Tuesday, June 22, 2010

New Directions and Name Changing

Reasons for the change and purpose of this blog:
1.  I am deciding to put good things and positive energy out in the world rather than constant whining (so I won't even get into my sprained ankle situation with ballet--all you need to know is that it is under control)
2.  I love food.  I love to eat out and I LOVE to cook.  Because of this, my coworker Holly and I chat about new recipes CONSTANTLY.  She told me I should blog about cooking and discoveries.
3.  Dolce Vita, as we all know, is Italian for the "Sweet Life."  And let's face it, I have a pretty sweet life when you don't hear about the drama.

I am trying to cook more naturally and am trying a lot more vegetarian recipes.  The reason being is I have hit a weightloss plateau and I am trying to re-ingnite with more cardio and more physically demanding aspects besides my ballet training.  Tonight I swam 950 yards at the Y with Ryan and came home to cook this quick and easy recipe from Vegetarian Express by Rose Eliot called

Polenta with Artichoke Hearts and Fresh Tomato Sauce

8 oz of quick cooking Polenta*
Salt and Pepper
14 oz can of Artichoke Hearts
4-6 Sprigs of Fresh Parsley
1 oz of Parmesan Cheese

For the Sauce
1 tablespoon of Olive Oil
1 Onion chopped
2 garlic cloves minced (original called for one, but, I like garlic)
1 tablespoon of sun-dried tomato puree (I use tomato paste and worked great)
14 oz can tomatoes in juice
salt and pepper
Red pepper to taste (optional)

1.  First the Sauce:  Heat the olive oil in a small sauce pan and add onions and garlic until SOFT not carmelized (5-7 minutes) then stir in the tomato paste, tomatoes, salt, pepper, and red pepper until it thickens (15 minutes
2.  Boil water for the Polenta and cook according to instructions on the packaging (I used Dell'Alpe Instant Polenta) then stir in artichoke hearts and parsley.
3.  Dish Polenta out into Bowls--add some Parmesan Cheese--and Top with the Tomato Sauce.  Quick and Easy!  And Ryan went back for seconds

*Polenta is basically Italian grits--I will be further investigating this "peasant dish turned gourmet treat"

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