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The Meal without the Mom Guilt

The past week has been crazy busy, which means that I have been trying my hand at making dinners that are super easy, and still super tasty.  I am still trying to use up things I have in the pantry while I wait for spring (and the Farmers' Markets) to arrive. 

Now, I did pick up a few things at Whole Foods (yes, I do practically live there), and I found a really good deal on Ancient Harvest Quinoa Polenta Heirloom Red and Black.  I got two rolls of the polenta, having absolutely no idea of what I was going to do with it (that's just how I...roll...sorry, unintentional pun).

When I got home, I was ridiculously eager to try it.  My middle child wanted chili for lunch, which did not seem to bode well for my need for instant gratification, but then I had an idea.  What about a Polenta Tamale Skillet?!

Feeling daring, I decided to give it a whirl and, honestly, it was incredible easy, and tasty, and FAST!

Polenta Tamale Skillet

1 lb. ground turkey
1 small onion, diced
1 small red pepper, diced
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can diced tomatoes, with liquid
1 tsp. paprika
2 tsp. chili powder
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tbs. olive oil
1 roll Ancient Harvest Quinoa Polenta, Heirloom Red & Black

Optional Toppings:
Sour Cream
Shredded Cheese

1.  Heat olive oil in skillet over medium heat, add ground turkey and cook through.
2.  Add chopped onion, red pepper, and garlic, and cook until veggies become tender. 
3.  Add canned tomato with liquid, drained beans, and spices.  Heat through. 
4.  Cut polenta into approximately 1/4 inch rounds and place over the meat and bean mixture.  Cover with lid, reduce heat to low, and let cook approximately 5 minutes, or until polenta is heated through.

Serve with salsa, cheese, and/or sour cream.

This also reheats really well (always a plus around my house)--in fact I took it for my lunch on Monday.

I still have one roll of polenta left in the pantry, so I am contemplating how to put that one to good use.

I also made a Turkey Kielbasa, White Bean, and Kale skillet recently.  I am going to have to make it again and blog about it.  I really meant to have written about it already, but we ended up eating it all before I had a chance to take a picture.  Yes, it really was that tasty! 

Apparently I have a one skillet dinner theme going on.  I think that is a bit how my life is going lately, a bit more rushed that I would like, but it all works out in the end, and sometimes you stumble upon something that is really satisfying.  What's to complain about with that?

Life with my Aspie  – (March 10, 2011 at 12:24 PM)  

You are the only person I know who has used polenta. I've looked at it many times at the grocery store, but have yet to buy it. I may now have to give it a try since you give it a thumbs up. Thanks for sharing.

Devouring the Seasons  – (March 10, 2011 at 12:32 PM)  

Oh, honey, you GOTTA try it! Seriously. Love, love, love it!!! I was actually just sitting here fretting that I now only have one roll left in the pantry (yeah, I must have lived through the Great Depression in a previous life or something, because I have horrible issues with needing insane amounts of food in the kitchen in order to be able to relax about it. Really...just ask Angela!

Life with my Aspie  – (March 10, 2011 at 10:12 PM)  

I will definitely give it a try in the near future. Speaking of having insane amounts of food in the kitchen, I am the same way. I picked up the habit from my mother b/c we lived a half hour drive from the nearest grocery store. In order to save time and gas she would always buy a week's worth of food at once. For a while I was thinking maybe this was not such a good habit that I acquired since most people in foreign countries tend to shop for their food daily. However, recently I read an article that stated that people who shop for a week's worth of groceries spend less money on food than those that purchase food daily at the store. So, maybe it is a good thing that we keep our pantries and freezers and refrigerators stocked.

Devouring the Seasons  – (March 11, 2011 at 9:05 AM)  

I think you are probably right...or at least that is what I plan on telling myself, since I doubt I will ever change this habit. I am glad I am not the only one!

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