Now is probably a good time to tell you two very important things:
(1) I accidentally used coriander instead of cardamom in yesterday’s buckwheat granola recipe. I guess that’s what you get when you have eight unlabeled baggies of bulk spices hanging out in your pantry. So…technically I haven’t tasted the cardamom granola but the coriander-laced version is still good, which makes me think the cardamom version will be AMAZING. And yes, this isn’t the first time I’ve done that.
(2) I am going to be speaking at the Healthy Living Summit in August!
But not just speaking…moderating a panel to help bloggers get involved in their local community!
For those of you unfamiliar, Healthy Living Summit is a weekend conference for bloggers and readers interested in healthy living, focusing on topics like nutrition, exercise, social media, blogging ethics and general wellness. It’s a fun weekend of activities, breakout sessions and speeches, and somehow, I made the agenda. Crazy talk, I know.
Anyways, there is this recipe contest going on for the summit using Wild Harvest Organic products, and well…between cleaning out my pantry and having lots of their products on hand, I decided to give it a shot. Who knows? If someone is courageous enough to let me speak at a conference, then maybe they’ll be courageous to let me win the contest too? Let’s hope.
First things first: polenta.
Cook one cup of quick-cooking cornmeal in four cups of water until it comes to a boil and starts to thicken. Then comes the good stuff: 1/2 stick of butter, garlic powder and salt, to taste. Pour half the polenta in a greased pie pan or oven-safe skillet and lick the rest of the polenta from the pot.
In a saucepan over medium heat, saute 1/2 diced onion in olive oil until clear and translucent. Add 1 can of drained black beans, minced garlic and about 1 teaspoon each cumin, cayenne pepper and paprika. Season with salt + pepper, and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add as much spinach as you can fit into the pan and let it cook down, stirring occasionally.
Spread 3/4 of the veggie mixture over the layer of polenta.
Top it with the remaining polenta.
Now, the best part.
Pour enough of the mango peach salsa to cover the polenta pie, top with remaining 1/4 of the veggie mixture and sprinkle feta cheese liberally (I repeat, liberally) over the top. Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes or until top is golden brown. Resist the urge to devour it all.
This is a recipe that, yet again, does double duty: a recipe contest entry and pantry cleanout in one. Cornmeal, black beans, butter and feta cheese no longer inhabit my kitchen, leaving me time to get started on my PowerPoint panel presentation. Should I start out my very first conference speaking engagement with a song & dance number or a rousing game of heads-up 7-up?
P.S. This blogging consecutive days thing is hard. I feel like I have nothing funny to say.
P.P.S. I take that back. Jessica Simpson: wear a scarf.