great fun, though I will be the one breathing loudly and stumbling about as the 60 year old marathoner passes me. Can’t wait!