So fulll… that’s usually how I write these posts- stuffed to my gulls on the latest feast. I decided to be practical last night and write a to-do list for the kitchen, and have been following it quite well since. Too bad my lists feed 4 people at a time, and since the barbarian doesn’t do things like salads it’s going to take me forever to finish. Still, more shiny for me! Last night I decided to get ready for today and tomorrow (soup/stew) by making a big batch of lentils, quinoa and, oddly, butter.
I don’t actually eat butter on toast or supposedly as normal people do, and since replacing most of the butter in recipes I find with avo and banana, have been well satisfied. Nevertheless, I felt it was time to indulge in making a double batch since one never knows what urges may befall one’s perosn, and often there is a powerful polarity in my household of either having those green and yellow lovelies available or not. Again, I used the recipe from veganbaking.net which is shiny and very successful. My batches seem to come out quite differently though, in that the soy ljdkajsdaj granules are very prominent, which doesn’t seem to be the case with Mattie’s batches. Ah well!
The reason why I’m spamming you again with pictures of my efforts is to illustrate how easy it is to make- even I managed it, twice! Alas, since I don’t do butter for pleasure I can’t with good conscience show lovely staged photographs of freshly baked bread smeared with this stuff, but I will say I’ve been using it in cooking (very lightly) instead of olive oil since, though of course it will go to nobler causes soon enough, such as puddings and other treats. Nom.
Anyhow, putting the quinoa I made last night (at midnight, no less) to good use, I made a salad today and added to that half of the last of my bran, protein powder, carrot & zucchini & chia see muffins, which were lovely!
I’m busy reading Robin Hobb’s “Fools’ Errand” which is awesome! Either I read it in between waiting for stuff or else the man-thing reads aloud to me as I’m cooking or baking, which is why I can really relax during the whole process. Anyhow, quinoa, strawberries, lentils, lettuce, avo and tomatoes- nom!
FINALLY we can get to the good stuff, though- Polenta Pizza! 😀 I must say, I’ve never made polenta before, but having lived in Milano I’m sure it came on my path now and again, though recreational activities during varsity years certainly dimmed my culinary memories of that time. I did some research and it turns out that polenta is low on the glycemic index, which is good for me, and is also yummy, which benefits mankind.
The original recipe says it uses 3 crazy inch pans, but I managed two (with admittedly some leftovers) in “normal” sized baking pans (how’s that for science!). It also says it feeds 3-4, and I would argue closer to 3 if you’re feeding two ladies and a dude, since the man-thing managed an ENTIRE baking pan down his gullet, much to my horror.
- 1.5 cups polenta
- 3.5 cups water
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon basil
- 1/2 teaspoon parsley
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- pizza toppings: I used tomato paste, homemade pesto, marinated scrambled tofu & onions, mushrooms, as well as cabbage & nutritional yeast “cheese.”
My actual secret reason for making this recipe though was to use the golden baking pans I got from pal Diaan- after watching half of the ol’ Star Wars last night, a metallic tinge somehow suited my geeky sensibilities. Anyway, line the buggers and start boiling water for the polenta. Make it as per instructions (using the recipe’s measurements, however) and when done add a TBSP of oil and the various spices and mix well.
Spread the polenta mixture about 2 cm thick with a spatula along the pan, making sure it is as even as it can be- I went more by feeling than sitting with a ruler, but whatever. Plonk it in the fridge for an hour.
Meanwhile, I got a bit bored and started with the toppings- cabbage cheese! I processed about two hunks of cabbage (which made -+ 2 cups of processed cabbage) and then fried it on my non-stick pan, adding spices, a splash of apple cider vinegar, and 2-3 TBSPs of nutritional yeast, until the mixture started to “melt” along the edges. I may have used too much nutritional yeast, but whatever, that stuff is gold.
Back to the actual recipe, after an hour I preheated by oven to 230 Celsius, which is probably as high as it can go- I was terrified of my oven. Anyhow, once it’s ready, take the polenta out of the pans by the baking sheet, and place it on the racks with the sheets still under the mixture (easy transference, less mess). Bake for 15 minutes, then flip with a spatula, then bake for another 15 minutes. At the end flip it again, right-side-up, and put your toppings on. Here I smeared on some tomato paste & spinach pesto, layered on some tofu & onions & steamed mushrooms and topped with with the cabbage cheese and the near-last of the onion chutney (SAD SO SAD!). Ommm! I let mine bake on the top of the rack for another 4 minutes, because I couldn’t contain myself any longer- something went black (I figure it’s the pesto, but whatever, SO GOOD!)
Of course, I found three slices to be more than sufficient (next time, two, SO much leftovers!) and rather added some of my earlier salad on the side. This was quite a protein overdose but I don’t care- I have energy galore! 😀
I can’t take more convincing shots than this, at this nOOb stage of my photography, but yeah.
Let me leave you with this, instead- some comments from the barbarian:
“I don’t know what this Italian sh*t is [polenta] but it smells nice.”
“My dear, this is delightful. You may make it again and again and again until I say you can stop.”
“Congratulations, you got me to eat cabbage.”
“It’s warm, it’s mushroomy…what more could a man ask for?”
(Mind, I didn’t prompt these comments- they just flowed from his mouth like a torrential rain, so I guess something good happened)