I figured I would chronicle my adventures in cooking while I have two months free of medical school. Mind you, I haven't cooked anything since college, and I wouldn't really call chicken nuggets and boxed macaroni and cheese cooking. I have recently decided to reverse my unhealthy stress eating into a relaxed, creative, healthy diet. I am now going to be purchasing my vegetables and fruit at the local farmer's market, and I will be trying to cut out as much fatty meat and excess snacking as possible. I will share my creations throughout the week, in hopes of inspiring other non-cookers to just stop being lazy and heating up the processed food. Tonight, I made a variation/recreation of a recipe I saw in a magazine once:
Polenta with Mushrooms and Leeks
Approximate prep and cooking time? About 15 minutes
- 1 to 1 1/2 cup leeks, sliced
- 1 8 oz package of Baby Bella mushrooms, sliced
- 4 tablespoons of dry Sherry
- 1 1/2 cups of Polenta (I used a vacuum-sealed, quick-cook pack)
- 1 1/2 cups reduced sodium chicken broth
- 1/2 cup of low fat milk
- 2 cups of water
- 1/2 cup of shredded, low fat cheese blend
- 2 tablespoons of butter
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- Garlic salt - as much as desired
- Cilantro - as much as desired
- Parsley - as much as desired
You are going to want to use two separate pans for this recipe to work best: one skillet/frying pan and one medium sauce pan.
- First, in your medium sauce pan, add your water, milk, and chicken broth. Bring this mixture to a boil. Carefully and gradually add in your polenta, with consistent stirring and/or whisking. Once you have added it all, reduce the heat and let the polenta simmer for approximately 5-6 minutes. It will make a very thick, creamy consistency. While simmering, add in garlic salt, cilantro, and parsley as desired.
- Chop your leeks up into tiny pieces. Combine the butter and the leeks in your frying pan, and cook for approximately five minutes. Next, add the mushrooms, as well as your seasonings. I added seasonings to both pans; keeping this in mind, add as much as you desire.. the more, the stronger the flavor! I find that the polenta is rather bland if you don't add enough, so don't be afraid to throw a lot in there. Also, add your salt and pepper. Make sure to continue stirring the mixture. After one minute, add in your Sherry. Cook for approximately six minutes, or until your mushrooms have browned nicely. This won't have a creamy or really saucy texture. It is more of a topping to be placed on the polenta.
- Last, in your medium sauce pan, add cheese to the polenta and mix them together. You can then add the contents of the frying pan to the medium sauce pan and serve.
I served this with Morning Star veggie burgers and it actually came out really good! I think you definitely need the garlic and lots of seasoning, but this will be making a comeback in our apartment because it was super quick and very filling.