BLISSFULL NUTRITION is a business about food. It is about learning about foods that intimidate you, gaining confidence, preparing delicious, beautiful food and sharing them with your family and friends.
Get some of your friends together and have a cooking class party! Choose a menu that will suit you and your friends!
Boil in a heavy bottomed pot:
4 cups water
When water boils, whisk in:
1 cup polenta
1 tsp salt
After whisking in the polenta and salt, turn down the heat and stir constantly until the polenta is suspended in the water and no longer sinking to the bottom. Cover and cook for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. You may need to add more water to keep it from getting too thick. I usually add about a half cup of hot water to mine. The polenta should be barely simmering.
3 Tbsp butter or olive oil
1/2 cup grated parmesan, fontina or cheddar cheese.
3 cloves of fresh crushed garlic cloves
Taste to adjust seasonings. Be careful, polenta is VERY HOT!!
Keep warm if you will be serving it as a soft polenta, or spread it out onto a rimmed baking dish to cool and cut into pieces to bake or broil later. Polenta sets up nicely when it is cooled, and can be cut, brushed with olive oil and baked for a different texture. There is no need to oil the pan, as it should not stick.
Use polenta like you would with pasta, layer for lasagna, or just eat it as is. It is a great alternative option for a wheat free food.
Cooking your own beans is easy and so much better than canned beans. You can season them your own way, reducing and adding ingredients to your taste and health.
The first thing that you need to know about cooking beans is planning ahead. Beans need to soak, preferably overnight. Don't let this discourage you now. It is EASY!
So after you have purchased your beans, take a minute to sort through them and pitch any that are not beans, (a pebble) and any misshapen beans. Next put your beans into a large bowl with fresh cold water. You want the water to cover the beans with several inches of water, because you see in the morning they will have expanded and you want them to still be submerged.
How many beans should I soak? Because you are making these from scratch and you do need to plan ahead, a little more is better than not enough.
The rule of thumb is 1 Cup Dried Beans = 3 cups cooked beans.
A can of beans is about 1 1/3 cup cooked beans.
Ok, now it's time to cook your beans... The other major thing to know about cooking beans is to not add any salt or vinegar until the end of cooking! This will slow your cooking time way down. On average a pot of beans should take 1 to 2 hours.
You will want to rinse your soaked beans and add fresh water for cooking. Place the beans and fresh water in a large heavy stock pot on the stove on medium high heat. I always add a bay leaf and a 1 inch piece of Kombu seaweed. These help with digestion. Reduce the heat to low when beans start to simmer. Cover.
At this point you could add diced onions, or other veggies. If you are going to use soft veggies, remember that they are going to cook for a while. Onions and Garlic are nice for flavor and are ok if they melt into the beans. Remember to keeps the beans under the liquid, add more hot water if they are expanding past the water.
Check the beans at one hour to see if they are done, and then at 15 minute intervals. They are done when you can squish them onto the roof of your mouth and they are not crunchy,(underdone) or mushy(overdone). When they are almost done you can add herbs(thyme, oregano, basil...) and spices(cumin, cayenne, chili powder, garlic powder...). If you are going to add fresh herbs add them at the very end, along with the salt.
If you are not going to eat your beans right away, let them cool in their liquids and store in the refrigerator for 3-4 days or freeze for 1 month.
- ▼ 2011 (14)