Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Great Food from Humble Beginnings

Recently, I moved to a neighborhood that doesn't have the fanciest supermarkets or an abundance of health food stores.  There are two food stores within 5 minutes of my driveway.  One store I only went to once because my Aunt likes the potato chips that are sold there, the other, is a locally owned joint that has a nice sized produce section and some healthy choices on the shelf.  Now, I could drive an extra 15 minutes to go to fancier stores but there is something to be said for the small local market.  I made polenta cakes with marina and sauteed spinach with items bought from my neighborhood grocer.  I bought oatmeal with flax and found free range eggs.  No, it's not perfect, and there wasn't any organic produce but for the folks who live in the area it's where they buy their weekly groceries and have a little piece of community.  It's big enough to shop for the week and yet small enough to see your neighbors.  I know most folks, including myself, talk about the importance of organic and all natural but what if you don't live close to that type of store?  What if the local grocer only has a few healthy items that could help a person transitioning to a better food lifestyle, feel comfortable about shopping?  How about the local folks, the local economy, and keeping the money circulating in the community instead of it being shipped to headquarters in Texas or Arkansas?  Just my rambling thoughts.  What do you think?

Below are the simple steps for my polenta dinner.

1.  I made Bobs Red Mill polenta according to package directions and place in a large oiled rectangular baking dish.  Place in freezer for ten minutes to set.

2.  In olive oil, saute' green onion and garlic.  Add spinach, salt and pepper to taste, cover and cook on low.  Allow the spinach leave to wilt slowly.

3.  Heat favorite marina sauce.  Add a little agave or honey to help mellow the acidity of the tomatoes.  Season to taste.

4.  Once polenta is firm cut polenta into squares.  Place marina at the bottom of plate, place polenta square on top, top square with marinara and the place some spinach on top. Enjoy!

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