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Kale and Mushrooms with Creamy Polenta

Kale and Mushrooms with Creamy Polenta


Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 pounds kale, stemmed, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 4 ounces pancetta (Italian bacon) or bacon, coarsely chopped
  • 4 ounces mushrooms (such as crimini, oyster, and stemmed shitake), sliced
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 cup low-salt chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
  • 4 tablespoons unslated butter
  • 2/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Recipe Preparation

  • Cook kale in large pot of boiling salted water until tender, about 6 minutes. Drain.

  • Bring milk, water, polenta, salt, and pepper to boil in heavy large saucepan over medium heat, whisking constantly. Reduce heat to low and simmer until thick, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat.

  • Meanwhile, cook pancetta in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer pancetta to paper towels. Add mushrooms and 2 tablespoons oil to drippings in skillet. Sauté until mushrooms are tender, about 6 minutes. Stir in kale and pancetta. Add garlic and broth; simmer until broth is slightly reduced, about 6 minutes. Stir in thyme, lemon peel, and 2 tablespoons oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

  • Whisk butter and Parmesan into polenta and divide among plates. Top with kale mixture.

Recipe by Michael Lomonaco,Reviews Section

Kale and Mushrooms with Creamy Polenta

Doesn’t everyone need more polenta in their life? This Kale and Mushrooms with Creamy Polenta will get you out of the weekly dinner rut.

  1. 1 bunch kale rinsed, stemmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
  2. 1.5 cups milk
  3. 1.5 cups water
  4. 1 cup cornmeal
  5. 4 soy bacon slicess
  6. 2 ounces oyster mushroom caps thinly sliced
  7. 2 ounces cremini mushrooms thinly sliced
  8. 2 tablespoons olive oil divided
  9. 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
  10. 1/2 cup vegetable broth
  11. 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  12. coarse salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  13. 2 tablespoons butter
  14. 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  1. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the kale until tender, about 6 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  2. In a large saucepan, bring the milk, water, and cornmeal to a boil over medium heat, whisking constantly. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until thick, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, cook the soy bacon in a medium skillet over medium high heat until crisp. Remove to a paper towel to drain, then crumble. Drain bacon grease from the skillet, if there is any.
  4. Add the mushrooms and olive oil to the skillet and stir in the kale and the bacon. Add the garlic and broth and simmer over medium heat until the broth is slightly reduced, about 6 minutes. Stir in thyme and season to taste with salt and pepper. Whisk the butter and Parmesan into the polenta and divide among the plates. Top with the mushroom mixture and serve.
  1. per serving: 457 calories 15 grams protein 30 grams total fat 4 grams fiber 11 grams saturated fat 35 grams carbohydrates 47 mgs cholesterol 453 mgs sodium 13 WW points plus

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Creamy Polenta With Russian Kale & Shitake Mushrooms

I just absolutely love this time of year. The temperatures may be higher than Spring feels like in other part of the world but we are still (and I insist on still) a few weeks away from scorching 100F (minimum) and 100% humidity (also a minimum). That means I can meander the farmers market without melting or rushing to get home once the milk and eggs find their way to my basket.

Every Saturday that I am in town, from April to December you will find me right at opening hour at the market. I like to be able to talk to the vendors who have now become friends. Instead of "hey we're back!" when the market opened again this season, it was hugs and stories shared all around. We had months to catch up on and lots of good news to share. New breeds for Jason at Meathouse. New lasagna and fresh pasta flavors for Brian at Rio Bertolini, new farmland for Ken and his crew. So proud to see so many young talents share their craft and passion with produce- intense people like me.

They know my habits. I am not special. They know the habits of all their regulars. I am grateful for their enthusiasm and little extras they put in my basket once in a while. I love that they never mind my taking pictures as if they were about to disappear with their next breath. Charleston is lucky to have caring farmers and individuals. We are lucky to have this amount of gorgeousness so many months out of the year. I do my weekly shopping there and right now I am all about the greens, mushrooms and radishes. In a few weeks it will be heirloom tomatoes and squash that will be prominent.

Going with the rythm of the season is a treat. I am aware of it. If you have access to a farmers market or to a farm, make a trip there. There are fantastic passionate people working to get you the best produce possible. I like to honor them with photographs and still life shots. They make my work so much easy. Clients are always thrilled to see ingredients as fresh as these!

It makes getting home after a long shoot and staring at the content of the fridge with a hungry stomach that much easier. I can look at the chalkboard pantry door and see what I can combine from both dry and fresh goods to make dinner. (Side note: when we built the house back in 2005, I took the pantry door off its hinges and painted it with a coat of chalkboard paint. It makes tracking one's fridge and pantry content that much more efficient). Lately, I have renewed a love affair with soft and creamy polenta, topped with lots of greens and once in while with an egg or a few grilled shrimp. (season kick off here was a few weeks ago)

Fresh, easy, quick and completely satisfying. I have to thank my mother for reminding me of the wonders of polenta. When they visited last and she was so sick the whole time, it was the only thing she could eat without being bothered much afterwards. Instead of making different meals for everyone, we would just make one big batch and partake. Months after, I still reach for the tin of polenta whenever I want something light, yet comforting. Here is my favorite way to serve it at the moment: topped with sauteed Russian kale and shitake mushrooms, plenty of garlic and parsley and with a poached egg on top.

What is your favorite easy dinner to make?



Creamy Polenta with Russian Kale Shitake Mushrooms (with option to be topped with a poached egg):


Serves 4

Ingredients:
For the kale and mushroom mix:
2 teaspoons olive oil

4 cups cleaned and roughly chopped Russian kale
1/2 pound fresh shitake mushrooms, stemmed and sliced thin
1/2 cup loosely packed fresh parsley
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup water or vegetable stock
salt and pepper to taste


For the polenta:
2 cups water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup fine grain yellow polenta
dash of freshly ground nutmeg
1 tablespoon heavy cream

For the poached egg (optional) (but oh so tasty!)
I find that Elise's post about poached eggs is the best one to date. You can check it out here.

Directions:
Start by preparing the kale and mushroom mix.
Heat the oil in a large skillet set over medium high. Add the kale and mushrooms and sauteed for about 5 minutes. Add the parsley and garlic and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes. Add the stock (or water), salt and pepper, cook for another minute and remove from the heat. Let cool while you prepare the polenta.

In large pot, bring the water to a boil. Add the salt and polenta at once and stir quickly with a whisk or wooden spoon to prevent the polenta from clumping. Add the nutmeg. Reduce the heat to a simmer. Let the polenta cook, uncovered for about 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the heavy cream. Check the seasoning once again.

Divide into four portions, top with the kale and mushroom mix, adding a few tablespoons of the juice as you go along and top with a poached egg if desired.


Preparation

  1. Heat a cast-iron skillet and add the olive oil. Heat until shimmering. Add the diced onions and reduce the heat to medium-low. Stirring occasionally, allow the onions to gently brown. About 5-10 minutes.
  2. Add the garlic and allow it to cook until fragrant. Be careful not to burn the garlic. About 1-2 minutes.
  3. Add the basil, oregano, thyme, and tomato paste. Stir until well combined and allow to cook until the tomato paste becomes a dark red. About 2 minutes.
  4. Add the mushrooms. Stir until well coated.
  5. Add the diced tomatoes and bring to a simmer. Allow it to simmer for 15-20 minutes. The sauce should thicken as the liquid from the tomatoes cooks off. Season with salt and pepper to taste throughout the simmering process.
  6. While the Ragu is simmering, prepare the kale. I highly recommend massaging the kale before adding it to the Ragu, It will make it more tender and less bitter. To massage the kale, crunch the torn leaves with your hands. The kale will become darker and less rigid. With five minutes remaining in the cooking process, add the fresh lemon juice and the massaged kale.

For the Polenta

  1. Bring the water and milk to a boil in a heavy-duty saucepan or small Dutch oven. Stir in 1 1/2 teaspoons salt.
  2. Gradually sprinkle the cornmeal into the pan while whisking at the same time. Turn the heat to a very low simmer, cover, and continue to cook the polenta for 25 – 30 minutes, until it’s thick, fluffy, and begins to pull away from the sides of the pan. Stir occasionally so it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.
  3. When it’s done, remove from the heat and stir in the butter, cheese, and additional salt to taste if needed.

Serve in small bowls with a bottom layer of polenta. Spoon the mushroom and kale Ragu over the polenta. Serve garnished with fresh parsley, parmesan, and crushed red pepper.

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Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add mushrooms, salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes and garlic and cook another 2 minutes. Stir in kale and 1/4 cup water, cover, reduce heat to medium low and cook until kale begins to wilt, about 2 minutes. Toss well, season with salt and pepper, cover and cook until wilted, about 2 minutes more. Cover and set aside.

Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick or cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Arrange polenta in skillet in a single layer (working in batches, if needed) and cook, flipping once, until golden brown on both sides, 5 to 6 minutes total. Transfer polenta to a paper towel-lined plate as done.

Arrange polenta on plates, spoon kale and mushroom mixture over the top, garnish with cheese and serve.

Per serving (about 11oz/309g-wt.): 230 calories (90 from fat), 10g total fat, 2g saturated fat, 5mg cholesterol, 800mg sodium, 28g total carbohydrate (3g dietary fiber, 3g sugar), 8g protein


Wild Mushrooms over Polenta

  • 3 cups water
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ¾ cuppolenta
  • 4 Tbs. unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1/2 lb wild mushrooms ( I used oyster mushrooms)
  • 2 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/2 cup grated sharp white cheddar cheese
  • 1 ear corn, kernels removed
  • Flaky sea salt and pepper

Bring water and salt to a boil in a small Dutch oven or pan. When the water is boiling stir in polenta and stir for 1 t 2 minutes or until the mixture becomes thick. Reduce heat to low and top polenta with butter. Let polenta simmer for about 45 minutes. (Do not let it boil, rather simmer on the lowest heat possible).

While the polenta is cooking heat a cast iron pan over high heat. Add the olive oil, mushrooms, thyme and pinch of salt and cook for 3 to 5 minutes or until the mushrooms are golden brown and soft.

Fold in the fresh corn and cheese into the polenta then serve bowls of polenta topped with mushrooms and flaky sea salt. Garnish with fresh thyme.


Creamy Polenta and Sauteed Mushrooms from Everything Plant-Based Meal Prep

Creamy Polenta and Sauteed Mushrooms from the Everything Plant-Based Meal Prep by Diane K. Smith is delicious, creamy, quick, and easy to make!

Scroll down and leave a comment on this post to enter a giveaway for a copy of Diane’s book! Of course, you can also order your own copy HERE!

The Everything Plant-Based Meal Prep Cookbook: 200 Easy, Make-Ahead Recipes Featuring Plant-Based Ingredients is Diane K. Smith’s brand new cookbook. It is what the title says, chock-full of delicious plant-based recipes that are healthy but also easy to make. She’s also got a 2-week meal plan in there to make organizing meals a snap.

Diane’s book is beautifully done and all the recipes are delicious but also healthy! I’m so happy to add this to my collection and know I’ll be using many of these recipes more than once.

I really appreciate the way this book is organized. And it has just about everything. Condiments, mains, sides, breakfasts, lunches, appetizers … there are a LOT of recipes here and loads of helpful information. Loaded Tahini-Spiced Potato Skins, Oil-Free Basil Pesto, Beet Hummus, Raspberry scone Muffins are just a few of the recipes. These are pretty representative of the recipes in this informative book. They are super hearty, delicious with loads of flavor, but totally healthy at the same time.

Plant-based is the way to go when it comes to personal health and the health of the planet. This cookbook makes that easy and delicious. I highly recommend The Everything Plant-Based Meal Prep Cookbook to anyone who is living a plant-based lifestyle, whether they’re a beginner or experienced, or for anyone who may be curious about what this lifestyle can look like.


Kale with Mushrooms over Polenta

This dish is a perfect fall meal. The broth complements the polenta really well.

Ingredients

  • FOR THE POLENTA:
  • 1 cup Milk
  • 2 cups Vegetable Stock
  • 1 cup Corn Meal
  • 1 Tablespoon Butter
  • ⅓ cups Parmesan Cheese
  • FOR THE BROTH:
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • ½ cups Onion, Sliced Into Wedges
  • 4 ounces, weight Sliced Crimini Mushrooms
  • 1 bunch Kale
  • 3 cloves Minced Garlic
  • 2 cups Vegetable Stock
  • 2 Tablespoons Chopped Fresh Thyme
  • ½ teaspoons Dried Basil
  • Salt To Taste
  • Pepper To Taste

Preparation

Bring milk and 2 cups of vegetable stock to a boil. Watch carefully and turn down the heat to low immediately once it starts boiling to avoid a big mess on your stove.

Gradually and thoroughly whisk in the corn meal. Cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring often.

Stir in the butter and Parmesan cheese.

For the kale and mushroom broth:

Sauté the onions and mushrooms in the olive oil in a pan until the mushrooms are tender and the onions are just starting to brown. Stir in the kale. Add the garlic and 2 cups of vegetable broth.

Simmer, covered, until kale is of desired tenderness. I simmer my broth for 5 minutes, but I like my kale with a little crunch.


Ingredients

    • 1 cup millet
    • 2 1/2 cups milk
    • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
    • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
    • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
    • 1/2 to 3/4 cup grated Pecorino cheese, plus more for garnish
    • 1/4 cup crumbled Gorgonzola
    • 4 portobello mushrooms, stemmed
    • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    • 2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
    • 2 teaspoons herbes de Provence
    • 1 bunch lacinato (Tuscan) kale, stemmed and coarsely chopped
    • Pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)

In this recipe, starchy potatoes are simply simmered with onions and kale until the kale is tender and flavorful, the onions have melted into the broth, and the potatoes completely disintegrate, thickening the soup into a rich, thick stew. Some really good olive oil drizzled over the top, and you've got a great, filling lunch or dinner. A couple of chipotle chiles add plenty of smoke and just a touch of heat, while lightly charred cauliflower brings a nuttiness that borders on meaty while simultaneously becoming sweeter all flavors that go very well with the neutral potatoes and kale.

With warm weather just around the corner, this earthy, savory dish is a last hurrah for our favorite winter vegetables. It's packed with both nutrients and flavor to tide you over until spring delivers its much-anticipated bounty.