Green vs. Red

March 1, 2008

Spicy Cajun Shrimp + Polenta with Mustard Greens

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Another great dinner!! I decided it was time to try one of those polenta rolls you see in the produce section of the grocery store. We had frozen shrimp on hand, and with shrimp and grits being a famous combo, they seemed to be the most appropriate complement. I made a spicy BBQ sauce to go on top that was FABULOUS!!

The mustard greens, however, were quite disappointing. They were VERY bitter and it didn’t help that we added a vinegary mustard and lime juice to them for flavoring. I jumped up during dinner and added a tsp of brown sugar to balance the bitterness and they were much improved. I had wanted to add honey, but the husband used it all in his breads today!

But first, I had a single serving bottle of white wine while cooking!!

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Entree:

  • For the polenta: cut into rounds. Grill
  • For the shrimp: Thaw. Peel. Grill.
  • For the sauce: Saute 2 cups frozen bell peppers (my new great quick fix find!) with 2 cloves garlic. When cooked through, add 2 tbsp pickled jalapeno, 1/2 a can tomato paste, 1 tbsp ketchup, 1 tbsp wochestershire sauce, a pinch of cumin, a pinch of chili powder, a pinch red pepper flakes and the juice of one whole lime. It turned out to be this wonderful thick smokey sauce. Drool!
  • For the mustard greens: We sauteed these in about 1 tsp of olive oil (which we totally didn’t need – just use cooking spray!) along with 2 cloves garlic and added dijon mustard and lime juice. Noted above, I would leave these out and switch to honey! Here’s how much greens we started with – I had to wash them in two batches!

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The shrunken down result:

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While the green side of the plate was a bit disappointing, the red side of the plate was SOOO good! We ended up topping it all with a sprinkle of Asiago -

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All together with a vitamin and clean placemat -

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This dinner (EXcluding wine) was about 420 kcal, 13 grams fiber and 32 grams protein.

Retail Therapy

I went to the mall today to return something I ordered from Land’s End and ended up doing a little shopping. I got some khakis at New York and Co. BOGO half off and some aromatherapy bubble bath from Bath and Body Works – the Lavender Vanilla and Jasmine Vanilla (both were on sale for $5!). I can’t WAIT to take a bath tonight!!!

Christmas Is Officially Over

……….the egg nog ice cream is gone!!

I made a homemade cobbler for dessert – I was in an ice cream mood! 3/4 cup Edy’s Egg Nog, 1/2 a cup of hot frozen berries and 2 honey graham sticks, crushed. Heavenly!

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The only problem is I ate it way too fast because it was melting and delicious!

Tomorrow’s agenda:

  • A small breakfast
  • Workout and Brunch with mother in law
  • Grocery store
  • PHYSIOLOGY
  • Soup Dinner with some friends passing through

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{ 38 comments… read them below or add one }

1 BethT March 1, 2008 at 8:39 pm

I know people usually compliment your dishes, but I love that spoon!!! Is it C+B?

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2 Kath March 1, 2008 at 8:44 pm

Beth,
Yup!!

Kath

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3 Gemma March 1, 2008 at 9:02 pm

kath what is the price approx. of a single serving bottle of wine?

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4 Romina March 1, 2008 at 9:08 pm

Your polenta looks terrific! Very fancy. I wish I ate it more often. I used to eat it a lot as a kid, but my mom hasn’t made it in a while. I’ll have to make her cook some up! It’s so yummy baked.

Aww, my mom just finished up a tub of mandarin christmas ice cream, she was very disappointed. I think they should sell Christmas stuff all year!

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5 Jess March 1, 2008 at 9:34 pm

First time commenter… I want to say first that I love your blog! I get so many good ideas from it. Second, your dinner looks almost like mine :) I had garlic shrimp, basil marinara, capers, and parmesan over polenta rounds. It was so good (like I’m sure yours was too).

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6 Katers March 1, 2008 at 9:46 pm

Kath – so funny!! I just picked up some polenta for the first time today! Great minds… :)

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7 Emma March 1, 2008 at 9:49 pm

i always wanted to try grilling polenta! is it good by itself?

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8 Serena March 1, 2008 at 10:31 pm

your dinner and dessert look so delicious!! i’m definitely inspired to try to recreate the whole meal, minus the christmas ice cream, sadly. i bet it would be tasty with cinamon ice cream though! :)

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9 caitlin March 1, 2008 at 10:57 pm

that looks divine!!

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10 Kate March 1, 2008 at 11:08 pm

I recently discovered polenta and I really like it. I made a variation with pumpkin, cheese, honey, and spices mixed in–AMAZING! Never tried the rolls, though. I know you like putting honey on your greens, so I drizzled a little on the spinach I had with lunch today (and I added some toasted almonds). It was such a good combo! Sad to see the last of the eggnog ice cream, but December is just 9 months away! Haha. =]

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11 NCCarter March 1, 2008 at 11:23 pm

Oh, I love to make polenta! So tasty. By the way, Kath, the Crisp in Raleigh is (I’m pretty certain from the way you describe yours) the same as the one in Charlotte. It’s right next to Moe’s in the food court at Crabtree. I’m pretty certain there’s one close to Southpoint, too. Seems like I saw it on one of those I-40 signs for food at the Fayeteville Rd. exit. I don’t think it’s IN Southpoint, but maybe in one of the many surrounding shopping centers.

By the way, tell the husband we brined a pork tenderloin tonight. I was inspired by his brine last weekend. So tasty! MY husband grilled it, and we had it with sauteed rainbow chard and roasted acorn squash.

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12 Kiala March 1, 2008 at 11:36 pm

Can I bake polenta? Or can I grill it on a grill pan? I guess I could just consult the internet but I like to make you work.

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13 mel March 2, 2008 at 12:17 am

aw I’m so jealous alot of you all are getting together..anyone want to come to Kentucky and visit ? haha!! I’ll be in Charolette this summer for about a week visiting my dad’s family and we need to schedule a dinner party for then!!

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14 Natalie March 2, 2008 at 12:29 am

ya the crisp in charlotte looks way better than the one at crabtree. I’m not sure what they would say if I asked for a tsp. of dressing cause they always seem to pour day like 1/2 a cup!

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15 mel March 2, 2008 at 12:37 am

Liz- I just checked out your blog and it looks great! Keep up the great work- it wouldn’t let me post a comment bc i don’t have a google acct!!

everyone this is so random but everyone talks about music often on this blog- i went to a George Strait concert last night with Little Big Town and it was GREAT!! If George comes to your city, you should for sure go see him…if you like country!!

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16 Kath March 2, 2008 at 6:43 am

Gemma,
The single servings come in 4-packs and they are anywhere from $5 to $10-12. I really like them because I don’t always want to open a whole bottle and then feel obligated to have some 2-3 nights in a row. I’m a HUGE wine person, but I not a wine snob so I’ll drink all of the not-so-fancy little bottles happily :)

Jess,
Welcome to KERF!! Your dinner sounds delicious!

Emma,
Actually, our roll had – ONION – in it. I didn’t realize it until I got home and realized I forgot to check for dangerous preservatives! Well, onion is worse in my opinion! Anyways, I gave it a try anyways because I figured it couldn’t be that strong. I could taste the onion when I ate it plain, but not with the shrimp and sauce on it, so in my opinion it was gross plain and delicious with thick toppings. I’ve seen others make little pizza out of polenta topped with zucchini, tomato sause and cheese. (I think Roni at Green Lite Bites did a video of them!)

NCCarter,
I’ll have to make my way to Crabtree someday. I prefer SouthPointe though :)

Great about the brine!! Glad it was extra tasty.

Kiala ,
Sing-song this: I’m not t-e-l-l-i-n-g!!! Really though, the package said you could fry, bake, mush… there’s all different ways to cook it.

Mel,
Just let me know when you’re in town and we’re on!!

Kath

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17 Susa March 2, 2008 at 7:38 am

Good morning!
You work out with your MIL? That is awesome!
How long are your workouts when you do 7 days a week?
I currently do 6 days (3 weight, 3 cardio) in addition to my Yoga and people look at me like I’m nuts. :)
My MIL actually said for her that’s exercise bulimia. Good grief. (I love her dearly but she’s a bit too “opinionated” for my taste *lol*).

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18 Sarah March 2, 2008 at 7:39 am

I LOVE polenta! I usually just buy the kind you make yourself on the stovetop, and put it in a pan, place in fridge, let it harden, and heat it up on the stovetop with a bit of olive oil….SO GOOD. :D I haven’t had that in a long time, come to think of it.

Meal looks yummy, Kath! :)

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19 Betsy March 2, 2008 at 8:42 am

I can’t believe you kept that ice cream for that long! I am VERY impressed, and I can tell you enjoyed every last drop you ate.

Soup sounds like my kind of party.

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20 Lauren March 2, 2008 at 9:36 am

Okay, I realize this question is a little gross, but what are good foods to eat to get rid of constipation? I just got back from a week-long trip to Mexico last night, and I was constipated the whole time. This tends to happen almost every time I travel. Are there foods I can eat while I’m on vacation and foods I can eat when I get back to lessen the problem? Thanks! :)

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21 VeggieGirl March 2, 2008 at 9:42 am

Okay, that polenta looks FANTASTIC!! Such a great meal you had (as always!! I’d love to come for dinner, haha).

Oooh, those aromatherapy products that you bought from B&B sound wonderful – enjoy!!

Happy Sunday!! :0)

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22 Mimsey March 2, 2008 at 9:54 am

Kath, Those cauliflower sheep yesterday were so cool! All we have here is plain old cauliflower.

Your friend,

Mimsey Kiehne

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23 mel March 2, 2008 at 9:57 am

Lauren, this sounds really gross but i get constipated EVERY time I go out of town for more than a couple of days, which is so weird bc at home I go a couple times a day( sorry! haha). my body is just sensitive and habitual so now (after learning the hard and painful way) I buy a sensitive laxative like duculox (sp?) and take one or two the first day of my vacation..it usually jump starts me and I’m great after that!! Just don’t use them more than once or twice per trip bc you could become dependent !! good luck! haha

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24 Eliza March 2, 2008 at 10:57 am

Kath – this morning I made my oatmeal with a frozen banana instead of a fresh one… wow! I took it out of the freezer, nuked it in the microwave for thirty seconds and added it to my oats (pre-cooking) and the result was the creamiest, most marshmellow-y oatmeal imaginable. I highly recommend you try it. I will now stash a few in my freezer so those days when I’m low on groceries or fresh fruit do not have to be banana-less!

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25 Gemma March 2, 2008 at 11:15 am

Caffiene always gets things moving along for me ;)

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26 Jessica March 2, 2008 at 11:16 am

hello! i love this blog. i have a random question though, that spoon used to eat the ice cream (the green one), Cristin also has that spoon and i absolutely love it! (i love kitchenware), any idea where i can get one?? thanks!

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27 Betsy March 2, 2008 at 11:25 am

by the way…where did you get that adorable spoon?? i need one! i love eating things with teeny spoons, it makes it last longer and i am able to enjoy and savor every bite!

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28 Emma March 2, 2008 at 12:35 pm

haha everyone is asking about your spoon when your 2nd comment explained it was from Crate and Barrell.

it is cute though.

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29 Josephine March 2, 2008 at 1:29 pm

Hey Kath! I recently came across your blog and have to comment on how great your meals and photography of those meals are. I absolutely love this blog and your story! You seem like such a great, hardworking person, and I admire you for all the effort and courage you have!

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30 Betsy March 2, 2008 at 1:33 pm

ok…now that i just went through the comments, you don’t have to answer my question about the spoon. its adorable though! i might have to go out and buy a few today!

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31 Laurel March 2, 2008 at 1:51 pm

Kath, when you grill things, are you using a grill pan on the stovetop or an actual gas grill?

Can anyone give me pointers on steaming foods? I have a metal steamer basket that I used on top of a pan filled with water. I peeled and cut up some sweet potatoes, covered the basket and let the water boil. It took a very long time for the pieces of sweet potato to soften. So long, in fact, that the water boiled away and burned the bottom of my pan! Not sure what I’m doing wrong, or if there’s a better way (I was using a recipe and followed it exactly).

Kath, why do you think that it takes women longer to lose weight than men? And why does it seem harder/ take longer for petite women to lose weight, especially if they have less to lose (when I say less I’m thinking 25 pounds and under)?

Thank you again for your fantastic blog!

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32 Katie March 2, 2008 at 2:11 pm

Laurel,
The larger a person is, the more calories they need to maintain their body weight. So if a bigger person (i.e. man or taller woman) goes on say a 1500 calorie diet, they will lose weight much faster than a petite person who goes on the same diet. In other words, the same changes have larger results.
I’m a petite person myself. The bonus? When I lose 5 pounds, it looks like a lot on my small frame!
I’m interested to hear Kath’s response as well.

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33 NCCarter March 2, 2008 at 2:23 pm

Okay, everyone….I’ve lost about 5 lbs in the last month or so (I think this is my “happy weight” so I’m not in a rush to lose more), but honestly, I think that my arse has somehow expanded!! I bought new cotton undies from Victoria’s Secret yesterday. Got Medium, like I always do, and I swear they seem smaller!

Also, it’s been 2 1/2 years since my daughter was born, and I weigh about 6 lbs. less than before I got pregnant. Oddly, though, some of my old clothes still don’t fit. Guess my weight all just shifted. Ugh.

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34 Tina O. March 2, 2008 at 2:35 pm

nccarter~
your body will never be the same after childbirth. Things are in different places now and will stay there! That’s the ‘privilege’ of being able to perpetuate the human race! haha.

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35 mel March 2, 2008 at 2:41 pm

I think it could just be the VS undies!!I have a bubble butt that is prettysmall and always wear a small in undies..but my ass cheeks hangout of small VS underwear ! haha ! I like to buy GAP undies bc they fit my cheeks better!! hah

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36 NCCarter March 2, 2008 at 2:54 pm

Thanks Tina and Mel! I’ll just blame childbirth and VS! ;-)

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37 Lauren March 2, 2008 at 3:32 pm

thanks mel! :)

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38 Kath March 2, 2008 at 7:25 pm

Lauren,

I agree that caffeinated coffee is a great un-constipator :)

Mimsey ,
Perhaps you could make some of the cauliflower sheep yourself? Or the little dog made of bananas? Sounds like a fun arts and crafts project to me! (All, Mimsey is a doll who lives at my grandmothers!)

Eliza ,
I certainly hate being banana-less! What do you think it was about the frozen one made it better? That it took longer to thaw? I’ll have to try it – if I ever have a banana to spare for the freezer!

Josephine ,
Thanks for your sweet comment!

Laurel ,
We use our gas grill outside. I wish we had a grill pan too, but the husband loves his gas grill and we’d probably never use the indoor one except in the dead of winter.

We actually don’t steam foods very much – mostly saute and roasted. Sweet potatoes take a very long time to cook, so I tend to bake them at high temps and save steaming for things like green beans and broccoli that only need a few minutes in the steam. But next time I would just add more water when you run out – or microwave the potato first to get the cooking started.

I liked Katie’s response on the weight loss in men vs. women. Men also have a lot more muscle mass than women, so they have the edge on us that way. I’m not sure I exactly understand the physiology behind weight loss to write an answer on your petite person question, but weight does come off slower and slower as your body nears its goal weight because the difference between required calories for maintenance and an adequate amount of calories to supply your body with all the nutrients it needs is much smaller. (Remember I’m not an R.D. yet so this is based on what I know about the body thus far in my studies!)

NCCarter ,
Did you switch the style of your undies!? I find that some styles are just cut too weird. Or have you not bought any new ones since your daughter was born :) Perhaps your old ones are just stretched out! I’ve heard that your hips and thighs do widen after having kids. And I agree you should consider it a proud mark of having born a child!

Kath

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