Terre Pruitt's Blog

In the realm of health, wellness, fitness, and the like, or whatever inspires me.

  • I teach Nia, yoga and stretch!

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    Stretch: Thurs at 10:30 am

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Posts Tagged ‘baked dinner’

Meat Topped Polenta Rounds

Posted by terrepruitt on November 14, 2015

So I had an idea to make another dinner with polenta but it was kinda like the last thing I made with polenta, but I was hoping it would be different enough I could add it to the list of things to make.  But it actually turned out to be almost exactly like the Turkey And Polenta Bake I had made.  The polenta I buy is in a tube, like a roll of sausage,  But it is hard, not mushy.  I was still thinking I could roll it out so that I could put the rolled out rounds of polenta in muffin pans then fill ’em.  But the polenta did not flatten when I tried to roll it out, it just started breaking up.  So, I ended up just putting the sliced rounds in the bottom of the muffin cups.

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Meat Topped Polenta RoundsDance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, PiYo, Nia Technique

Olive oil
1 leek
9 mushrooms
1 tsp garlic
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cardamom
3/4 tsp cumin
3/4 tsp thyme
1 tube of polenta
1 lb beef
2 cups shredded cheese
(green onions and sour cream)

Chop the leek and slice the mushrooms, then cook the leek for a few minutes in the olive oil over medium heat.  Then add the sliced mushrooms to the pan, add half the garlic and half the salt – reserving the rest for later (when you add the meat).  Continue to cook and stir, then add the rest of the spices.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, PiYo, Nia Technique

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, PiYo, Nia TechniqueWhile the mushrooms and leek are cooking, preheat the oven to 425° F.  Then slice the polenta.  I sliced mine so I would have enough to fit into both my pans.  One isn’t even a muffin pan. Grease the muffin pan.  Then put a polenta round into each muffin well.  Brush some olive oil on each round.  Bake the polenta for 15 to 20 minutes.  Check on them.  I wanted mine to have cooked to where the edges were getting crispy.

Back to the mushrooms.  Cook the mushrooms until they are almost done – you decide how done you want them – then add the meat to the pan.  Cook the meat a bit, then add the rest of the garlic and salt.  Cook the meat until it is pretty much done, but don’t overcook it because it has to be in the oven a bit still.

Once the meat is cooked to your satisfaction, put a tiny bit of cheese on the polenta, then fill the muffin cups (on top of the polenta) with the meat veggie mixture.  Top each meat filled cup with cheese, then bake for 10 to 20 minutes.

After the cheese is melted and everything is cooked to your satisfaction, just pop the meat topped polenta rounds onto a plate to serve.  (I forgot to take a picture of this part.)

You can top them with sour cream and green onions.  I forgot to buy one (sour cream) and I forgot to use the other (green onions).

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This was good, but it was not what I had planned and it was so much like my other dish I almost didn’t post about it.  I liked it better though because the polenta was “crispy” and that is what I had wanted in the other recipe.  This one was also good because it was different flavors than “taco flavor”.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, PiYo, Nia TechniqueMy plan – aside from rolling out the polenta, was to use corn and peppers, but we received two leeks in our produce box and I need to start using the produce right away, so I decided to use the leek instead.  I didn’t think there would be enough room in the muffins cups to hold meat, mushrooms, leek, corn, and peppers.  Perhaps next time I’ll do the corn and peppers sans leeks.

My plan was also to start cooking earlier and take pictures of every thing, ingredients, and each step, but I started late and was on the phone while I was cooking so I almost forgot about the pictures.

So what would you put on your polenta rounds?

 

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I Stuffed An Acorn Squash

Posted by terrepruitt on October 21, 2014

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia at the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Zumba, PiYo, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex City of San Jose, San Jose Group Ex classes, YMCAA few weeks ago I received an acorn squash in the produce box.  You know me, I would have just chopped it up and roasted it.  But I decided to roast it and stuff it.  Just like the pumpkin.  I had a friend visit the day I received it and when I told her that I was going to stuff it she asked me, “So you just eat the inside?”  Nope.  Once you roast it, the outside . . . the skin, cooks up to a tender edible state.  So we just eat it.  We did the same thing with the pumpkin.  It is actually difficult to believe until you do it.  Of course, once you cook it you can always opt NOT to eat the skin, but why not?  It becomes really tender.  So anyway, I used the same recipe as the stuffed pumpkin, so this post is kind of a repeat.  The sugar pumpkin was much larger than the acorn squash.  I wasn’t really sure how much of the mixture from the original recipe I was going to be able to use.  So I cut the recipe in half . . . sort of.

I used the original amount of mushrooms and sausage.  I wasn’t sure how it would cook up.  So I just went with what I knew (seven mushrooms and 1/4 pound of sausage).  At the point when the sausage and mushrooms were done cooking and mixed together, that is when I decided I only needed half of it.  So half of it went into the fridge for another meal before I added any of the other ingredients.  But I used the same amount of herbs . . . a little less cream and one less piece of bread.  The recipe below is the ADJUSTED one.

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Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia at the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Zumba, PiYo, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex City of San Jose, San Jose Group Ex classes, YMCAStuffed Acorn Squash

1 1 pound Acorn Squash
some olive oil
salt
three mushrooms, thinly sliced
1/4 cup chopped onion
3 cloves garlic (minced)
1/8 pound sausage
1/2 tsp rosemary
1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 cup cheese (small chunks)
2 tbsp ricotta
1 tbsp sherry
less than 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
handful of spinach
three slices bread – toasted and cubed

Wash the squash since you are planning on eating the entire thing!  Cut the acorn squash in half.  Scoop out the seeds.  Rub a little oil in the acorn squash and on the outside, salt inside and out, then place the halves – cut side down – on some aluminum foil on a baking sheet.  Bake at 350° F for 45 minutes (check it after 20 minutes to see if you want to flip it over or not – up to you.  It depends on how cooked the edges are getting.) After the 45 minutes you want it to be cooked, but not cooked so much it can’t stand another 45 minutes to an hour in the oven).

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia at the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Zumba, PiYo, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex City of San Jose, San Jose Group Ex classes, YMCAHeat some olive oil in a pan with 1/2 of the chopped onion.  Once the onions are translucent put the mushrooms in the pan and cook them.  Sprinkle with salt.  As they are cooking mix in one clove of garlic.  Cook the sausage, either after the mushrooms are cooked or use a different pan.  If the sausage has a lot of grease drain it off before you add the sausage to the rest of the ingredients.

Mix the mushrooms and the sausage in a bowl.  Add the rosemary and thyme.  Mix in the remaining two cloves of garlic and the onions.  Mix in the cheese.  Mix in the sherry.  Pour a small amount of cream into each acorn half.  Then use more cream to moisten the rest of the ingredients.  As the list of ingredients state I used less than 1/4 cup.  I did not use the full 1/4 cup. Add the spinach and bread cubes last.  Mix it all carefully.

Spoon the mixture into the pumpkin.  I used the spoon to press the mixture down into each half.  I really pressed the ingredients in because I wanted it all to fit.  Then on my half I put most of the left-over-from-the-handful of spinach.

Put the squash in the oven for 45 minutes.  After about 20 minutes check on it.  The squash is done when you can gently pierce its side with a sharp object.  Check to verify the inside is cooked to your liking.  Since the mushrooms and the sausage are already cooked it is just a matter of it heating up, melting the cheese, and letting all the flavors blend.

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I served it with a green salad.  But we have salad pretty much every night.

This was good.  I liked it.  It was not as good as the Sugar Pumpkin, though.  My husband said it was as good, but I don’t think so.  I think the sugar pumpkin had a better flavor.  The pumpkin itself added to the dish.  The acorn squash tasted like squash.  Which is fine, I like squash, but it didn’t help kick this dish out of the park!

As I said, this is exactly like the stuffed pumpkin except it is an acorn squash.  But I did want to document the adjustments.  🙂

I am learning a lot of people don’t like winter squash.  Do you?  What type of winter squash do you like?  Have you ever cooked with a sugar pumpkin (besides making a pie)?

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