Did everyone else get to enjoy beautiful weather today? Vermont was certainly graced with some beautiful sun and warm temperatures! Given the time of the year it is I should be crying that it was nearly 40*. Lately all I've been wanting is snow, snow, snow. We have none! But since beautiful sunshine came along with the warmth, there was no way I could complain.
I should have known it would end up being a beautiful day after seeing the subliminal message in this ridiculous bowl of banana cream pie breakfast:
Anyone else see the heart?!Not intentional.
This craziness involved the usual whipped banana bowl of grains, topped with more banana, coconut, walnuts, raisins, and whet germ. The chia-seed yogurt icing had some mashed banana, too! And almond butter and a maraschino cherry, just for good measure, of course.
I thought I'd died and gone to heaven after eating this.
I grabbed the buffalo turkey wrap out of the fridge that I'd made for lunch last night, an orange, a carrot, and a Z Bar and made my way to school for classes.
After my first one I learned of two amazing facts: 1. Int. to C.J. was cancelled, and 2. Photo would just be a "work day" if we so chose! Luckily I learned both these things in e-mails, so decided to do my own photo class by driving round Rutland and finding sketchy places to take photos. Strangely, I've never just walked around downtown with my camera with the intent to take photos. I learned that sometimes you overlook some of the neatest places!
I've got quite a few photos to go through to keep me busy tonight, tomorrow, and the next day! Hopefully I got one or two good ones.
While I was in town, I took advantage of the time to explore our co-op! I've never actually been in there - another shocker, right? I told myself I wouldn't buy much. And I did great until I got to the bulk section, where everything...uh...sort of added up. There's so many fun things, and still feel like I hardly got as much as I wanted! haha. Finds included goji berries, other dried fruits and nuts, almond "mozzarella," oikos, applegate farms turkey hot dogs, some bars, and some cookies! What I really wanted to find was coconut butter, but no such luck. My other stop was my favorite little organic deli/cafe, the Back Home Again. I about lived there all summer long, until I started school. (Then "Jess's Budgeting Act" cut-off so much buying of meals, and encouraged the making & packing of meals. It's ridiculous how much I spent a week buying lunches rather than packing my own!)They make amazing breads, and I needed some Spelt bread. They also sell yerba mate and mate energy bars, which are amazing. So I picked some of those up as well. Bliss.
By the time I was done spending money and taking pictures, it was around 1:45 and I had only eaten all my snacks. They held me over so luckily I wasn't so tempted by any of the delicious wraps and sandwiches at the BHA and decided I'd just enjoy my wrap grilled once I got home!
Look familiar? It hasn't gotten old...but I'm almost out of those meatballs! I do miss hummus and veggie wraps though, so it's all good :)
Dinner was to incorporate one of my interesting co-op finds!
I had planned on just getting some really good marinated mozzarella when I went grocery shopping this weekend (I am picky about my mozzarella. Go big or go home. No skim over here.) but was quite fascinated when I saw this! Never even heard of it before, so of course I had to give it a try. I'm not lactose intolerant, vegan, or anything requiring me to avoid real cheese, but I was quite intrigued. And it's quite good! But we'll get to that.
On the agenda tonight was a Sausage Polenta Bake. I'd been tossing ideas around in my head all morning, and initially wanted to do sausage-apple, but wasn't sure what veggies I had that would go well with that.
So, for 1-2 servings (my mom and I shared it but each had another sausage & sauce on the side) I prepared the bottom polenta layer with:
1 Pesto-Chicken Bilinski Farms Chicken sausage, diced
1/3 c. polenta/corn grits
1 c. water
diced scallions, red pepper, and yellow pepper.
garlic salt, pepper, and basil
I just prepared the polenta as usual and when it was beginning to pull from the sides I added everything in. Poured and spread into a mini casserole dish, and baked at 400* for 20m.
Then I decided on a middle veggie layer:
baby spinach - 1 c.?
broccoli crown, chopped
1/4 c. cream of broccoli soup
salt, pepper to taste
Sauteed in a pan until cooked down & soup about evaporated. By this time your polenta should be about done, so go ahead and put this layer on top.
Top with some sort of marinara/tomato-based sauce on top, and then some mozzarella shreds. (or, in my case, almond mozzarella)
I initially thought I was going to have to make my own "sauce" with diced tomatoes and seasonings like I usually do, but my mom actually had a pot of spaghetti sauce on for some pasta and sausages she was making, so I just stoled some of that. Convenient!
Pop back in the oven until your cheese is melted, and dig in! (Caution: Contents Hot)
Basic, but good :) I still like my sausage-apple polenta casserole idea, though. Soon!
Now, however, it is time for dessert round 2 (round 1 was a mate bar!): chia seed pumpkin pudding!
If you have a local co-op, what's your favorite find there?
Or, if you're grocery shopping, do you end up trying way more new things than you went there with the intention of purchasing?
I know I'm guilty of having a grocery shopping new-foods problem!