Monday, June 11, 2012

Stewed Tomatoes and Asparagus Over Creamy Polenta

Stewed Tomatoes and Asparagus over Creamy Polenta

It's been a bit over a month of df/gf living and I have to say-it's not as bad as I thought it would be. Sure I miss grabbing a croissant with my iced coffee in the morning, it's nice to grab a cookie or other snacks on the run and Shabbat isn't the same without challah. Despite the occasional temptations and the accidental slips it's been a pretty easy month. My eczema hasn't gone crazy in a long time and my stomach issues have subsided substantially.  All-in-all not bad. Except when I got a craving for Italian today.

It's a little bit chilly in NYC today and what sounded delicious wasn't a kale salad or roasted beets. What sounded effing-amazing was a giant bowl of pasta with marinara sauce and garlic bread. Thankfully there is no pasta to be found in my cupboards-they've been gone since Pesach.  What I did have was a jar of polenta, three sad, almost dead tomatoes, lots of garlic and a eggplant/olive dip in the freezer from ordering way too much food for our Seder.

I dug into the great, big, beautiful Italian recipe dictionary in my head and decided I'd make Chicken Caccitore, minus the chicken.

I'm still not measuring anything-so bare with me on this one.
You'll need
 3 medium/large tomatoes roughly chopped
4 cloves garlic diced
1 small eggplant rougly chopped
about a 1/4 cup green olives chopped
a bunch of asparagus cut 1 in long
Nutritional Yeast
Olive oil

Literally, I pulled this one out of my head with the veggies I had laying around my apartment.  I think spinach would be lovely in this as well, kale would also be nice, even broccoli.

I started the polenta before I put in the tomatoes, et al because I used stone-ground corn.  It's course and takes a while to cook, but it's totally worth the waiting and stirring.  I cooked it with plain ole water (I miss you milk) and added a bit of Nature's Balance spread and a splash of Hazelnut milk to get a creamier texture.  Salt and Pepper to taste.  You can use instant polenta, but the stone-ground stuff is amazing.  Once you've added the polenta to salted boiling water (if using stone-ground) start on the tomatoes.

Start with a medium-hot pan and saute the garlic in about 1 tablespoon of olive oil until the garlic just starts to get golden around the edges.  When it gets a little golden add the tomatoes and the juices from the cutting board to the pan and lower the heat to medium.  I had frozen eggplant dip to work with, but if you're using the fresh stuff add the eggplants and olives here as well.  Cover the pan and let time do the rest.  After about 10-15 minutes add the asparagus and stir.  If the veggies stick, add some olive oil about a teaspoon at a time.  Cook the tomatoes until they start to shrivel up, and the skin starts to fall off.  This takes about 20-25 minutes.

If I had any red wine on hand, a splash would be really awesome in this.  Once the tomatoes are finished cooking add salt and pepper to taste.

Spoon the polenta into a shallow bowl or onto a plate and then spoon the tomatoes and asparagus on top.  Top with a twist of black pepper or some nutritional yeast and enjoy!

Yummy Recipe Facts
This recipe is Gluten and Dairy Free
It's Parve/Kosher
From Super Natural Food "One of the richest sources of folate, a B vitamin critical for healthy pregnancy is Asparagus."
Tomatoes are full of lycopene-a "vigilant protector against cancer, especially cancers of the prostate, testes, adrenal glands and cervix"

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