Wednesday, August 29, 2018

August Mealprep - Recipes and ideas


Polenta Crostini with Chick Pea Pesto

Here is the link to the original recipe from Forks over Knives:
We pretty much made this as per the recipe.


  • 2 (16-ounce) packages pre-cooked, tube-style polenta
  • 1 small tomato, cut into ¼-inch dice (1 cup)
  • 1 small wedge of onion, cut into ¼-inch dice (¼ cup)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil


  • 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas (3/4 cup)
  • 1 cup packed fresh basil
  • 1 small clove garlic
  • 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper


1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. To make Polenta Crostini, slice the polenta on the bias into ½-inch thick slices. Arrange the polenta slices on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until light brown around the edges.
3. In a bowl, mix together the tomato, onion, and basil; set aside.
4. To make Chickpea Pesto, combine the chickpeas, basil, garlic, vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste into the bowl of a food processor and pulse into a smooth, spreadable texture.
5. To serve, spread pesto over each polenta slice, then top with tomato mixture. Serve immediately.
The Polenta comes in  1 lb. (16 Oz) rolls and in our neighborhood, you can find it at the new ShopRite at Bruckner Commons.
One lesson we learnt the hard way, baking the polenta slices on wax paper can cause problems. Better to use silicone liners for your baking sheets.

Main dish

Thai Zucchini Noodle Salad with Curry Lime Dressing

We made this with minor changes and it was out of this world. Personally, I like it spicy and I would make it with a whole can of the Thai Curry Paste, but the recipe provides just a hint of spice. It was not too much for anybody.

The Cashew butter came from Shoprite, and so did the Maple Syrup. Chang Li always has several flavors of Thai curry paste in stock, to take your pick.

What You'll Need

1 large carrot
4 medium zucchini
½ cup unsalted raw cashews, roughly chopped
1 Tbsp black sesame seeds
½ cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped


¼ cup nut butter (I used cashew butter, but peanut or almond will work too)
3 Tbsp Braggs Liquid Aminos
1 Tbsp Maple syrup
1 Tbsp fresh ginger, grated
1-2 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbsp lime juice
1 Tbsp Thai curry paste

How to Make It

  1. Spiralize the zucchini and carrot, set aside.
  2. Whisk together all of the ingredients for the dressing until creamy. Taste and adjust if necessary. 
  3. Pour the dressing over the noodles, add all ingredients, and toss to combine thoroughly. 
  4. Serve immediately or chill for future use, 1-2 days in the refrigerator for optimal freshness. 
I can certainly testify that this salad was even better the next day.

Kale with Sweet Potato and Balsamic Vinegar

We boiled a bunch of kale (5 mins) and two Japanese Sweet Potatoes (circa 20 mins) and served it as a side dish to provide some leafy greens and some more starch.


Bonus: Corn on the Cob à la Nero Wolfe

We did not make this but it is worth having this recipe handy, for most people do not know how to properly make corn on the cob. The best recipe comes from a Nero Wolfe mystery novel, Trio for Blunt Instruments.

I simplify it a little, and of course, I leave off the butter and salt altogether.

First, you soak the corn in water and pre-heat the oven at 450F.

Roast them in an oven dish for 45 mins at 450F, and then serve by cutting off the stems just high enough so all the leaves fall loose. This way, you can easily remove the husks, and serve them piping hot one by one.
You have never had corn so good.

It does not need anything, but I like it at times with hot sauce, like Tabasco, or some such.

Interestingly, at the farmers market at Virginia Park (on Westchester Ave by Parkchester Station), they have information sheets on corn on the cob, and there, they tell you also that if you have to store it, to keep the husks on and store it in a plastic bag in the fridge for up to seven days. It stays much fresher that way.

In other words, the folks you see ripping off the husks in the store don't know how to handle corn.

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