creamy polenta with thyme roasted tomatoes

last night i got ambitious and did two things i’ve never done but always wanted to: 1. roasted tomatoes 2. made polenta. and now i’m left wondering, what the hell have i been doing with my life?!  roasted tomatoes are the bomb. and this polenta is like a salty, creamy, warm corn pudding. OMG. 

this recipe is a tiny bit more work than i usually put into a meal, but doesn’t require lots of ingredients or planning. and it was totally easy and satisfying so we’ll be having it for dinner many times again and i’m excited to see how i can tweak it to make it even better in the future!  oh, and heads up: this recipe makes enough for a family dinner. or in our case, lots of leftovers!

the what:

4 cups of vegetable stock

2 cups of water

2 cups of coarse polenta (not quick cooking)

1 cup of rice milk (or other unsweetened non-dairy milk)

2 tablespoons of earth balance vegan butter 

EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)

thyme

black pepper

sea salt

6 vine ripened tomatoes, cut in half

the how:

- preheat oven to 350 degrees. slice tomatoes in half and arrange on a baking sheet.

- sparingly drizzle olive oil over tomatoes, place two sprigs of thyme on each tomato half and sprinkle sea salt and pepper on the tomatoes.

- bake tomatoes for 1 – 1 1/2 hours, flipping every 15 minutes (they just get better the longer they roast)

- during the last 1/2 hour the tomatoes are baking: bring vegetable stock and water to a boil and slowly whisk in polenta. reduce heat and continue to stir until the polenta has thickened. cover and let simmer until soft (10-20 minutes). 

-stir in earth balance vegan butter, rice milk, and season with sea salt and pepper to taste (don’t be timid with the salt, this dish needs it!) stir and cook a few minutes more.

- when the tomatoes are done, serve over a bowl of polenta and sprinkle thyme over both.

*as a last minute addition to mine, i added a tablespoon of chopped kalmatta olives to the polenta. DELISH! 

if you cook polenta i’d love to hear what you do with it!  i’m looking forward to seeing what other yumminess will come!

4 recipes

these pretty photos caught my eye over the past week, here are four recipes i’m hungry to try. have any of you tried to make almond butter before?  i’m just a little confused as to how it doesn’t turn into almond milk (which i’m also excited about making!)

source/recipes found here (clockwise left to right): sugarandcharm scandifoodie thelittleredhouse naturallyella

my favorite places to find foods to make!

yesterday i created a whole new page to share a very personal story with all of you. what i realized after reading comments, emails, facebook messages, etc is that so many of us are in the same boat together! thank you so much for taking the time to write, for sharing your stories with me, for reaching out. it means the world to me. i’m so sad to hear the stories of those of you who suffered for years taking drugs, having surgeries, struggling with western medicine. it’s so frustrating to feel like there might be other answers and the medical community at large fails to acknowledge them. it’s so important to me to get this information to as many people as possible, to prevent more people from going through what i’m reading about in these emails. if you would, please send my story to anyone you know who could benefit from it.

one of the questions that kept popping up was where i find my recipes/ideas for what to cook. before i got sick i always thought cooking involved lots of ingredients, technique, fancy equipment, time, cookbooks, etc. i don’t have the patience for most of that on an every day basis. i prefer to keep a pantry/fridge stocked with grains, fruits and veggies, seasonings and throw things together based on what’s seasonal and what i’m craving. truth be told, i make a lot of dishes that don’t taste that great! but i’m learning, and it’s part of the process. i get excited when i create a dish that’s tasty (like this one!). and then when i hit a creative wall, i pull out a recipe and get inspired! so here’s some places to pull recipes/ideas from (they aren’t all macrobiotic, or even vegan, but there are recipes on each that are…and i often find that i only really need a recipe for the inspiration, i take the ideas and run with what i have on hand /fits my dietary needs). please, leave your favorites in the comment section and i will make a MASTER LIST. yes, a master list. EXCITING! 

interweb:

green kitchen stories

101 cookbooks

my pinterest food catalogue

foodgawker

<—- that link that says FOOD

with style and grace

books:

the kind diet

the hip chick’s guide to macrobiotics

veganomicon

*photo by lou

how we afford to shop at whole foods

happy new year! i hope you all had a wonderful bit of rest and rejuvination, with lots of love, treats and coziness! are you making resolutions this year? i still need to sit down and come up with my 2012 action plan! yes, i am totally that nerd that just typed that.

someone recently left this question in my comment section: “how do you manage to eat all your veggies/fruits, etc. organic w/o breaking the bank? any tips would be greatly appreciated.” this was practically begging for me to climb up on a soapbox and talk about how/what we eat and how we afford it. and there’s no better time of year to commit to a new way of doing things, so here goes my friends!

- we don’t buy dairy or meat, and only occasionaly buy a little white fish. i whole heartedly believe this is better for our health,our waistlines, the environment and most definitely for our bank accounts. (please read the china study if you’re interested in learning more about the effects of these foods on our health, or eating animals to understand the environmental ramifications of meat/dairy/seafood consumption, or skinny bitch if you want motivation/information about your appearance and diet.

-we don’t buy a lot of pre-made foods including cereal, crackers, snacks, meals or anything for that matter! hello savings, nice to meet you! you’ll find when you shop primarily in the veggie section of the store, you’ll be saving more than enough to make up for buying organic instead of pesticide grown. *we do buy a few packaged things, lou does enjoy his grapenuts!

-we buy lots of  brown rice, beans, and other grains in bulk. you would be amazed at how cheap (and healthy/delicious) brown rice from the bulk section is! 

- we waste not: ruca and eleanor eat almost any vegetable that’s nearing the end and hasn’t been scarfed by me and lou. *if you feed your dog table scraps, please PLEASE do your research! there are many things they can’t have, including onions, pineapple, raisins, chocolate, etc. 

- the thing i want you to know, that i believe is more important that anything above, is that we are incredibly happy with the way we eat!  we love food and tasty things just as much as the next person and we make sure that we cook/eat things that make our mouths happy!

someday i’ll tell you about how i used to eat another way entirely, and how it landed me in the hospital. until then, eat your veggies and make sure they’re organic!