Parmesan Polenta with Lemon Thyme Mushrooms

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The farmers market is now open outside in all its glory. I am beyond ready to embrace warm weather and all the food choices that come with that. Unfortunately, it was cold and rainy all weekend ultimately leading to comfort food craving. Enter: parmesan polenta with lemon thyme mushrooms. Gorgeous mushrooms from the farmers market sautéed with shallot, garlic, thyme and lemon on top a bed of creamy, cheesy polenta. Yes please. A little side of farmers market greens and this was one comforting, vegetarian, gluten-free meal.  Sidebar- this polenta is pretty full proof and would be great with a number of hats including shrimp, chicken, spinach, etc.

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Inspired by JoyfulHealthyEats

You’ll need:

For Polenta-

2 tablespoons olive oil

0.75 cup finely chopped red onion

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 quart chicken stock

1 cup cornmeal

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

Salt/pep

3 ounces parmesan, grated

For Shrooms-

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 shallot, thinly sliced (I used mandolin)

1 garlic clove, minced

2.5 cups mushrooms, sliced (I used cremini)

Juice of one lemon

2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme

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Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
For Polenta:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large saucepan (I used a dutch oven) heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add red onion and pinch of salt and cook for 4-5 minutes. Reduce heat to low, add garlic, and sauté 1-2 minutes. Don’t burn garlic.

Increase heat to high. Add chicken stock and bring to boil. Slowly add in cornmeal while continually whisking. Cover pot and place in oven. Cook for 35-40 minutes, whisking every 10 minutes to prevent lumps. Remove from oven add butter, salt/pep (season aggressively maybe a few teaspoons of salt) and parmesan.
For Shrooms (I started cooking this when there was roughly 15 minutes left until the polenta was done):

Heat a large non-stock sauté pan over medium high heat. Add olive oil and sliced shallot.

Saute for 3-5 minutes. Add garlic and sauté for 30 seconds. Immediately add in mushrooms. Saute for 10 minutes. Off the heat, add lemon juice and thyme.

For heaven:

Fill a bowl with a polenta pile. Top with a solid amount of mushrooms, a sprinkling of thyme (if extra’s around… I know thyme is just awful to pull off those little twigs) and some more parmesan.

Banana- Oat Walnut Chocolate Chip Cookies

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The only way to improve on the comforting scent of warm banana bread is with the addition of chocolate. That’s just science. The only way to improve on chocolate chip banana bread is to individually portion it out into cookie form. Thus keeping you from treating a loaf of banana bread as a single serving…

AND there’s oatmeal in these- HEALTH FOOD!   This is a breakfast cookie let’s be honest…

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Inspired by CookingClassy

You’ll need:

1.25 cups all-purpose flour

0.75 cups + 2 tablespoon quick oats

0.5 teaspoon baking soda

1/3 teaspoon salt

0.5 teaspoon ground cinnamon

0.5 cup mashed ripe banana (about 1 large banana)

0.5 teaspoon lemon juice

0.25 cup unsalted butter, softened

0.5 cup packed brown sugar

0.25 cup granulated sugar

1 large egg

0.25 teaspoon vanilla extract

0.75 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

0.5 cups chopped walnuts

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In bowl, whisk together flour, oats, baking soda, salt and cinnamon like you mean it.

Mash banana together with lemon juice. Blend with butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar until smooth. Mix in egg and vanilla. Slowly mix in dry ingredients until JUST combined. Fold in nuts/chocolate chips- feel free to keep some chocolate chips on the side to press into the tops of cookies before baking… they are the star).

Scoop dough (few tablespoons at a time) and drop on parchment lined baking sheet (spacing 2-inches apart). Bake in 350 degree oven for 11-12 minutes.

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