Strong Arms for Kids

I don't know about you, but I love podcasts.  Especially when I lived abroad (and hope to do again someday), I got most of my news and entertainment from podcasts.  Now I get all of my news from the Daily Show, and don't have much time to listen to podcasts but there are still two podcasts I listen to/ watch religiously.  The first one is "Stuff you Should Know".  If you haven't heard of this podcast, seek it out as soon as humanely possible.  The two guys that make the show could be talking about how to unstick gum from the bottom of your shoe and they would still be entertaining.  I am just waiting for them to get their own radio show and become the next "Opie and Anthony" but not as jaded and obnoxious.  The other one is a video podcast called "Delicious TV".  A couple of times a month, she comes out with a short 3-5 minute video on how to make something vegetarian, healthy and delicious (hence the name).  When I watched the video for the polenta casserole, it looked really interesting.  Polenta always sounds like such a good idea and I try really hard to like it, but I usually never do.  And once again, I didn't really enjoy the polenta, but I think if I used only a thin layer of polenta, instead of the inch on the bottom and inch on top that was recommended in the recipe, I would have enjoyed it much more.  Don't skip out on the yogurt sauce when making this recipe.  It is the key ingredient (for me anyway).  Also, I think making a Mexican version of this casserole would be really delicious, as well, with beans, peppers, tomatoes, avocado and cilantro.  

Here is my adapted version of Delicious TV's Eggplant Polenta Casserole:


For the polenta:
6 cups water
2 tsp salt
2 cups yellow cornmeal
2 tbsp olive oil

Boil the 6 cups of water.  Add the 2 tsp of salt.  Slowly whisk in the cornmeal.  Reduce the heat to low and cook until mixture thickens and the cornmeal is tender, stirring often, about 10 minutes.  Once it is done, turn off heat and mix in the 2 tbsp of olive oil. 

1 eggplant
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups mushrooms, sliced
1 can stewed tomatoes
fresh chopped basil
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cut the eggplant into one inch cubes.  Place cubes on baking sheet and place in oven.  Bake the eggplant until the cubes are brown and soft, about 15 minutes.  Meanwhile, heat olive oil in frying pan.  Add the onions, saute a few minutes until onions soften and add garlic.  After a minute, add the mushrooms.  Cook for a couple of more minutes then finally, add the stewed tomatoes.  If the tomatoes are whole, use a spatula to chop the tomatoes into smaller pieces.  Once everything is done, take the eggplant out of the oven and mix all the ingredients in a bowl, with the fresh basil and salt and pepper. 

Now lightly oil a casserole dish.  Place a thin layer of the polenta on the bottom.  On top of the polenta put the eggplant mixture.  Finally add a top layer of polenta over the eggplant mixture.  Cover loosely with aluminum foil and place in the oven for 20 minutes.  Once the 20 minutes i up, take of the aluminum foil and bake for another 10 minutes.  Once the polenta has a nice golden color, take it out of the oven. 

While the casserole is baking, put 1 cup of yogurt in a bowl.  Add 1/4 cup of soymilk, to make a thinner consistency.  Add 1 tsp of granulated garlic, 1 tsp of salt and 1/2 tsp of nutmeg and whisk together. Place sauce on top of casserole before serving. 
02/24/2011 22:34

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