Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Husband 'Maters

I still feel about as green as the tomatoes were...

It's been forever, and I would love to say that this is the day I get better about posting regularly.  But the moment I say that is the moment that seals the fate that it'll never happen.  Things I to say will happen or will not happen tend to go in the opposite direction.

For now, enjoy the (not so brief, it is me we're talking about) update and recipe goodness!

I reached my goal weight.  Suddenly and unexpectedly, after struggling on the 10-pounds-to-go-5-pounds-to-go-10-pounds-to-go-yo-yo, I walked into Weight Watchers and found myself 1/2-pound under my set goal weight.

Those I will remember as very shakey, watery times.

Shocking times to the point that... well, I still don't quite believe it.

Which is why there is now a 6-week period where I have to stooooooop losing weight (and, of course, not gain any weight), the end result being that I will become a lifetime member.  (As of right now, I've completed 4 weeks... it's so close!)
Like these tomatoes, done but with more to do...

All in all, things haven't changed nor will they change.  I will be a Weight Watcher for the rest of my life.  I'll continue to track, I'll continue to go to meetings, and I will continue to learn more about diet and exercise and staying on track.  The change right now is that I have to eat a little (eat the amount to keep a weight rather than to lose weight) and the change in 6 weeks if all goes well is that I will no longer have to pay for the service.

Wish me luck, because I very much love money.

I'm Vegging Out
The Husband's funny, truly unbeknownst* to either of us at the time, ultimately became a self fulfilling prophesy.  I'd venture to guess there were at least two more conversations after that (namely, I'm going to try this Meatless Month of May thing! and I'm going to do the Vegetarian Times Veg Boot Camp thing! spring to mind).  I then decided to remain a vegetarian.

There was a lot of soul searching going on.  At the time, I was doing it for personal challenge, to explore the many many foods and food groups I'd all but ignored in the first 30 or so years of my life... but there was also the aspect of the treatment of animals raised to feed us, the impact on the environment, many different things that ultimately lead me to decide that even though I like meat, I don't want to eat it if it helps (even ever so little) ease the burden to pave the way to change.  My voice may be small, but I will lend it.
If this is part of Meatless Everyday, then I'm good to go.

As with the Weight Watchers thing, though, I hope this doesn't preclude friends from inviting me out to places just because they thing a vegetarian might not want to go there (which I know, is a tough thing to do, right?!)  I'd rather be in charge of my own destiny in that respect, and I'd much rather my friends preclude me from going out to places on the basis that I'm being particularly annoying that day.**

By the way, I won't ask you to do anything with your eating styles, but I'd encourage all to check out Meatless Monday.  Maybe try it on, see if it fits.  It can be healthy for you and for the environment.  Every little bit helps.

Polenta Margherita

Two years ago, The Husband and I attempted to grow our very own tomatoes and herbs.  It was a small, sad display, with some meager results, but we'd just started out.  We were young and foolish then, as opposed to the old fools we'd soon become...

One year ago, we grew a basil plant so large it was practically sentient.  I'm not sure how we accomplished this, but it was amazing.

What was not as amazing?  Our tomatoes.  We had several factors against us, the two biggest being severe drought conditions that apparently only a basil plant could survive and even thrive on, and squirrels the size of Volkswagen Beetles that leap nimbly through the wispy trees, pluck off tomatoes that look like they were in danger of turning ripe eat half and leave the rest in neat little rows on the balcony rail.

Finally, I ate the tomato before the squirrel did!
This year, things went a little differently, and we're seeing some fabulous results.

1) No drought.  At least not yet, but I am sure it is coming.

2) Aside from choosing the plants (and occasionally adding some), I've virtually nothing to do with the growing of the plants.  The Husband apparently has enough green thumbs for 10 men, so my brown thumb hasn't been messing things up so much.  I prefer to think of myself more as management in that respect, and on that note...

3) Squirrel repellent!  There was a spray (looks to be garlic based) that I picked up at Ye Olde Whole Foods which, after I saw a rather plump, violent fellow of a squirrel who would not back away from the plants until I was practically standing on its head, I sprayed liberally on the tomatoes (about the only interaction I've had with the plants).  Since that time, no squirrels.

Witnessing  two of The Husband's 'Maters growing so big and beautiful under his tender loving care, I knew I had to make something special.  Something like pizza (what's a B'klyn<3 to do, right?), but low calorie, easy and delicious.

The reviews (from The Husband and a friend we had over for dinner) were outstanding enough that I thought I'd post the recipe!  The recipe is inspired from several sources, all rolled up into this nice little package below.  I hope if you try it that you enjoy!

Polenta Margherita
Serves 4-6

This has its basis in many pizza recipes (regular and polenta style).  This one was made to our taste and was marvelous!  I hope you give it a swing!  I think it is easy, filling and delicious... and certainly can be customized!


Polenta Margherita
  • Tube of pre-made Polenta (I used San Gennaro Basil and Garlic... gaaaaahlic!), sliced into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 2 Large, Luscious, Sun-ripened The Husband 'Maters (or 2 regular tomatoes if you aren't as lucky as a B'klyn<3), sliced into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 2 tsp of olive oil, divided
  • 1 Tbsp garlic (gaaaaa-oh, you get the idea), minced.  Optional, more or less to taste, on that note.
  • 6 oz part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1 oz parmesan cheese, shredded
  • 2 Tbsp basil, cut chiffonade style.


Pre-heat your broiler.  Coat a pie plate with cooking spray.  Take your polenta slices and, starting from the center, make intricate, beautiful concentric circles.  Marvel at their beauty.  You won't see them again.  Get the dish into the broiler for 6 to 8 minutes, or until the polenta is heated through and golden brown.

Once out of the oven, and starting from the center, make intricate, beautiful concentric circles.  Behold their glory, especially if they are  The Husband 'Maters.  You may want to allow them to show a little.

On top of this, sprinkle your gaaaaahlic (if using, shame if you are not), mozzarella cheese, and parmesan cheese.  Drizzle remaining olive oil on top.

Throw this masterpiece back into the broiler and broil until cheese is gooey, lightly browned and delicious.  Sprinkle with basil.  Smell the deliciousness.  Eat at a dinner table with family and friends and enjoy with a glass of red wine!

* What a cool word I got to use at last!

** I understand this is usually every day.

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