Two Dishes (that were) in the Making

Last night's dish was Polenta Pizza.  The toppings turned out excellent, but... the polenta crust was rather mushy.  I think I might have added too much water, and will keep playing with the polenta- I'm only a beginner with the stuff, after all!  When M and I reheated it in the oven tonight, the crust turned out better and more crispy, but the toppings were burnt quite badly!  Although... they were still tasty.

And another dish called Cashew Asparagus came on the menu for dinner.  Actually, since green beans are in season, they posed as the asparagus, but they are both long green things, right?  Anyway, I dunno what went wrong, but the dish didn't turn out as good as last time- although that might have been because the beans were rather tough...  Oh well, it still tasted decent! 

Oh, a very depressing story.  I was provided lunch today by the group I was with, and they had pizza. Just the smell of greasy pizza makes me natious... and for snacks, they had more chips.  Again, lovely, fattening oil!  So, I ended up with a blueberry muffin for lunch, really late.  It was not at all good- greasy and 8 grams of fat in one, unfilling muffin.  And the group leaders said the food was actually going to be healthy.  Go figure!

Well, here are the two recipes.  Muchly improved, might I add.

Rosemary, Mushroom, and Olive Polenta Pizza

Adapted from Polenta by Brigit Legere Binns and Whfoods.com

4 servings

• ½ cup polenta
• Salt
• 1 ½ cups water
• 2 tsp fresh rosemary, chopped
• 2 tbsp veggie broth
• 1 1/2 cup mushrooms
• 1 small onion, sliced into half-rings
• 10 black olives, sliced
• ¼ cup reduced fat blue or feta cheese
• 1 tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped
• 1 tbsp sun dried tomatoes


1. Bring the water, lightly salted, to a boil in a medium pot. Slowly pour in the polenta, stirring with a wooden spoon. Add the 2 tsp rosemary, and continue stirring for 20 minutes, or until the spoon can stand up for a couple of seconds by itself.
2. Preheat oven to 350.
3. Pour polenta into a pizza pan, and spread as thin as possible.
4. Bake polenta in the oven for about 20 minutes, until it begins to brown. Remove and set aside.
5. Meanwhile, heat the broth in a frying pan coated with non-stick spray over medium heat. Add the onions, cook for 4 minutes, and then add the mushrooms. Continue cooking until tender, and remove from heat.
6. Top the polenta with mushrooms, onions, olives, cheese, tomatoes, and 1 tbsp rosemary, and bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes, until the cheese is melted and toppings are done as desired.

Cashew Green-Beans-Posing-as-Asparagus

Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens

4 servings


• 1 tbsp soy sauce
• 2 tbsp teriyaki sauce
• 1 tbsp mirin
• 1 tsp corn starch
• 2 tbsp broth
• 1 small onion, sliced
• 2 cloves garlic
• 1 lb green beans
• ¼ cup chopped red bell pepper
• ½ lb mushrooms, sliced
• Pepper, to taste
• ¼ cup cashews


1. Mix together the soy sauce, teryaki sauce, mirin, and cornstarch. Set aside.

2. Heat the broth in a wok coated with nonstick spray over medium high heat. Saute the onion and garlic for 2 minutes, and then add the green beans. After two more minutes add the bell pepper and mushrooms. When the mushrooms have begun to soften, add the sauce, and cook until all the vegetables are tender. Stir in the cashews, season with pepper, and serve.

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