Dinner Favorites · Vegetables / Side Dishes

Vegetable Stew with White Cheddar Polenta

I’m confused……..baffled…….flummoxed…… and more that a little bit discombobulated. 

I am well aware of the fact that I have changed over the last four weeks. I’m happier than I’ve been in years, focusing on all the positive, letting go of the negative (and getting rid of negative people)… and what’s bothering me is the lengths at which people are going to express their discontent with my choices. I know that I can only control how I react to things that are said to me, but hey, I have feelings too.

I suppose that the majority of them are perplexed that I am taking charge of my life so firmly. This change was a long time coming – in fact, it started when I was in Italy. I distinctly remember the promises I made to myself – what I would do differently, how to go about achieving what I wanted, and taking the necessary steps to move forward.

And I guess it all comes down to the fact that it isn’t that these people don’t want me to be happy, it’s that they want me to continue to be the same way I used to be. Which isn’t possible. Times change. People change.

Make no mistake – I don’t feel guilty at all. In fact, even though so many changes have taken place recently, it is simply serving to energize me even further. Because even if everything doesn’t work out the way I want it to, I will be a better person in the end.

And that makes me a happy person indeed 🙂


One year ago: Pumpkin Yogurt Spice Bread and Banana Oatmeal Breakfast Bars

Vegetable Stew with White Cheddar Polenta – adapted from food and wine

Note: I found this dish works best if you cook the vegetables one at a time until they are almost done, then combine everything and cook it all together for a few minutes at the end.

10 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 large eggplant (about 1 3/4 pounds), cut into 1/2 ” cubes
3 zucchini, cut into 1/2″ cubes
2 red/orange bell peppers, cut into strips
1 cup canned crushed tomatoes in thick puree
1 can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
Large handful chopped fresh parsley
Large handful chopped fresh basil leaves
Fresh-ground black pepper
4 1/2 cups water
1 1/3 cups coarse or medium cornmeal
3 tbs. butter
2 cups grated white cheddar cheese
In a large nonstick frying pan, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over moderate heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion starts to brown, about 5 minutes. Remove and set aside. Heat 6 tablespoons of the oil in the same pan over moderately high heat. Add the eggplant and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 10 minutes. Remove from the pan and set aside. Repeat the process with the zucchini, and peppers.
Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, bring the water to a boil. Add the cornmeal in a slow stream, whisking constantly. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon, until the polenta is thick, about 20 minutes. Stir in the butter, and then the cheese. Serve the hot polenta topped with the vegetables.

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