Jill Fergus

I began cooking as a child and feeding family and friends has always been my passion. My kitchen is a busy one. I love to experiment and embrace the kitchen successes along with the accidents. I love to cook and collaborate with friends. I am seasonally driven (I love the farmer's market!), avoid processed foods and focus on whole and organic (mostly plant-based, but not exclusively) choices. In my home, my family has a variety of eating preferences from plant-based, gluten free, refined sugar free to full on omnivore. My goal is to create dishes to please all, either as is or with minor adjustments to the recipe. Where did "Feed the Swimmers" come from? When my kids began swimming competitively and growing into young adults, I realized, even more, how important nutrition is to performance, growth and overall health and emotional well being. Everyone (including the coach during travel meets) would ask "what are you feeding the swimmers?" This has become my mantra whenever I'm in my kitchen cooking for family and the friends I love.

 

 

Polenta with Chèvre, Pumpkin and Mushrooms

Polenta with Chèvre, Pumpkin and Mushrooms

Want great leftovers??? This is one dish that is just as delicious, if not better the next day, and I need to share. Well, actually, this photo is what you do with leftover Polenta with Chèvre, Pumpkin and Mushrooms (recipe on the blog, link in profile). I think my family begs for this dish because the leftovers are a real treat. You may also throw the leftover polenta in a greased waffle iron for polenta waffles. The fries and waffles work with a basic polenta recipe as well as this creamier version. Garnish with grated Parmesan and serve some marinara on the side for dipping (optional). Enjoy! Hope you’re having fun in the kitchen this week!

Polenta with Chèvre, Pumpkin and mushrooms.

4 servings

If you would like to plan for leftovers for part 2, double the polenta mixture quantities.

Ingredients-
1 cup traditional polenta cooked per package directions (usually 1 cup polenta/4 cups water, salted)1/2 lb (~200 grams assorted mushrooms), sliced 4+ Tbs extra virgin olive oil or butter of choice1/2 cup chèvre 1/3 cup pumpkin purée 1/3 cup Parmesan, grated (optional)Spring of fresh thymeSea saltFresh ground pepper
Method-
1- Sautée mushrooms in about 2 Tbs of the olive oil with the spring of thyme. Season with sea salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
2- Cook polenta per package directions in a deep heavy bottomed pot. I recommend using a long handled wooden spoon for all of the stirring that lies ahead.
3-As polenta nears the finish mark, stir in chèvre and olive oil until fully melted and combined. Stir in pumpkin. Stir in Parmesan, if using. You may also serve Parmesan on the side. Season with sea salt and pepper to taste.
4- Serve immediately and top each portion with a large spoonful of mushrooms.
Enjoy!
If you have leftovers...
1 cup + olive or grape seed oilMarinara for dippingGrated Parmesan for garnish
1a- Press firmly into a small greased baking pan or silicone ice cube tray, cover and chill overnight.
2a- Carefully remove from tray and slice into squares thick fry shape.
3a- Heat a large heavy bottomed Dutch oven or deep fry pan over medium heat and add 1 cup of grape seed or olive oil (of using olive oil, do not allow oil to exceed 350F to avoid smoking). Working in batches so as not to over crowd, add polenta and  allow to brown, undisturbed, for about 4 minutes. When desire color is reached, turn and brown other side, again undisturbed. ***Be careful and keep children away from the stove, as this will splatter quite a bit. I recommend using the deeper Dutch oven styled pot and keeping a cautious distance or use a splatter screen and a long handled spatula or tongs. 
4a- Place cooked polenta on paper towel. Gently sprinkle with sea salt and fresh ground pepper.
5a- garnish with grated Parmesan and serve with warm marinara (optional).
Enjoy!

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