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The third Thanksgiving

…Of the year is finally over and done and now we can come out from hiding and admit our tree has been up since over a week ago.


I am already regretting it just a little bit because P is OBSESSED with all things Christmas and I’m hoping there won’t be a burnout effect before December even arrives!  Ha.  We have already gone to the library for a few different rounds of holiday books because our two options at home have long since reached their reading saturation point for mama and dada (he wouldn’t object to the same stories back to back to back to back…you get the point).


V isn’t as smitten with dancing Santa as P, hahaha.


Getting festive up in heeeeya.


So about this little stuff your face holiday…

We went to my parents’ house for a small gathering – just us and my uncle.  It didn’t feel as weird as I thought it might without my grandpa, but maybe that’s because I had mentally planned for a non to-do kind of holiday.  It was our THIRD after all (who else is so lucky to celebrate that many times?).


I started the morning with a jar of almond fluff.  Then added steamed soy milk, sun butter, and a few home-made candied walnuts (for the salad I brought to Thanksgiving).

That “almond fluff” above is from the home-made almond creamer I made.  It’s basically nut pulp that I didn’t really squeeze all the way dry.  I thought I’d try it out as an alternative to oatmeal one morning since it’s kinda similar in texture but offers a little more nutrient density in the protein and fat department.  It was okay, but not something I’d make an extra effort to make again.  A nice use for the by product of almond milk making though.


I just got a brainstorm for this week…stirring some protein powder into oatmeal.  Crock pot oatmeal makes life so easy in the am.  But then again, so does having an endless supply of quick breads in the freezer…


We got to the East Bay in the morning so P could play with grandma and grandpa and let off some steam before zzzz-ing.  Nap time = app time, woohoo. Above spread included home-made sesame free hummus (sun dried tomato > spinach artichoke in my opinion) which my mom was SO awesome to make.  Hurray!  That goat brie from TJs is fantastic too by the way.  Might have to get that next time I go shopping for al fresco snickety snackities.


Feast mode.


The vinaigrette for the salad was a simple olive oil, lemon and agave combo.  I used the last of the extra virgin olive oil when I was making the roasted veggies so I used a fancy oil from Dry Creek.  The salad also had candied walnuts, apricot stilton and dried cranberries.  I didn’t have any that day, but I did have leftovers the next day for lunch and was pretty pleased with how awesome it was.  I love spinach salads though, so as long as they have some oil based dressing, nuts/seeds, and something sweet I am in.  Fancy cheese is just the icing on the cake.  :)


Taters mashed with veg broth, walnut cranberry baguette, gravy gravy, and sooooo much other yums.  I didn’t take pics of everything…I’m not sure why, I guess I was just distracted with this pretty face.


Noshing on some celery. NBD.


I went back for seconds and thirds of roasted veggies because they are my faaaaaavorite of all the Thanksgiving foods (and Fall/Winter food in general).


P polished off everything on this plate minus the mashed potatoes (he has no interest) and then had seconds of turkey (from my plate).  The placemat and plate are from my childhood and my parents still have them.  Nostalgia to the max.  He thinks they’re super cool so it’s even more special.


I happily gave up some of my turkey because PIEEEEEEEEE!!!!

My mom’s pecan chocolate pie is my absolute 100% reason for dessert-ing in life, so I embraced the nature of the holiday and had not one but two sizable slices.  All in the name of seize the day gluttony.


I felt a little uncomfortable after but it wasn’t too bad.  So.  Worth.  It.


The next morning I went on a frigid run that ended up being super short because I didn’t bring appropriate running gear to my parents’ house and I am a pansy.  My dad made us decaf espressos which we added steamed almond milk to and then ate with leftovers.  I had two slices of walnut cranberry bread with Earth Balance.  I skipped both this bread and the stuffing the night before because neither were gluten free and there were other carbs that interested me more (potatoes and root veggies, namely).  But the next day I decided the bread looked too good to pass up.  Sourdough doesn’t upset my gut that much when eaten without other fodmaps, and I enjoyed this breakfast very much with only mild repercussions.  Again, it’s all about embracing the holiday and realizing sometimes there’s an occasion to treat yourself and that’s that.

True to tradition, we hit up the Boy Scouts’ Christmas tree lot right after breakfast to get my parents’ tree.  My little elf was beside himself with glee and went around “cutting” various things with his “saw” too.  Nothing unusual about that.

I didn’t take a photo of lunch but it was leftovers (spinach salad) and then after P woke up from his nap we hit the road back to Davis.


That’s what you call the empty fridge scramble.  Salmon patty with greens and leftover brussels sprouts.  P had an even more bizarre meal of frozen mixed veggies, canned chickpeas, and the pancetta from my brussels sprouts dish (I didn’t want it).  I don’t recall what Kyle had, but I know it was equally random.  Maybe a burger?  It was a freezer something for sure.


Guess whose crib got lowered this weekend?  Too soon little one, too soon.


You’d think I would be ready to move on after all that Thanksgiving fare, but….you’d be wrong.


I planned a little roasted veggie hash into the weekly menu so I would have extras for the week but then I went really overboard at the store and…as you can see…I will DEFINITELY have extras for the week.


I turkey and gravy home from my parents’ and I still have leftover mashed potatoes from Friendsgiving so I can basically make mini Thanksgivings all week now.

Hope you all had good ones too.  I can’t help but give a shout out to all the nurses and medical personnel who worked the holiday.  You guys are the $hit.

The weekly menu

I’ll keep this short and sweet since the real eating is going down tomorrow.  We had our second Thanksgiving this past weekend and it just made me even more appreciative of the life we have here in Davis.  Our friends are fun and the kiddie chaos was all kinds of cute.  Plus, the food was legit.


Here’s my bestie the hostess. [My misspelling just autocorrected that to hottest.  Ha]

You can only see half of the food in the above photo but here’s my plate…


Good stuff!  Our friends are (beyond words) amazing with their conscientiousness when it comes to cooking with allergens and I was fielding texts with questions and labels and recipes all day but the result was a meal I felt safe feeding my big boy.  Seen above: Sweet potato casserole with the sweetest oat crumble topping, spaghetti squash, roasted beets, carrots, kale salad, gluten free stuffing, and turkey.  I missed the cranberry chutney and a broccoli slaw salad, among other things, but left full and happy nonetheless.


She wants in.


I was in charge of drinks (wine and bubbles please!) and mashed potatoes.  And then I made roasted carrots too because I figured you can’t have too many veggies and the carrots looked so pretty when I was doing the shopping.


How did I not take a final photo of them?  I guess it’s because we were running out the door (and they were still hot!).  I coated them in with maple syrup, olive oil, tangerine juice, thyme, salt and pepper.

It was a way fun night, and totally worth pushing V to the edge (and beyond) in terms of bedtime shenanigans.

Going backwards, here’s Saturday’s food…


For breakfast I had banana bread muffins (Elana’s recipe again) with sun butter on top.


Full disclosure, I had double the amount of sun butter shown because I ate all of what you see with the first muffin and couldn’t leave the second hanging in butter-less sadness.

Meanwhile Kyle and P were at swimming, so I relaxed (ha!!!!) with V until they got home, and then we all went to market together.  I practiced self control and got neither Starbucks nor Flour Chyld treats while out.  Big steps.


Came home and made this beauty.


With home-made crackers because I am back on that wagon.


Dinner was the classic trio that the whole family devours – broccoli, wild rice, and salmon with Asian flavors.  As you can see above, P had apple pie waiting for him at the end of his meal because Thanksgiving is a never ending season in our world.


I baked this fatty piece of salmon in a tamari, ginger, miso, honey glaze which provided leftovers for my week day lunches and another dinner for P later.


Kyle likes the charred bits.


We had pie and ice cream for dessert later too.  I had an extra scoop of ice cream after this was gone.  Vanilla seems boring, but it’s actually really frickin good.

IMG_1558The next morning I got a more realistic portion of sun butter the first time around…and yet I STILL ended up going back to the jar for a little extra.  Those are the last of the raspberry muffins btw.

Sunday’s lunch was kale salad, natch.  And then dinner was Friendsgiving (see above) potluck style.  This was the second year we did it (last year I came down with a stomach bug the day before) and it was so so much fun.  Our group was a bit smaller this year with ten families of P’s friends (last year it was like 14 or 15).  We were the first to leave (womp womp), because V has an earlier bedtime than the toddlers so we took dessert to go.  I didn’t take a pic but there were so many delicious options.  Cake balls and a yule log and chocolate cheesecake…oh my!


This island is usually pristine with a fruit basket and nothing else and now look!  Holy art projects!


A fun surprise package from Jamba Juice!!  After blogging about their almond milk based smoothies they sent me this adorable little kit to make my own!  And a gift card!!  What a fantastic company. :)  And holy crap you can order online so it’s ready to go!!!  Moms will appreciate this more than the average person I think.  I am STOKED.

I already have a nut milk bag but you can never have too many (when you’re a hippie…).  But in all seriousness, if you have a kid with allergies and make your own nut/seed milk, then you should definitely have a few to keep them separate to avoid contamination.  We have ones I use for hemp milk, but now this is the reserved almond milk one.


I got the almonds soaking right away so I could enjoy some fresh milk the next day.  [Yes I already had almond milk and soy milk in the fridge but home-made is in it’s own league of yum.]

Stay tuned for this…




Back to dinner for now.  On Monday night I wanted something lightish because oof Thanksgiving.


I roasted acorn squash rubbed in olive oil and salt and thanks to some googling discovered the skin was edible, but then when I went to eat it that night it was super hard and gross.  The flavor of the flesh was SO GOOD but I doubt I’ll make it again now over a squash like delicata or kobacha with edible skin.


Anyway, the squash was great, even though I had to separate the flesh from the skin as I ate it.  P loved it too but of course he did, it’s browned and caramelized sweet goodness.  The salad was a simple one with baby kale, pom arils, and goat cheese.  Pattycakes’ portion was cheese-less and dressing-less (ours had an apple cider vinegar/olive oil combination).


Unexpected review.  I didn’t love this.

Maybe this is a weird thing to say but I think coconut butter (or coconut manna, as it’s sometimes called) makes me slightly nauseated.  ????  Anyone else experience this?  I have no such reactions to coconut oil, obviously, since I use it and eat it daily, but the few times I’ve had it’s butter form kinda left me feeling queasy.


I couldn’t finish these!  I had pound plus chocolate instead.  I’ll try again later.


Breakfast on Tuesday was more of the same but slightly different.  Muffins (chocolate coconut flour and banana almond flour) from the freezer stash that I’m attempting to make a dent in (before making more fresh baked goods even though I want to).  Topped with sun butter galore.


I actually made this almond milk creamer first, but whatever, the photos loaded out of order, c’est la vie.

I always feed P and V breakfast first, while I nurse my (first) cup of decaf.  He takes forever to eat, whereas she is basically ready for a nap the second her meal is done.

So with these fresh soaked almonds, I drained the water, added them to my vitamix with one cup of warm water, and blended until smooth.  Then I added another one cup and blended again with a splash of maple syrup and salt.


I reserved the pulp from the nut milk bag in the mason jar, after draining the liquid through the nut milk bag.  I wanted a thick creamer type of milk for my coffee and I got exactly that.  Mmmm…beautiful.


Tuesday’s dinner was not an easy one to prepare despite it being a super basic meal.


Which is due to this sick babe.


I used the ring sling for the first time since V’s been a tiny thing in order to get some stuff done in the kitchen.

There’s nothing quite like handling raw chicken in a safe way with a kid on you.  Awkward.


This recipe came from a pinterest recipe I saw that used BBQ sauce and orange marmalade in the crock pot to create a sticky orange chicken kind of dish.  I didn’t have orange marmalade, but I did have kumquat jam that I made last year.


So I used that.  With BBQ sauce.  And then thickened it with arrowroot (because I haven’t been having success with cornstarch lately).


The arrowroot worked great and then I added broccoli at the last minute to steam.


Served over white rice.  Perf!  P liked it all too.  And for the first time ever, I got the portions EXACTLY right!  Everyone was full and happy and there weren’t any leftovers which is great because I am trying to so hard to clean out the fridge before (our third!) Thanksgiving.

Speaking of leftovers…


This was my bowl for Wednesday’s dinner.

Kyle had random other things and P did too.  All in the name of fridge cleaning.  Success!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.  :)

Hippie hygiene musings

IMG_0462A few years ago I switched from face lotion to plain old oil.  I have used coconut, jojoba, and kukui (and maybe others I can’t recall).  I have always loved Caribbean Sol’s products, although you can get coconut oil everywhere these days.  Then my MD gave me crap (rightfully so) for not using something with spf.  So now I use oils in winter and something with spf the rest of the year when I’m actually in the sun for longer than parking lot walks.

I previously blogged about block island’s sunscreen because it’s totally awesome.  And now they are diversifying their line because they have a night cream!  And a facial cleanser!  I don’t use night cream, so this is my new every day face lotion (which the label says is cool).  At least for winter when you don’t need UV protection from the sun.  It’s made with good stuff – no sketchy crap for my face thankyouverymuch.

Recently I thought about making my own all natural skin/hair care products.  Thoughts?  Kyle thinks it’s a way hippie move and isn’t sure he wants to be lathering up with my home-made concoctions but the Thrive catalog I got last week has super simple “recipes” for shampoos and conditioners with stuff I basically already have on hand.

Who is into the essential oil scene?  I know it’s way popular right now, but if I were to invest in a few, which would be the ones to start out with?  Lavender?  Peppermint?  Rosemary?  I’m thinking a little goes a long way, but they are still kinda pricey.

Incidentally I burned my arm (badly) last week and was googling natural remedies and essential oils were all up in those.  I ended up making a vinegar/water soak and it soothed it quite nicely.  I’m starting to think you can solve all the world’s problems with either vinegar or baking soda.  No joke, I use them for every single purpose these days – cleaning and beyond.  Those combined with Dr. Bronner’s castile soap is essentially my entire cleaning repertoire.  Which is why I think I could do my own hygiene thing!?

Anyway, those are my hippie musings for today.

BTW, most of these are still the same products I use today.  EO and Dr. Bronner’s are definitely my favorite brands.  You can totally get them on Thrive for $ less than elsewhere.

The weekly menu

Hey guess what is finally gone?


YUP.  I ate an entire tin of bark (by myself) in under a week.  I’m guessing it was 4+ pounds of chocolate.  Should I be proud of this or mortified?  The worst part is that I actually considered going back to WF and getting another when this one was donezo.  WTF is wrong with me?  I need to only order chocolate from Thrive so I can keep myself in check.  Oh, and while we are on the topic of my habits that I should probably get a hold on asap…my 3 pm slump.  Um, it’s a thing.  A thing I used to experience when I worked day shift and now it’s somehow turned into a really really big problem in the last two weeks.  It started with an innocent trip to Target (ha! as if that’s a thing) where I got a decaf soy misto to enjoy while shopping with my littles.  It was such a delightful treat that I did it again the next day and the next and the next and shiiiiiiiiit I have a problem.  Now, please recognize these weren’t all Target trips.  I’m not THAT much of a mess.  But I did manage to find a way to get to a coffee place of some kind (or make some at home) in that time slot for way too many days in a row.  And now it’s a habit.  Halp.


Fact: carbs are better than not carbs.  Remember when I got preggo with P and wanted eggs for every breakfast every day over and over.  That was a 2 year long phase that I didn’t deviate from because the idea of anything besides eggs for breakfast was SO not appealing.  And now it’s the reverse again. It’s like my body had a weird little moment (which I went along with) but now it has returned to it’s former (pre-children) desires.  I do find myself bookmarking veg recipes way more now and including grains in my daily kale salad lunches (yup, that’s still going strong).  So maybe the pregnancy and birth of V reset my body or something.  Or maybe my body just knows what it needs and back then it needed eggs and now it needs carbs.  Whatever, I’m happy to oblige with whatever it wants as long as it tastes good.  [And no I’m definitely not preggo again]


Breakfasts this week (slash always since V was born) are whatever carb I’ve got on hand with as much nut/seed butter as seems appropriate.  Appropriate is a word I use loosely since my version is probably not your version.  I think at least 50% of each bite should be creamy oozy buttery goodness so if that means 1/3 cup of almond butter to tart the day then that’s what it means.  1/2 cup is okay too.


Randomly I craved Earth Balance on my banana buckwheat waffles this weekend.  That’s Gwyneth’s recipe (AGAIN – I know!) which I doubled so that I’d have extra for me and P on the busy week day mornings.


I got them mostly all to myself because P was sick (as in vomiting) and therefore obviously didn’t have an appetite on Monday.  Poor kiddo.  He was better (and ready for waffles) by Tuesday though. I gave him the last bit on Wednesday because I’m generous.  Just kidding, it’s because I made these.


I also baked muffins over the weekend.  Because we needed more baked goods (that was sarcasm because our freezer has at least enough quick bread and muffins to last through the rest of the year).


I used the sweet potato butternut squash casserole leftovers to make Gwyneth’s sweet potato and five spice muffins.  This was my first time using Chinese five spice and I didn’t know what to think.  Was it going to be a sweet muffin?  A savory muffin?  Either way I thought it was a pretty clever use for the last of the casserole.  I even used the walnuts because why not?

I was nervous putting a whopping 1 1/2 TABLESPOONS of Chinese 5 spice in the recipe but it was the perfect amount so I’m glad I didn’t chicken out and use less.  Gwyneth be knowing.


It made 13 muffins instead of 12 which is probably due to the fact that I used more puree than called for (because I didn’t know how much the one sweet potato in the recipe should yield and was guessing using the casserole mash instead).


It was a sweetish muffin but could easy accompany a soup or salad for lunch and not be weird.  I guess I’d liken it to cornbread in that way.  I liked them plain, but preferred them with either Earth Balance or a nut/seed butter on top.


P liked them too.  I didn’t think he’d show interest, but obviously I was wrong because as soon as I served myself one he decided he wanted in.

Moving on to dinners.  Sidetracked much?!


Sunday night was the last of the Thanks-mas fare.  Just in time for Friends-giving this weekend!  The holidays are full steam ahead until Jan and I’m already sick of turkey and the fixins.  Root veggies will never get old though.  Brussels for life!


This came with my last order!  Thrive Market is growing and I like it.  Have you joined?


Methinks I was holding a wiggly babe when I took this.


Dried figs from Thrive too.  P adores dried figs.  He eats them plain, but they are also a major component of the bars I make for him.


Kyle conceptualized this dish!  When I asked him last week what he wanted on the menu next week he actually requested a roasted butternut squash dish and then added figs and goat cheese to the idea.  From there I just turned it into a meal with quinoa and parsley.  Boom!


My goodness it was goodness.


I made P his own dish first before adding the cheese but I should have just added the cheese to our individual bowls instead because of course he wanted seconds of the squash and it was already allergen-ified.  I had extra quinoa though, which satisfied him well enough.


In place of dried figs, roasted (or raw?) grapes would be good too.  Or any dried fruit I guess.


We enjoyed the lasagna soup leftovers on Monday, although by then they weren’t very soup-y.


The noodles were slightly hardened but not bad for a GF pasta eaten four days after it’s initial cooking!  Not mushy in the least.  As you can see, they soaked up all the extra saucy sauce during the fridge time.


Mmmm…I already reordered the tinkyada noodles from Thrive so this will be on the menu again soon.


My sis came on Tuesday and since we had swimming at night (a make up for being out of town on Saturday) I knew dinner better be crockpot action.


New toy!


This gem has been on my WANT LUST OMG PUHLEASE gift list for at least 1.5 years and each holiday I hope hope hope I get it.  And this year, Kyle’s parents totally surprised me by getting it for me!?!?  I think I mentioned it to them in passing like once.  And Kyle wasn’t even in on it, so he’s not the mastermind behind it.  It’s ALL my in laws.  So freakin lucky.


I love it already. LOOOOVE it.  You can brown/sauté AND slow cook AND steam in it!  Crazy stuff.  Now all those crock pot recipes that I have dismissed because they involve browning meat or sautéing onions first, don’t have to get the boot!


For the enchilada soup, I browned five chicken thighs in olive oil then switched it to slow cook and poured in two pouches of frontera enchilada sauce (got them from Thrive), a couple of cups of vegetable broth, and couple of cups of frozen corn.  After 5 hours of slow cooking on low I shredded the chicken and called it a day.


Served with lots of tortilla chips.  My sis asked for the recipe so I take that as a good sign.  Also P ate it happily (sauce and all!!!!).  Huge steps with new and different flavor profiles.  He also had quinoa with his to soak up the enchilada sauce (makes it easier to eat plus he doesn’t like soups), but naturally the chips were the highlight of the meal for him.


First time for making a frittata.  I burned my arm on the handle while serving it but aside from that the whole experience was fun.


It’s a pretty easy process.  I loosely based my recipe on this one, but instead of feta cheese I made tofu “cheese”.  Gena’s tofu feta has been a favorite so I went with a lazy (quick?) version of that.  In other words, I scrambled half a block of organic firm tofu in a pan with olive oil, miso paste, and lemon juice.


Once the tofu was cooked a bit, I added the kale and put the lid on until it wilted.  Then I tossed them together and added sliced sausage (four links of organic spicy Italian chicken sausage).  While they browned, I beat 7 eggs with 1/3 cup soy milk and poured it into the pan.


After a mere minute on the stovetop I transferred the pan to the oven where it was ready at 400 degrees F waiting.


20 minutes and boom!


P liked it too – spicy sausage and all!  As you can tell by the exclamation point, his adventurous eating has me so thrilled. And a little surprised.  But I won’t question it.


I went back to the crock pot for some fun on Thursday making this chicken and corn chowder.


I skipped the onion and dairy (obvs) but otherwise went for it – bacon and all.  In lieu of the butter/milk/half and half I made a cornstarch slurry with soy milk.


It didn’t get as creamy as Chungah’s recipe but that’s on account of the de-diary-ification.  I thought the cornstarch would thicken it up a bit more, but it didn’t seem to do anything really.  Oh well.  Maybe next time (or if I had the energy this time) I’d pull out a bunch of the potato chunks and puree them and then add them back in.  That would probably be an option that would work without adding extra ingredients.


Here’s Pacman’s portion.  He ate the whole thing (and then more of something else – I think raisins).  I’m not sure he loved it but he’s basically learned that he doesn’t have a choice and so he at least finishes the portion he’s served even if he doesn’t want more requests something different after it’s done.


Cheater lunch because it’s easy.


I should probably save this for another post (this one is SO long already) but here’s a sneak peak of a breakfast treat that I’m working on perfecting.  As I said earlier, I want sweet things in the morning.  Warm sweet things to be specific.  But sweet things are mostly carb-y things that don’t hold me over as long.  I think I need more protein than what gobs of sunflower seed butter can provide.  Vega just sent me this new sport performance protein.  So far I love it…since I work out first thing every morning before the break of dawn and run myself ragged all day long, I’m thinking this could be a helpful addition to my diet.  I’ll get back to you on it.


Aaaaand Friday.  Whew.  By Friday I was pooped.  Who isn’t right?  I had no meal scheduled for the day (I had been semi-planning on doing all of our grocery shopping on Thursday but then I didn’t have the opportunity), so I took pork loin cutlets out of the freezer to thaw overnight.  To pair with it, I basically just looked at what I had on hand.  Fig spread?  Check.  Balsamic vinegar?  Check.  Thyme?  Check!  So the sauce was taken care of.


In searching the pantry, I figured polenta seemed a good thing to pair it with.


So that’s what I did.


Not bad!  Kyle was a big fan.  P had the last of the leftover lasagna instead (the portion was too small for anyone else and I’m trying to clean the fridge out before Thanksgiving fills it back up again).  I guess this is why it’s good to have a decent supply of food in the freezer.  And a well stocked pantry.  Costco and Thrive are basically where I do my shopping now with TJs for whatever organic produce I can’t get at Costco.  It’s helped in slashing our grocery bill big time, which is crucial because holy moly does my little girl eat!  She’s obviously got the family genetic inclination to grub.  The amount of bananas we are going through on a weekly basis right now is kinda unbelievable and she’s only 8 months old!  I can’t even imagine what is in store for us…


Here’s to the weekend!  We have swimming and market and Friendsgiving and football.  All good.

Deep dish polenta casserole

I have a limited rotation of breakfasts that I make for Kyle, usually strata or coffee cake (with days of cereal in between if I can’t get my act together in time).  It’s because those are the easiest things to make and then last a while which streamlines mornings for us all.


But then this idea came to me when we had all the ingredients for a strata but no bread.  Polenta!  And to make it last a while, why not make it in a big baking dish?  YES.  YES YES YES.  And it was so super simple to make.

Let’s talk ingredients.


You guys know my favorite hummus ever is SABRA, so don’t act surprised that this features the roasted pine nut flavor.  It’s Kyle’s second favorite so I get it just for him.  His number one is the basil pesto for the record.  I am a classic and roasted red pepper girl (nothing new, why mess with perfection?).


So yeah.  Kyle’s lunches have Sabra hummus like every day.  Which you’d think would mean he would be sick of having it for breakfast too, butttttt…he’s married to me for a reason…hummus lovers for life. [We just have to be secretive about it due to Pacman’s sesame allergy]


Total contraband right there.  We legit eat hummus in hiding like nervous teenagers trying to hide $*# from our parents.  Anyway, I am getting off topic.

Back to the deep dish polenta casserole.


It looks weird going in to the oven but you just have to have faith.  It will work out, I promise.


See?  Told ya.


This was a big hit and managed to last Kyle almost two weeks!  That’s completely unheard of for his breakfasts.  Btw, this would make a nice vegetarian dinner too.  Ready for the recipe?  Great!

Deep Dish Polenta Casserole [vegetarian, gluten free, soy free, dairy free*]


  • 1 1/2 cups dry corn grits/polenta
  • 3 1/2 cups boiling liquid (I used water, but milk or a combo would work)
  • 1/2 pint grape tomatoes
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tub Sabra roasted pine nut hummus
  • 1 cup shredded cheese (use dairy free – i.e. Daiya – if needed)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Grease a large baking dish** (7×11 is the size I used and it was perfect) with olive oil.  Toss tomatoes and onions in the oil, then add the polenta and hummus, followed by the boiling water.  It’s essentially like a dump cake in that you don’t need to mix it much.  It’s a very low fuss recipe.  Feel free to stir the hummus a bit to break it up and disperse it, but you really don’t have to.  Then place it in the oven (still without cheese).

Once it has baked for ~20 minutes, take it out of the oven and add the cheese on top.  Most of the liquid should have absorbed at this point.  Then place it back in the oven and let it bake until it is mostly set (another ~5 minutes).  It can still be a little jiggly, but definitely shouldn’t have visible liquid.  Let it cool a bit before serving.

The longer this cools the more it will “set”.  Serving it right away will make it an eat-with-a-spoon kind of meal.  But if you make it in advance and store it in the fridge, by the next day it will be a more firm (like polenta) casserole.

*I used a three cheese mix for this one, but any combo of cheddar, mozzarella, or parmesan would work.  For a dairy free/vegan version, use an appropriate substitution, such as Daiya.

**The size dish you use does matter here because a thinner polenta (with more surface area exposed to the air) will bake faster.  If you use a larger or smaller one than mine, expect shorter or longer baking times (respectively).


Below is what it looked like before I added cheese.


Then cheese.


And voila.


All that herb-y roasted pizza flavor in a beautiful savory bite.