Friday, December 17, 2010

Comforts on a winter eve

Slowly I turned...step by step....

Okay. Maybe not so many turns, but definitely slowly and step by step. I managed to get the pedometer on correctly , and went about my day with the desire to take at least 1000 steps  . The number is only an impressive goal when you factor in recovery- normally 1,000 steps would be a very bad thing. The pedometer does not display the number on it ( Nintendo DS Personal Trainer Walking) , so you wait till the end of the day when you upload your data to find the number. I knew it was less than 1,000 because it had not turned green, but  it was sort of like Christmas Anticipation to discover the actual number. Drumroll....699 ! Hey- it's a start. A point to build from as I regain strength. Consider how excited people get when a baby takes it's first step. This is sort of similar :-)

I made two different dishes for dinner yesterday. Being the second of three Ember Days, it was another opportunity to go meatless, yet keep it nourishing. Meatless does not mean vegetarian, so you have opportunities to incorporate bone broths into your meals.Bone Broths are so healthful that there is a saying in South America that it can raise the dead. It's liquid gold, and can turn the simplest ingredients into very nourishing dishes . I used it ion both of these,

Cheesy Polenta-Veggie Bake

6 Cups bone broth ( I used chicken)
1 lb Aged Cheddar
3 Eggs, beaten
1 t salt
1 1/2 Cups Polenta
1 Large Red Pepper, cut into small pieces
2 Cups Shitake Mushrooms, chopped
1 t Paprika

Preheat over to 350 degrees
Bring water to a boil. Add polenta, stirring constantly until thickens. Turn heat down and add remaining ingredients. Stir until well blended.Pour into 13 x 9 pan and bake uncovered for 45 minutes to an hour. Cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.

Turnips in Creamy Mustard Sauce ( a Mark Bitterman inspired dish)

2 Tbs. Butter
1-1/2 Pounds turnips peeled and cut into 1 inch chunks
Sea Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 Tsp. raw sugar ( I used Splenda)
1 Cup more or less chicken stock ( I used chicken bone broth),
2 Tbs. Dijon mustard
1/2 cup fresh cream

Heat the butter on medium heat in a saucepan of a size that will allow the vegetables to sit on its bottom in a single layer.  When the butter is hot, add the vegetables, give them a toss and sprinkle on salt and pepper to taste. Allow the vegetables to cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally for about 10 minutes until they begin to brown and they are nicely cooked.

Both were perfect for a cold, wintry day . The polenta reminded me of mac and cheese in a way , being creamy and cheesy with a comfort food quality. The turnips were absolutely delicious ! The sugar and mustard removed any bitter twang of the vegetable and the cream gave it a comforting mouth feel. I thought of the people in Sweden at this time of the year, living in almost total darkness for a couple of weeks. I could see why turnips are a popular vegetable in their cuisine- packs a potent bite like the cold darkness of winter itself. Both are going to show up again on our table.

Going to press for more steps, and maybe a go at the little pedals without a seat thing.

1 comment:

Marisa (Loser for Life) said...

Glad your strength is coming back!

That polenta looks incredible! I've been craving polenta lately, too. But, too busy eating cookies to make it...