Monday, April 4, 2011

Oriole Sighting

Every Spring we see these lovely birds passing through our neighborhood. They are so gorgeous and bright. No other bird in central California compares. I may be fortunate to spot and photograph this creature, but my vegan fare today was rather disappointing. I wish I had some excellent recipe to share, but when you take a chance at inventing your own...Well, it can and can go either way. Sometimes good, or in this case, bland. I'll give you my suggestions on improvement and maybe you can take it to the next level.

I tried to make a soy and polenta casserole. Perhaps I was mixing up Mexican and Italian, where I should have stuck to one ethnicity. The canned diced tomatoes added too much fluid. Perhaps they should have been stewed or even a thick salsa instead. I guess I could have used Italian style soy product to make it Italian, or corn tortillas in place of the polenta to make it more Mexican. In any case, my husband thought that potatoes would be a nice addition, so I quickly microwaved a few to check. Yes, actually, the potatoes soaked up the excess tomatoes and married the other flavors. So if I were to make it again, this is how I would do it.

Soy Ground and Polenta Casserole

1 pound russet potatoes

1 pound polenta

1 large broccoli head

3 talks celery

1 small onion

1 red bell pepper

4-6 ounces mushrooms

1 can(15 oz) of stewed tomatoes

12 ounces soy ground

4 ounces black olives

1. Steam or boil peeled potatoes, drain, mash and set aside.

2. Prepare or buy ready to use polenta. Slice 1/4 inch thick, if you have the tube kind.

3. Chop raw vegetables and saute over med-high heat until al dente. Start with the broccoli, then add celery, then onions, then pepper and last mushrooms to give the sturdiest veggie more time than the softest ones.

4. Layer the casserole as follows: spoon mashed potatoes on bottom. Add the veggie mixture onto this. Crumble the soy ground over the vegetables. Then pour the can of stewed tomatoes evenly over all. Layer the polenta next and garnish with the black olives.

5. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes. Serve immediately.

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