Mistakes and triumphs with Rachael

A few weeks ago, I was so proud that I made this recipe from Rachael Ray. It was her show 30 Minute Meals that got me interested in cooking–there was none of that “magic” like on other shows where they throw some veggies in a pot and open up a different pot and there’s a meal. I even got a subscription to her magazine for Christmas last year. This recipe has polenta, which is Italian so it’s fancy. It has kale, so it’s healthy. And it has cheese, so it must be tasty, right? Unfortunately, I was not so impressed with the recipe. First, I oversalted the polenta. Second, I used white hominy grits (grits are the same things as polenta, just with a less fancy culture attached–it must be true because AB told me) instead of yellow, which made it kind of look like spinach on grey barf. I also couldn’t taste the “white sauce” that made up the layer between the kale and the cheese. I dreaded eating the leftover so much that I left it in the fridge until Thursday night. It looked like this:

I made the picture small so it’s less gross.

I don’t want to give RR a bad rap though. So, here’s a link to her garlicky bean enchilada recipe that I love and use a lot. I modify it, not because it’s bad otherwise, but because the first several times I made it I didn’t read it closely and I’m used to making it my way now.

We also made this delicious dinner a while ago after I learned about jicama during a “Pick a Better Snack” presentation at a school where I subbed. The carrot-jicama salad and burrito filling are inspired by this RR recipe. The couscous and black bean salad is from allrecipes.com. I love to make it with quinoa as well. Dexter wouldn’t eat the jicama salad because he was freaked out by the existance of this apple-potato-food, but the black bean salad is his favorite.

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