Sunday, May 4, 2008

Polenta with Parmesan

A Blogging Event to highlight May being National Osteoporosis Awareness month is being hosted this month by Susan of FoodBlogga- I'm in. Yep, I, too, found out last year that I am at the beginning stages of bone loss.
I went for a bone scan because I had begun having joint pain and the technician kinda surprised me mid way thru the scan by questioning whether I had taken certain drugs or had a family history of the disease and was I sure. Now I am not really THAT old, I work out pretty much every day, and there is no history of broken bones by any of the older women in my family.I don't smoke or drink. So I was really very surprised to find I have osteopenia. Osteopenia is the term for low bone mass that is not yet bad enough to be called osteoporosis.

I have no real answers why I have advanced bone loss for my age. I blame it on the fact that I had virtually no calcium when I was growing up. I never had to drink milk, the only green vegetables I remember having was an iceberg lettuce salad every night- our vegetable drawer was filled with Hershey bars. No, really. I am not kidding! That's a story for another day...

Anyway, I urge all of you to learn all you can to protect yourself and your loved ones.
Exercise, get enough calcium and vitamin D, and talk to your doctor about your bones.

Here is my recipe to add more calcium today.

Polenta with Parmesan
1 cup stone ground cornmeal
3 cups water
dash salt
1 cup milk
1/2 cup parmesan
1 clove garlic (or more) minced
1/2 tsp. oregano

Mix the cornmeal and milk in a bowl , Set aside. In a saucepan, bring water and salt to a rolling boil. Whisk in the contents of the bowl slowly, to prevent lumps. Add the garlic and oregano. Keep stirring to prevent sticking. When the polenta is very thick and coats the spoon, stir in the cheese and it is done. At this point you can serve it or you can pour it in an 8 inch square pyrex or other container and refrigerate. It can be sliced and reheated later by micro or baking or panfrying as the leftovers are great.
Tonight I served it warm and covered with my favorite spaghetti sauce as a side to grilled salmon and a salad of field greens and zucchini topped with balsamic vinegar.


Dana McCauley said...

One of my favorite ways to serve polenta is to make quenelles of mascarpone cheese, place them on plates and then pop the plates in the freezer to set the cheese.

Then I make a soft polenta and spoon it, piping hot, over the chilled ricotta. You serve it immediately and the hot polenta softens the frozen mascarpone so that you have a super yummy sauce. High fat but also high calcium, I think.

Susan from Food Blogga said...

Hi Fran,

Your discovery of your bone loss sounds eerily like mine. I too was shocked and think a main culprit was being lactose intolerant from childhood. All those years w/o enough calcium apparently took its toll. I'm so happy to hear you exercise regularly (I do too) and are concerned about what you eat.

I just love polenta--love it! Thank you so much for entering a simple, healthy, deliciously calcium-rich dish to Beautiful Bones. Please take care,


Fran Z said...

Dana, MMMMM That sounds great!

Susan, Thank you for incrasing awareness to osteoprosis which is affecting more and more of us every day!