Sausage and Mushroom Ragù with Creamy Polenta

 

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It has been a pretty rainy and gloomy couple of days, but I haven’t let that stop me.  I have been thoroughly relaxing this weekend. Rain hasn’t stopped me, I’ve been enjoying friends’ company, signed up for a kickball league, and explored the underground art scene here in Atlanta (an interesting experience is all I have to say for now).  Then, I realized I haven’t updated in about a week.  I can’t neglect my blog. I couldn’t leave my readers hanging without a weekly recipe.  Like I was saying, it has been a pretty rainy weekend so I wanted to prepare a hearty meal this Monday.  I made a run to the farmers’ market and saw some delicious cremini mushrooms and some grape tomatoes, among other things which will be in a later post. My mind started tinkering, and pasta was not on the brain.  What do you know,  I had polenta at home so I immediately knew it was on and popping on this rainy evening.

This dish is rustic yet smooth. It is hearty and luscious. Plus, I had to open a bottle of red, because this is definitely a meal to enjoy with wine.

Alright, let’s get into this dish.

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The ingredients ready to play.

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Look at how vibrant these tomatoes are. I can not wait until summer.

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Sauteing the mushrooms and onions.

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Creamy polenta ready for ragù.

Sausage and Mushroom Ragù with Creamy Polenta

Ingredients

Ragù

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • A half pound of Italian sausage, casing removed (I used spicy chicken Italian sausage)
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 16 ounces of sliced baby bella and cremini mushrooms
  • 1/3 cup grape tomatoes, diced
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, minced
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes, (drain half of the liquid)
  • 1/3 cup dry red wine
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Creamy Polenta

  • 2.5 cups of chicken broth
  • 1.5 cups of water
  • 1 cup uncooked polenta
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup Italian blend cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method

  1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once pan is hot add the olive oil.  Add sausage to the pan and brown for about 4 minutes. Remove sausage from the pan.
  2. Add in the onions and saute for 3 minutes. Add in the mushrooms and saute mixture for another 3 minutes. Add in the garlic and fresh grape tomatoes and stir constantly for an additional 1 minute.
  3. Add the sausage back to the pan along with the parsley, canned tomatoes, and wine. Season with salt and pepper.  Reduce heat to low, and let the ragù simmer for about 15 to 20 minutes.
  4. While the ragù is simmering, bring the broth, water, and a dash of salt to a boil in a medium saucepan.
  5. Once the broth and water are rapidly boiling, slowly add in the polenta while simultaneously stirring..
  6. Reduce heat to medium, and whisk polenta constantly for 3 to 5 minutes, so there are no lumps.
  7. Let the polenta simmer for 20 minutes, until thick (if not using instant; if you are using instant polenta follow package directions).
  8. Once polenta is thick, stir in heavy cream, butter, cheese, salt, and pepper.
  9. Serve the ragù over the polenta.
  10. Eat and enjoy with a nice bottle of wine and a spinach salad!

As always, leave a comment if you tried the recipe, want to try the recipe, or suggestions!

With peace and love,

The Shy Girl.

 

Quinoa and Lentil Burgers (Vegan)

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These last couple of days, I have taken it upon myself to treat myself a bit too much.  All I can say is today I feel it in my system.  Tonight, I was craving something delicious and healthy. My go to make a salad for dinner was just not what I wanted. I thought about it, and I knew I wanted some type of sandwich.  I really do love sandwiches (I mean it is a complete meal between two pieces of bread or lettuce). Also, I had a ton of produce and dried bulk goods, so I figured let me try and improve my tried and true veggie burger recipe.  Fun fact about me, I was vegetarian for about 7 years, and there are some days that I crave a completely veg/vegan meal, and readers, today was that day.

I took a look in the pantry, I had red quinoa and french lentils. Now this is not a phenomenal or completely new duo to add to a veggie burger, but as someone who has a difficult time parting ways from her black bean burger, I knew it was time to change it up.

Let’s take a closer look at the results of my veggie burger recipe.

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Bulk is the way to go!

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So fresh and so clean, clean. Just give them a rinse.

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Out of the oven and ready to assemble.

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Bon appetit, clean eating never looked so good!

Quinoa and Lentil Burgers

Recipe 

  • 1 cup of quinoa (uncooked and rinsed)
  • 1/2 cup of dried french lentils
  • 3 tablespoons of rolled oats
  • 1 tablespoon ground flax seed
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/4 cup red onion finely diced
  • 3 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose seasoning (I used Badia Complete Seasoning)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1.5 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 clove mined garlic
  • 1/2 tablespoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit and line a baking sheet with silicone mat or parchment paper.
  2. Place the quinoa, lentils, and oats in a small saucepan with 3 cups of water. Bring to a boil and add the red onion, curry, all-purpose seasoning, cumin, paprika, cayenne, minced garlic, and season water with salt.  Reduce heat to low, cover the pot, and cook for about 15 minutes or until the quinoa and lentils are cooked and the water is absorbed. Remove from heat.
  3. While the quinoa and lentils are cooking, add the flax seed and 2 tablespoon of water in a bowl to thicken.
  4. Once the cooked mixture is off of the hear, stir in the flax seed mixture, red pepper flakes, cilantro, salt, pepper, and olive oil.
  5. Form 6 to 8 equal sized patties and place them onto the baking sheet
  6. Bake burgers for 10 to 15 minutes on one side. Then carefully flip the burgers over and bake the other side for an additional 10 to 15 minutes or until the burgers are firm on both sides.
  7. Prepare with your choice of bun and toppings. (I used pita and served with baby spinach, avocado, tomato, cilantro, and mayo)
  8. Eat and enjoy!

As always, let me know if you tried this recipe.  Also, comment if you’d like more vegetarian/vegan recipes posted.

With peace and love,

The Shy Girl.

Chicken Teriyaki and Vegetarian Egg Rolls

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So this week has been amazing!  I ordered my business cards,  I’m hosting a cooking class, and working with a chef this weekend.  Needless to say, I am enjoying where this week is taking me.

On to the food.  Yesterday I was sitting at home, mind you I live about 30 minutes to the nearest edible takeout, and was thinking I could really go for carry out. But, with this commute and the whole saving for a wedding, the budget life gets REAL. That’s when I decided to just make my own rendition of takeout. I had chicken, rice, and egg roll wrappers, I knew I could absolutely make this happen. Chicken teriyaki and egg rolls!

Chicken Teriyaki and Vegetarian Egg Rolls

Chicken Teriyaki

Ingredients 

  • 3 pounds (about 12 pieces) bone-in chicken chicken thighs
  • 1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 3-4 tablespoons of brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon chili paste
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
  • 1 tablespoons oil
  • Sesame seeds for garnish (optional)

Method

  1. In a mixing bowl, combine the soy sauce, vinegar, brown sugar, chili paste, sesame oil, garlic, and ginger.  Whisk until the sugar is dissolved and well combined.
  2. Place mixture and chicken thighs in a large zip lock bag and make sure that the chicken is well coated. Marinate for at least an hour in the fridge.
  3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit
  4. In a large oven safe skillet place on stove and heat vegetable oil on medium heat
  5. When oil is heated place the chicken in the skillet and brown the skin (about 4-5 minutes)
  6. Turn off heat, pour remaining marinade in the skillet with chicken, and place the skillet in the oven.
  7. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the meat is not longer pink and juice runs clear.
  8. Garnish with sesame seeds, and serve with steamed vegetables and cooked rice
  9. Eat and enjoy!

 

Vegetable Egg Rolls (adapted from Emeril Lagasse)

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1/2 head green cabbage julienne
  • 4 carrots julienne
  • 1 red bell pepper julienne
  • 3/4 cup snow peas julienne
  • 2 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 8 egg roll wrappers
  • Small bowl of water for sealing
  • Olive oil
  • Dipping sauce of choice

Method

  1. In a skillet over medium-high heat, heat the sesame and canola oil. Saute cabbage for about 1-2 minutes. Add carrots, pepper, ginger, and snow peas. Cook mixture for 2 more minutes.
  2. In a small bowl combine the cornstarch and soy sauce and whisk until smooth. Stir into vegetable mixture and cook until for 2 more minutes until thickened. Take off of heat and let cool.
  3. Preheat the oven to 450 and prepare a greased baking sheet
  4. Work with one egg roll wrapper at a time on a flat surface and lightly brush edges with water. Place about 2 tablespoons of filling in the top third of the egg roll wrap. Roll like a burrito and brush top lightly with olive oil. Place on a baking sheet and repeat until all of the filling has been used.
  5. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the tops are lightly browned
  6. Serve with sauce of choice, I used a honey sesame dipping sauce.
  7. Eat immediately and enjoy!

Let me know in the comments below if you tried the recipes!

With peace and love,

The Shy Girl