Polenta cookies with rosemary and olive oil

Yield 30 cookies

1 ½ cups (7.5 oz.) all-purpose flour
½ cup (2.5 oz.) polenta
1 t baking powder
¼ t fine sea salt
½ cup (3.5 oz.) granulated sugar
½ cup olive oil (use a fruity, flavorful oil as it will stand out in this cookie)
2 eggs
1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
1 cup (4 oz.) confectioners’ sugar

Adjust your oven racks to upper-middle and lower-middle positions if you plan to use two cookie sheets. If you’re only using one, then center a rack. Preheat a standard oven to 375 degrees or convection oven to 350 degrees F. Line your baking sheet(s) with parchment paper.

Whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt in a medium sized bowl and set it aside.

Whisk the granulated sugar and oil together in a large bowl, then add in the eggs one at a time. Sprinkle in the rosemary and incorporate- the resulting mixture should be smooth. Using a rubber spatula, gently stir in the flour mixture until a soft dough is formed (it will come together in one large, cohesive ball). Drop one-tablespoon balls of dough onto the prepared baking sheet(s), spacing them about two inches apart.

Bake the cookies until the edges are lightly golden and the tops are split. This will take about 13 minutes in a standard oven, and 11 minutes in a convection.

Let the cookies cool on the sheet(s) for five minutes before giving them a tumble in confectioners’ sugar in a shallow dish. You will be doing this while the cookies are still a little warm and the remaining steam emitting from the slightly cooled cookies will help that sugar to stick. Set dusted cookies on a rack to finish cooling, or scarf serve warm.

If you serve these cookies warm, the limonene terpene in the fresh rosemary will fool your taste buds into thinking they’re lemon cookies even though there’s not a drop of lemon in them. If you keep the cookies out on a cooling rack for several hours, they will continue to dry out and transition from being a little cakey, to being crispy on the outside. The air-dried cookies made me think of eating pre-packaged powdered doughnettes (except way the heck more flavorful [and healthy!]).

Adapted from a recipe posted on America’s Test Kitchen.

Chicken with White Beans

Buttery cannellini beans with earthy herbs, tart lemon juice and luscious chicken chunks.  This recipe is fab! but it takes a little while to make as there’s a do-ahead step for the marinade so that the chicken can soak up some flavors before being cooked.    It’s well worth the time, however, so go ahead and give it a try.


1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, pressed
2 tablespoons lemon juice
4 sprigs fresh oregano leaves
4 sprigs fresh tarragon leaves
4 sprigs fresh basil leaves
4 sprigs fresh parsley
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
salt and pepper
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into cubes
1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced
1 1/2 cups cooked white cannellini beans


  • In the bowl of a food processor or blender, place olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, leaves of oregano, tarragon, basil, parsley, rosemary, and some ground black pepper
  • Blend all ingredients well until a smooth bright green paste is formed (you might need to add a few spoonfuls of water if the mixture looks too thick)
  • Marinate the cubed chicken in the refrigerator for 2 hours, or overnight
  • Heat a small amount of olive oil in a large pan over moderate heat until hot
  • Add cubed chicken, and allow to brown lightly without stirring
  • Begin turning chicken after 3 minutes, then add onion and Sauté for 2 minutes, until onion begins to soften
  • Add beans and continue to cook for 2 minutes longer, until chicken is cooked through and a light sauce forms around chicken pieces
  • Season with the salt and pepper

I opted to serve this over some orecchiette, sided by wilted collard greens.  The recipe was inspired by this post on Whole Foods Market.


Farfalle with Tomatoes, Basil and Hot Italian Sausage

That’s right, I said sausage.  And not those greasy pork sausages either.  Nice, lean chicken sausages.  Still packed with flavor, but literally half of the fat (8 g versus 16).  Imagine the spicy and salty flavor of the sausage with the sweetness of the cherry tomatoes, and the zestiness of the lemon, balanced with the mild basil and you’ve got a very tasty dish to fancy!


3/4 pound farfalle (bowtie) pasta

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

3  hot Italian chicken sausages

3 tablespoons chopped garlic

1 bunch basil, torn

1 pound cherry , halved

2 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, shaved

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

salt and pepper


  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta until al dente
  • Meanwhile, preheat a large skillet. Brown the sausages, then slice into coins
  • Add garlic and cook until sausage is cooked through, just another minute or so

  • Toss cooked sausage with pasta, a bit of olive oil, torn basil, tomatoes, cheese, lemon juice, salt and pepper
  • Serve warm

I believe that this would also make for a fantastic cold pasta salad.

Inspired by this post by Whole Foods Market.

Eggplant Bolognese

I can honestly say that I love a good bolognese.  So when I saw this recipe for one without any meat I was certainly skeptical.  How does one take a recipe that is by nature fatty with meat drippings and cream and make it both vegetarian and healthy?  In a side-by-side, there is no comparison.  They are simply two different beasts.  But to take this dish for what it is, it’s great in its own right.

I would suggest making it ahead a day or two and allow it to sit around in the fridge and meld flavors.


1 cup dry red wine
1 medium onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium eggplant (about 1 pound), peeled and chopped
12 ounces button or cremini mushrooms, chopped
2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
3 tablespoons no-salt-added tomato paste
1 (28-ounce) can no-salt-added diced tomatoes
1 1/2 cups low-sodium vegetable (or chicken) broth
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2/3 cup non-fat milk (or soy or almond milk)
3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil, divided
1 pound pasta


  • Bring red wine to a simmer in a large pot over medium heat.  You should probably be prepared to serve the rest of that bottle with dinner 😉

  • Add onion, carrots, celery and garlic and cook , stirring frequently, until onion is translucent and very tender and most of the wine has evaporated, about 10 minutes.
  • Add eggplant, mushrooms and rosemary and cook until vegetables are tender, about 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Stir in tomato paste and cook 1 minute, stirring constantly.
  • Add tomatoes, broth and pepper and bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer for an hour, stirring occasionally.

  • Remove from the heat and stir in milk and 2 tablespoons chopped basil.
  • Cook up some pasta…
  • …and steam up something green…
  • …and enjoy a very tasty dinner.

This recipe yielded two dinner plates, two good lunches, and a full quart to store in the freezer.  It was fantastic with some grated fresh Parm too.