Polenta is one of my most favorite things in the entire world. It’s like Italian grits — a great vessel for everything from eggs to stews and veggies. Polenta can be cooked in a variety of ways. I like it soft and creamy, almost like a bowl of porridge. But these polenta tubes are much more convenient and allow you to whip up a meal in no time.
I usually stock up when I go to Trader Joe’s, but I think you can find them at almost any grocery store. If for some reason you cannot and are feeling very ambitious, you could always cook up polenta the old fashioned way, form it in to a tube and let it cool down to reach the same effect. But that seems like way too much effort.
This recipe was inspired by one of my favorite frozen meals, Amy’s Light and Lean Roasted Polenta. I try not to eat those pre-packaged entrees too much, but sometimes, they are so darn convenient. This one makes for a great lunch, but I recreated it for dinner last week.
It was delicious and oh so easy.
Crispy Polenta With Kale and Tomato Sauce
1/2 tube polenta, cut in to 1/3 inch slices
1/2 can crushed tomatoes (I go for the fire roasted variety or the basil and oregano)
1 clove garlic
1 cup kale
1) Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Coat the bottom of the pan in olive oil and allow it to heat up. Drop in the polenta slices and cook 4 to 5 minutes on each side, until they are browning just slightly.
2) While the polenta is on, heat another skillet over medium heat and add about a teaspoon of olive oil. Add in the kale and garlic and saute for a few minutes. The kale should be softened and the garlic fragrant. Add in the tomatoes and continue to cook until the whole mixture is headed through.
3) Remove the polenta rounds from the pan and pat off excess oil (this helps to keep the rounds nice and crispy). Put polenta on a plate and top with the kale and tomato mixture. Top with parmesan cheese if desired.
Surprise, surprise — guess who is sick again? Well, I guess technically it is the same illness I had back at the start of the year, it’s just migrated from my sinuses to my lungs. Oh happy day. But all is well. I’m on a zpac (which is apparently a miracle based on what people have told me) so I should be back in fighting shape any day now.
But this illness has kept me from doing a lot of cooking. I am pretty much eating soup for every meal, but I’ve had some really delicious soups. And when you are eating as much soup as I am, variety is key. I’ve had chicken noodle, carrot and ginger, tomato, black bean, egg drop. Eric brought me home some egg drop soup from a local Chinese place last night and it was like a healing elixir.
This isn’t the exact soup I had (thanks for the stand in, Google images) but I feel as if it accurately conveys the golden, salty deliciousness that is egg drop soup. It should also come as no surprise that I’m guzzling tea by the gallon. My favorites have been Vanilla Bean Tea from the Mighty Leaf and White Peach and Ginger Tea from Trader Joe’s.
Prior to my all soup diet, I was obsessed with eating salads, mainly because I was obsessed with making my own salad dressings. Sunday night I made a kale salad with a homemade caesar vinaigrette (I combined white wine vinegar, garlic olive oil, a little dijon mustard, a pinch of parmesan cheese and a little salt and pepper) and it was excellent. I think I’m going to do a post next week on all the salad dressings I’ve created lately.
I’ve been really loving food blogs lately. That’s really not a new thing, but there are a few specific ones that I can’t get enough of. The Kitchn is an awesome site filled with fun articles, recipes and tips. The chicken and rice soup I made last week was inspired by a post I saw on there. I’ve also really loved Pinch of Yum. They post so many interesting and creative recipes that I cannot wait to try. Go ahead and add them to your blog roll — just trust me.
One thing I pride myself on is being able to look at the ingredients I have on hand and whip something up for dinner. This delicious mahi mahi came from one of those ingenious moments.
Eric was eating leftover Thai the other night and I had to figure out something for myself. I saw the mahi mahi. I saw the kale. I saw the edamame. Boom.
Now I have a pretty neat trick about softening kale. If you eat kale right off the stalk, it can be pretty chewy. Not that appetizing, really. Well I found a tip online that has completely changed how I eat kale. Take a big bunch of kale, put it on a bowl, sprinkle a pinch of salt on it, massage the salt in to the leave, let it sit for about 10 minutes. That is it. The salt helps break down the leaves so they have the consistency of regular lettuce. Now all I want to do is eat kale salads.
Mahi mahi with a kale and edamame salad
For the fish (This is enough for one fillet of fish. Adjust the amounts based on the servings you want).
1 piece, mahi mahi (any white, mild fish would probably work.)
1/2 clove garlic
1/4 tsp honey
1 tsp soy sauce
Shake of ginger powder (you could use fresh ginger if you have some on hand)
Mix all the ingredients together in a small bowl. Coat the fish with the marinade and let it sit for about ten minutes. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place fish on a baking sheet. Bake for about 8 minutes, or until fish is cooked through.
Kale and edamame salad
1 cup softened kale
1/3 cup edamame (or however much you want), shelled, cooked and cooled
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tsp white wine vinegar
1 tsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp soy
1/2 tsp honey
Sprinkle of ginger powder (or grate of fresh ginger)
Combine the ingredients for the vinaigrette in a bowl. Whisk together and let sit for about 10 minutes for the flavors to mix together. Add in the kale and edamame and toss to coat with the vinaigrette. Season with salt and pepper. Serve alongside mahi mahi.