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Posts tagged ‘vegetarian’

Watercress Ricotta Torte

I  got a bit sidelined recently and although I made this recipe over a week ago it is just getting posted today, this recipe is delicious, easy to make and feeds an army. I was immediately drawn to it because there is no pie crust involved and it is similar to a quiche without the carb laden crust. The recipe is from Saveur, I made a few changes as I didn’t have quite enough watercress and I had some pea shoots in the crisper. They say to make it in a 9 inch spring form pan,I only had a 10 inch so added extra ingredients so it would t be as flat as a pancake. I also added more whole eggs and only 2 egg yolks. The beauty of making savory food is that you can adapt and get creative with ingredients. Here is the original recipe Watercress Ricotta Torte .

I am still trying to post using my iPad until I can purchase a new computer. Hoping that I am able to retrieve all of my documents and things that were on there, won’t know until I take it into the Apple Store and they take a look at it. I really don’t like using the iPad probably because I am not used to it. At least I can post albeit with some difficulties.

Watercress and ricotta torte

serves 6-8 generously

unsalted butter softened for greasing the pan

2 cups cleaned baby watercress chopped

1 cup pea shoots

3 cups ricotta cheese

1/2 cup creme fraiche or sour cream

1/2 cup grated parmigiano reggiano

1/2 cup asiago grated

8 whole eggs

2 egg yolks

pinch of nutmeg

salt and pepper to taste

zest of 1/2 lemon

4 scallions ends trimmed and left whole roasted until softened and lightly browned

Heat oven to 325 degrees. Grease well your springform pan. Microwave the watercress for 60 seconds and set aside. Chop pea shoots.

Add to a medium bowl the ricotta and sour cream, most of the grated cheese (reserve a little to sprinkle on top of the torte), the nutmeg, eggs and yolks, lemon zest and salt and pepper. Beat to combine and add the watercress and pea shoots stir just until combined.  Pour into the prepared pan top with the roasted scallions and sprinkle with the remaining grated cheese. Bake for 45-60 minutes. The middle will slightly jiggle. Remove from oven and turn on the broiler, place u dear the broiler until top is browned. Remove from oven and let cool in the pan, best served warm or at room temperature.

 

Clean Soups- Magic Mineral Broth and Thai Coconut Broth

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I’m a cookbook hoarder, well hoarder may be too harsh but I love my cookbooks, collect them and can literally spend hours in the bookstore looking at them and almost always leave the store with at least one if not more. When I received an email from the editors at Food52 asking if I would be interested in reviewing a cookbook for the Piglet Community Picks  there was no pause in my answer, a resounding YES.  I was given a choice of 6 cookbooks and Clean Soups was my first choice. It is not a voluminous cookbook, but offers some fantastic healthful and delicious basic broths used as a base for a variety of different types of soups.

I chose to make the Magic Miracle Broth,  a vegetable broth, and a stepping stone to another recipe Thai Coconut Broth which will  become a pureed soup. One thing I loved about this broth is that the vegetables are used unpeeled, everything, onion, carrot, garlic with the peels and all, it’s so easy to just throw it all in a pot and let it cook. If you love soup and clean eating I really recommend you purchase this cookbook. Part two of this post will be published in a few days, the finished soup.

Magic Mineral Broth

Makes approximately 1 gallon of broth

6 unpeeled carrots cut into thirds

2 unpeeled yellow onions, quartered

1 leek, white and green parts cut into thirds

1 bunch celery including the heart, cut into thirds

4 unpeeled red potatoes

2 unpeeled Japanese or regular sweet potatoes, quartered

1 unpeeled garnet yam, quartered

5 unpeeled garlic cloves, halved

1/2 bunch flat leaf parsley

1 (8 inch strip) kombu

12 black peppercorns

4 whole allspice or juniper berries

2 bay leaves

8 quarts cold filtered water

1 tsp sea salt plus more if needed

Rinse all vegetables well including the Kombu.
In a 12 quart or larger stockpot, combine the carrots, onion, leek, celery, red potatoes, sweet potatoes, yam, garlic, parsley, kombu, pepper, allspice berries and bay leaves. Add the water, cover, and bring to a boil over high heat. Decrease the heat to low and simmer, partially covered, for at least 2 hours or until the full richness of the vegetables can be tasted. As the broth simmers some of the water will evaporate, add more if the vegetables begin to peek out.

Strain the broth through a large course mesh sieve (use a heat resistant container underneath) and discard the solids. Stir in the salt adding more if desired. Let cool at room temperature before refrigerating or freezing. Store in the refrigerator up to 5 days or in the freezer up to 6 months.

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Thai Coconut Broth

Makes approximately 2 1/2 quarts of broth

8 cups Magic Mineral broth

2 13.5 oune cans coconut milk

3 1 inch pieces of fresh ginger

2 shallots peeled and halved

3 kaffir lime leaves or 1 tsp lime zest

1 stalk lemongrass, cut in chunks and bruised

1/4 tsp sea salt, plus more if needed

In a 6 quart pot combine the broth, coconut milk, ginger, shallots, lime leaves or zest, lemongrass and salt, bring to a low boil over medium heat. Cook for about 20 minutes. Decrease to low and simmer for another 30 minutes. Remove the solids, taste and add more salt if desired.

Let cool to room temperature before refrigerating or freezing. Store in refrigerator for up to 5 days and 6 months in the freezer.

 

Ottolenghi’s Cauliflower Cake And Apple Pear Crumble With Creamy Cider Syrup

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I just have to say what a lifesaver it has been to have the guest posts. I have been so extremely busy I really haven’t cooked much of anything and most of what I have cooked is not noteworthy enough to blog about. Thank you so much to everyone who has submitted guest posts, you truly are amazing. I also have been delinquent in reading and commenting on your blogs. I will not be able to catch up there are just too many, once Halloween is done I should be able to breathe and get back to my routine.

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Searching through the hundreds of cookbooks I have (and rarely use) I happened upon this recipe from “Plenty More” by Yotam Ottolenghi. Since my latests obsession is cauliflower this immediately grabbed my attention, the list of ingredients sounds delicious, I decided this is a recipe I have to try. It does contain some flour, one cup of all purpose flour but I subbed spelt flour making it lower in carbs and more healthful. It’s a simple recipe, easy to put together and with my current crazy busy schedule this was a must. I really do love Ottolenghi’s cookbooks, the photo’s are drool worthy and recipes are not complex they use simple ingredients but how they put it all together is genius.

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Cauliflower Cake

from Plenty More- Yotam Ottolenghi

Serves 6-8

1 small head cauliflower broken into 1 1/2 inch florets

1 medium onion (recipe calls for  a red onion)

5 tbs olive oil (I didn’t measure)

1/2 tsp chopped fresh rosemary

7 large eggs

1/2 cup chopped fresh basil

1 cup all purpose flour (I used spelt flour)

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/3 tsp turmeric

1 1/2 cups grated parmesan or your favorite grating cheese

melted butter for brushing – about 1 tbs

1 tbs white sesame seeds

1 tsp nigella seeds (I misplaced them so just used sesame)

salt and pepper to taste

Pre heat oven to 400 degree’s

Place cauliflower florets in saucepan filled with salted water, simmer for 15 minutes until the florets are quite soft, they should break when pressed with a spoon. Drain and set aside in a colander.

Cut 4 round slices approximately 1/4 inch thick from one end of the onion and set aside. Coursely chop the rest of the onion and place in a pan with some olive oil and the rosemary. Cook for 1o minutes over medium heat, stirring from time to time until soft. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool. Transfer the onions to a large mixing bowl, add the eggs and basil and whisk well, then add the flour, baking powder, turmeric, cheese and 1 tsp salt (I used less salt) and plenty of ground pepper stir to combine and add the cauliflower stirring gently so as not to break up the florets.

Line the base and sides of a 9 1/2 inch springform pan with parchment paper. Brush the sides with melted butter then mix together the sesame and nigella seeds and toss them in the pan and swirl the pan around so that the seeds stick to the buttered sides. Pour the cauliflower mixture in the pan smooth the top and arrange the onion rings on top ( I sprinkled some of the grated cheese on top as well). Place in the center of the oven and bake for 45 minutes until golden brown and set. A knife inserted into the center of the cake should come out clean. Remove from the oven and leave for at least 20 minutes before serving. It should be served warm or at room temperature rather than hot.

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For Dessert was an apple Pear crumble using no refined sugar and almost no flour. To sweeten the fruit and crumble I used a little bit of maple syrup and served it with a creamy cider reduction, again made completely without sugar. The natural sweetness of the cider when cooked down into a syrup is intensely sweet, I softened it with a little heavy cream (to make even more decadent you could add a little butter also) and the end product was amazing on this simple crumble. The cider syrup would be great on oatmeal, pancakes or waffles also, instead of adding cream just add a little butter.

This dessert is great and you don’t feel badly eating it, you could even use a little less maple syrup because the cider syrup is sweet enough that you would never know that this is not loaded with sugar.

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Apple Pear Crumble

Made 2

Crumble topping

1/4 cup whole oats

1/4 cup spelt flour

2 tbs toasted hazelnut flour (or any nut flour)

pinch of salt

2 tbs softened (not melted) coconut oil

1 tbs cold butter

2 tbs maple syrup

Mix everything together with your fingers until it is blended completely (it will look more like a cookie dough). Pre heat oven to 375 degree’s

2 -3 apples  (if you don’t have pear use 3 apples)

1 ripe pear

1 tbs maple syrup

pinch of cinnamon, nutmeg and salt

Peel and slice the apples and pears. Oil or butter the baking dish, mix the fruit with the maple syrup, spices and salt, lay the fruit in the pan. Add the crumble topping and pour a little apple cider over it. Bake for 30-40 minutes until crumble is browned and fruit is soft.  Note: The crumble topping was patted into place rather than dropping in crumbles, after baking I broke it up  kind of like a cookie crust.

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Creamy Cider Syrup

Apple cider

Heavy cream

Pour about 1 cup cider in saucepan  over medium high heat until reduced to a very thick syrup, it took about 20 minutes. One cup of cider reduced to about 1/4 cup of syrup. The more cider you use the longer it will take to reduce of course. One cup of cider in a saucepan took a little over 20 minutes on medium high heat.

Reduces to almost nothing

Reduces to almost nothing you can see my hand reflected in the pan, LOL.

Add some heavy cream about 2 tbs and continue to cook another 30 seconds approximately. The sauce will be thick.

Spoon over the crumble and enjoy.

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Paul Bertolli’s Cauliflower Soup

Cauliflower soup

Cauliflower soup

I had a head of cauliflower, it’s getting cold outside and I wanted some soup but it had to be very simple. I found this recipe on Food52, I had run out of stock vegetable or chicken and couldn’t run to the store, was waiting for a delivery and when I saw how easy this soup was and the list of ingredients is minimal I knew this was what I would make. This is part of the Food52 Genius collection, it is genius in it’s simplicity and tasting it you would never know just how easy it is to make. It would be an elegant addition to any meal, your guests will be impressed. As it is this recipe is vegan, no dairy or animal products at all. Of course I added a couple of tbs of butter to mine, just because I like butter but this is completely optional and unnecessary. The soup is delicious as is.

Serves 8

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion (6 ounces), sliced thin
  • 1 head very fresh cauliflower (about 1-1/2 pounds), broken into florets
  • Salt, to taste
  • 5 1/2 cups water, divided
  • Extra virgin olive oil, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  1. Warm the olive oil in a heavy-bottomed pan. Sweat the onion in the olive oil over low heat without letting it brown for 15 minutes.
  2. Add the cauliflower, salt to taste, and 1/2 cup water. Raise the heat slightly, cover the pot tightly and stew the cauliflower for 15 to 18 minutes, or until tender. Then add another 4 1/2 cups hot water, bring to a low simmer and cook an additional 20 minutes uncovered.
  3. Working in batches, purée the soup in a blender to a very smooth, creamy consistency. Let the soup stand for 20 minutes. In this time it will thicken slightly.
  4. Thin the soup with 1/2 cup hot water. Reheat the soup. Serve hot, drizzled with a thin stream of extra-virgin olive oil and freshly ground black pepper.
smooth and creamy

smooth and creamy

Hearty Kale Salad With Kabocha Squash,Pomegranate Seeds And Toasted Hazelnut And An Award

Kale Salad

Kale Salad

I love healthful food, I really do but my style of cooking isn’t really super healthy. I try, I really do but unfortunately I fall short most of the time. Incorporating raw foods, salads into my diet is challenging sometimes. A friend and I hosted a dinner party the other night and we wanted to do a low carb, healthful meal. I found this recipe on Food52, Gena Hamshaw is vegan and has some amazing, balanced healthful dishes. I took one look at this salad and knew it would be on the menu that evening. What does it contain? Lots of super foods, Kale, pomegranate, hazelnuts and Kabocha squash. The kale is massaged with a little of the dressing to soften, then you toss with the rest of the light lemon dressing. It’s delicious, honestly, really really good. I had everything for the salad except the squash so I subbed sweet potato which I prepared in exactly the same way as you would the squash.

Serves 4-6

  • 1 Large bunch curly kale, stems removed and discarded, torn into bite sized pieces, washed, and spun dry
  • 1 Small kabocha squash (Japanese pumpkin), halved and seeded and cut into 1.5 inch pieces ( I used 1 medium size sweet potato using the same method as described in step 1)
  • 4 tablespoons Olive oil, divided into 1 tbsp and 3 tbsp
  • 3/4 cups Pomegranate seeds
  • 1/2 cup Skinned hazelnuts
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons Lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon Maple syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon Sea salt
  • Black pepper to taste
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Toss the squash in 1 tbsp olive oil and season with salt and pepper on a baking sheet. Roast for 30-35 minutes, or until golden, stopping halfway through to stir.
  2. While squash is roasting, place the hazelnuts in a shallow baking dish (or a pie pan) and toast in the oven for 4-6 minutes, or until they are golden. Check them frequently and remove them the moment they start to get brown. Once they’ve cooled a little, chop them roughly and set aside.
  3. Whisk together the remaining olive oil, mustard, lemon, maple syrup, sea salt, and pepper. Pour 3 tbsp over the kale to begin with, and “massage” the kale well with your hands, till it’s coated in the dressing and taking on a soft, almost wilted texture. Add the remaining dressing as needed and according to tastes. Add pomegranate seeds and hazelnuts.
  4. Once the squash has finished cooking and has cooled for 10-15 minutes, add it to the salad and serve.

I am so thankful that Cambios de humor nominated me for the Shine On Award. Thank you so much, I am so honored to have been included in your list of nominee’s. Please visit her blog, you will love the honesty and humor in her posts.  Thank you again!!

shineon1

Super Sized Chocolate Chip Cookies

Super Size Chocolate Chip Cookies

Super Sized Chocolate Chip Cookies

I made these amazing cookies and I have to share it with you, they are REALLY good. There are no eggs, no processed sugar, no butter or vegetable oil in them, virtuous, definitely, but oh so scrumptious. I follow Brandi’s blog The Healthy Flavor  and am amazed at the fabulous recipes she comes up with. They are healthful, vegan and really really good!

The fat in these cookies comes from roasted pecan butter, it’s super simple to whip up, and is in my opinion is what makes them so wonderful. The list of ingredients is minimal, whole wheat pastry flour,cornstarch, maple syrup as the sweetener, chocolate, baking soda and powder, sea salt and vanilla. Thats it, simple, healthful and they come together in a flash. Full disclosure, I didn’t have whole wheat pastry flour so I used whole wheat flour with 2 tbs of AP flour, I also decided to use some of the chocolate in my pantry that really needed to be used so I combined, dark chocolate, dark chocolate with peanut butter and milk chocolate.  To make this vegan don’t do as I did just use vegan dark chocolate. Enjoy these cookies with a nice cold glass of milk (I had almond milk) and they are especially good slightly warm. Visit Brandi’s blog and try her recipes, you will love them as much as I do. Thank you so much for creating such a wonderful recipe and allowing me to post it on my blog.

Recipe courtesy of Brandi, The Healthy Flavor:

Ingredients:

1 cup roasted pecan butter. Pecan butter is creamier and oilier than other nut butters, so I wouldn’t recommend subbing anything. I made them with peanut butter and the taste was good, but they were more dry and didn’t hold together as well)

1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt (depending on how much you added when you make the pecan butter, this may need to be adjusted)

1/2-3/4 cup vegan dark chocolate chips plus extra to stick on the top if desired

Tip: The key to getting these as chunky and thick is to follow the exact steps. You must chill the dough first and also only divide the dough into 12 cookies. If you make more than that, they won’t be as fluffy.

Directions:

After making the roasted pecan butter, make sure to measure 1 cup in case you made more than that in the food processor. Add it to a bowl with the syrup and vanilla. Stir until well combined. In a small bowl, sift together the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda and salt and whisk very well. Make sure there are no lumps. Stir the chocolate chips into the flour mixture. Now add the flour into the wet ingredients a small amount at a time, stirring until just combined. Put the bowl into the fridge for 20 minutes to chill only.

Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees and line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Depending on how creamy you pulsed your pecan butter, your batter may be a bit crumbly. If so, just press the dough together roughly with your hands by large spoonfuls. Divide the dough into 12-14 cookies only, if you want them thick and fluffy. I added a few extra chocolate chips on top of the cookies too. :) Do NOT flatten or spread out the dough, leave it piled high. They should bake high and fluffy as in the pictures. I made 3 batches and they all turned out fabulously fluffy. Bake for 11 to 12 minutes or until just starting to turn golden brown around the edges. Mine was perfect just after 11 minutes. Do not over bake!

Cool 10 minutes and transfer to cool completely on a cooling rack before handling…if you can contain yourself! :)After they have cooled, place them on a papertowel to drain any extra pecan butter.

DIY Almond Milk

Almond Milk

Almond Milk

I know this is probably nothing new to many of you but for me if was a revelation, making your own almond milk is easy and yields (IMHO) a product so superior to the commercially prepared milk, I honestly was blown away. It’s my new obsession and I use it everyday in shakes or on cereal or as a snack. I researched several websites to see how it is done and tried a few different methods, I made a few changes to the recipes I saw online. You need raw almonds, bottled or filtered water, a sweetener is optional, as is flavoring and salt (preferably sea salt). I decided that I like it with just a touch of sweetener and vanilla. I probably use a little less water to make it than other recipes because I like it rich and creamy. It is delicious, nutritious and a real treat. I always used soy milk in my morning shakes but not anymore. This morning I had a banana, date shake made with the almond milk and it was heavenly. I used the leftover pulp to make some granola this weekend and it was great I have to try to think of ways to use it right now it is sitting in my freezer in ziplock bags. If any of you have any ideas on what to make with the pulp please let me know. You will need raw almonds of course, filtered or bottled water, cheesecloth or a nut milk bag and thats it. There is no real formula you can add or subtract from the amounts in this recipe. This is how I like to make it.

Preparation:

3 cups raw almonds

6 cups filtered water

Place almonds and water in a lidded container and refrigerate for 24-48 hours.

Making the Milk:

drained almonds

5 cups water

sweetener (Optional)

Flavoring (Optional)

pinch of sea salt

Drain the almonds in a strainer, add to vitamix or food processor, add 5 cups bottled or filtered water, sweetener (I used 1 1/2 tsp organic cane sugar) optional flavoring (I added a tsp of vanilla), and sea salt, blend or process, If using a vitamix 2 minutes will do and if using a food processor 3-4 minutes.

Have doubled cheese cloth or nut milk bag ready over a large bowl, pour into cloth or bag and squeeze, until it is dry. Pour into container and refrigerate until ready to use.

NOTE: My first batch I used cheese cloth doubled, it worked pretty well but I found it was not completely strained, it’s not necessarily a bad thing to have a few errant pieces of nuts in your milk. The second batch I used a clean cotton tea towel and it worked like a charm, no nut pieces and it was large enough that I was able to really squeeze it and get every drop of milk. I am going to invest in a nut milk bag very soon.

Himalayan Red Rice and Lentils with Spiced Vegetables

Himalayan Red Rice

Himalayan Red Rice

I am trying to incorporate more vegetables and whole grain foods into my diet, truth be told I have never been a fan of brown rice. I saw this himalayan red rice at a specialty store and it intrigued me. I looks like Basmati rice only red, very delicate grains long and slender, so I bought it wondering what I can make with it. This recipe came to me from my desire to use my red rice but also I had some veggies in the crisper that I really needed to use. I wanted the rice to be a meal so added some lentils that cooked in with the rice, I had some tri color carrots and scallions begging to be used right away so I shaved the carrots into strips and sliced the light part of the the scallion and sauteed in olive oil with some cumin and coriander. I topped it with some plain greek yogurt mixed with some dried mint and put a generous amount of crispy fried shallots on top. You can use whatever vegetables you like, but the carrots and onions in the spices are a wonderful combination and the yogurt makes it creamy and tangy. The rice has a lot of character, its toothsome yet still delicate. By all means use whatever rice you have or want, the red rice is a suggestion.

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

1 cup himalayan red rice

2 cups water

salt

1/3 cup lentils

2 medium size carrots shaved

4 scallions

1/4 tsp cumin

1/4 tsp coriander

1 shallot thinly sliced

plain greek yogurt

dried mint

olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

In medium saucepan add the water, rice and lentils and some salt. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer, cover and let cook for 35 minutes. Remove from heat and let it sit for 5 minutes covered, then fluff with a fork.

While the rice is cooking shave the carrots and cut the scallions, heat some olive oil in a saute pan and add the vegetables, sprinkle with cumin and coriander and saute until the vegetables are soft and cooked through. Remove from the pan and set aside, add a little more olive oil and the shallots and fry until they are browned and crisp.

Mix some yogurt with the dried mint.

To serve just spoon some rice and lentils on a plate top with the vegetables, a dollop of yogurt and sprinkle with the shallots.

Featured Recipe- Kale and Apple Salad

For this weeks Featured Recipe I wanted a fresh and delicious salad. We all need our fresh vegetables and fruits every day and I am always searching for a tasty recipe. I love salads and my new best friend is Kale, it’s packed full of vital nutrients and whether you eat it cooked or raw your body will thank you for it. This salad is a meal in itself, think about it, kale, apples, cabbage,fennel, wild rice a delicious citrusy dressing, your taste buds will do the dance of joy. I love this salad on it’s own, but it can accompany a protein also, there are so many different things you can add to this if you want, some grilled chicken or tofu would be fantastic. I am making this salad again with some Himalayan Red Rice instead of wild rice, quinoa would also be a wonderful addition. Try it in pita bread and take it to work or school.  The possibilities are endless. Check out Hannah’s beautiful blog Blue Kale Road, its packed full of healthful delicious recipes that are family friendly and in my opinion are a celebration of fresh, natural foods.

Photo by Blue Kale Road

Kale and Apple Salad
Inspired by PCC’s Emerald City Salad
Serves 4-6

1/4 – 1/2 cup lemon juice (depending upon taste and amount of kale)
1/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 large crisp apple, diced (my favorite variety is honeycrisp)
3/4 cup fennel, thinly sliced and chopped
1 cup red cabbage, chopped
1/2 cup parsley, chopped
1 bunch organic kale (lacinato or curly green – I like to use a combination of both), ribs removed and finely chopped
1 cup cooked wild rice

Whisk 1/2 cup lemon juice, olive oil, garlic and salt in a large bowl. Add remaining ingredients to the bowl and toss (use your hands – it’s fun and will distribute the dressing more evenly). Taste for additional lemon juice, salt or pepper and add as desired.

The salad can be made a couple of hours ahead and chilled.

Ricotta Polenta with Mushroom Tomato Sauce

Creamy Polenta with Tomato and Mushrooms

I made home made ricotta the other day and had 4 cups of the delicious whey left, discarding it was not an option, adding to breads, cakes are all great options and I will definitely do that for my next batch. I used Jennifer Perillo’s recipe for ricotta and it’s amazing. I wanted something quick, nutritious and easy to prepare. Polenta is creamy and comforting and is a nice change from pasta or potatoes. I used all the whey that I had and also added the left over ricotta. If you don’t have whey using water works just fine. The sauce takes only minutes to make I had some pretty nice tomatoes and cremini mushrooms I needed to use so I incorporated them into this quick sauce with some shallot and garlic and finished with a nice handful of fresh italian parsley. The parsely give it a fresh taste that I really love. Grate some cheese on top and you have yourself a quick and delicious meal in minutes.

4 cups whey or water

1 cup polenta (corn meal) I used stone ground

pinch of salt

1/2 cup ricotta (well drained)

2 tbs butter

black pepper (2 or 3 turns of the pepper mill)

In saucepan add the whey or water and pinch of salt, bring to a rolling boil. Whisk in the polenta, don’t dump it all in add slowly while you are whisking it thickens very quickly. Lower heat to low and continue whisking until its done. It takes approximately 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat add the butter and stir, now add the ricotta. Stir until its all incorporated. Cover pan and set aside while you make the sauce.

8 oz cremini mushrooms sliced

1 1/2 cups chopped tomatoes

1 clove garlic peeled and minced

1 shallot peeled and chopped

handful italian parsley chopped

olive oil for pan

salt and pepper to taste

Put some olive oil in a saute pan and heat on medium high. Add the shallots and cook until they become soft and translucent. Add the garlic and continue to cook until they start to caramelize. Now put the mushrooms in and continue to cook until the mushrooms become soft and lightly browned, add the tomato and cook until the tomato becomes soft and cooks down. Season with salt and pepper and remove from heat. Add the chopped parsley.

Spoon some polenta on the plate and top with the sauce. This is a great meatless Monday option, I am making some sauteed kale to go with it.