A few weeks ago, I received a bit of news regarding my “relationship status”.

Or, to be more specific, the lack thereof.


Apparently, studies have been done.  Real, serious, hard and fast studies.  With statistics and “real people” (who are not “actors” and whose “results may or may not be typical”) and “29 dimensions of compatibility”.

The whole shebang.


The good news is that I now have a scapegoat on whom I can blame all of my misfortune in the love department.

The bad news is that this whole thing is entirely out of my hands.  It is what it is.  Kind of a deal.

What in the world am I talking about, you ask?

You see.  Studies were done recently that looked into the statistics of dating websites.  These things are apparently rife with anthropologic data.  They are basically one huge semi-controlled social experiment in which you kind of sort of throw people into a ring, let them fight it out, and then see who prevails in the end.  Who gets alpha male status.  That kind of thing.

And what they found was that, while we think love is based on personality and chemistry and sex appeal and how much of an ass someone is.  What it really comes down to.

Is what smart phone you use.

Statistics, real hard fast serious statistics, have shown that iPhone users are luckier in love than Android users.  Android users get more play than Blackberry-ers.  And if you don’t have a smart phone?  Um.  Well. I hate to tell you this, but you don’t exist.  You cannot pass go, collect 200 dollars, or make it in world of online dating.  Sorry. I  don’t make the rules, I just live by them.


Upon hearing this, I could have had many reactions.  I could have been angry because it means that all this time I have spent culturing my wit and charm and sass.  Was for naught when I could have saved myself some time and energy and just bought an iPhone.

I could have been sad because I will never be an iPhone user.  I’m just not an iPhone kind of gal.  Which means there must be some intrinsic quality that is directly correlated with being an iPhone user.  That I lack.  A personality flaw that I cannot even begin to pinpoint.  (I guess I could do some case controlled studies.  But that seems excessive.)

No.  Instead, I decided to just embrace my Android.  And my single lady status.  And make some single lady food.  While dancing around my apartment to Beyonce.  And doing the single lady dance.


Cannellini Beans with Fresh Basil, Tomatoes, Capers, and Zucchini over Polenta
Serves 4-5, an Eats Well With Others original

1 cup dried cannellini beans or 2 (14 oz) cans
water and lots of it
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 medium zucchini or summer squash or a mix, diced
1 28 oz can whole peeled tomatoes
2 tbsp capers
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp red pepper flakes (or more to taste)
1/2 cup basil, shredded
2 cups polenta
8 cups water
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. If using dried beans, soak them overnight so that they are completely covered in water.  Drain them the next day and cook for 30 minutes to 2 hours depending on your beans, or until soft.

2. Chop up all your veggies.  In a medium, non-stick skillet, heat the olive oil.  Add in the onion and cook over medium-high heat until just starting to brown and soften, about 3 minutes.  Add in the garlic and cook for 30 seconds or until fragrant.

3. Add the zucchini to the pan.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until zucchini begins to soften, 5-6 minutes.  Add in the tomatoes, which you should SQUISH to break apart as you add them (use your hands.  It’s fun.), beans, capers, balsamic vinegar, red pepper flakes and basil.  Bring to a boil and then simmer while you make the polenta.

4. I used instant polenta so this took me not very long to do, but you should cook according to the package’s instructions.  Bring 6 cups of the water to a boil.  While this is happening, mix the polenta with the remaining 2 cups of water so that it forms a slurry.  When the 6 cups are boiling, pour in the polenta slurry.  Turn the heat to low and stir continuously for about 3-5 minutes or until polenta has thickened to desired consistency.  Turn off the heat and add about 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese, as well as salt and pepper to taste.  Spoon into serving bowls.

5. Taste the cannellini ragout for salt, pepper, and seasoning.  Spoon on top of the polenta.  Garnish with basil and serve.

I am submitting this to Weekend Herb Blogging, which is being hosted by Anna of Anna’s Cool Finds and My Legume Love Affair, which is being hosted by Susan of The Well-Seasoned Cook.  And Meatless Mondays, hosted over at My Sweet and Savory!


You are reading this post on Eats Well With Others at https://joanne-eatswellwithothers.com. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and or owner of Eats Well With Others. All rights reserved by Joanne Bruno.
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97 Responses to Cannellini Beans with Fresh Basil, Tomatoes, Capers and Zucchini over Polenta

  1. Oh how I love polenta! Just perfect for these colder nights.

    I do not have a smart phone and I’m starting to feel like I don’t exist… my husband his on his Droid all the time! 🙂

    In all seriousness, you don’t need a phone or any gadget to be awesome! You are awesome!

  2. Simply Life says:

    Good thing my husband and I found each other and can live happily ever after with our ancient phones that can basically only call and text (gasp)!

  3. Stella says:

    Funny, Joanne! Though I just don’t know about the iphone theory-it doesn’t sound right to me;)
    Your braised beans over polenta do though. They sound delicious, and there’s nothing like a bowl of polenta/grits. Yum!

  4. Megan says:

    When my husband and I met, we both had ancient (I mean other people would ask us if they actually worked) non-flip, big type pad cell phones. Alas, somehow we made it through, met, and got married. But, last year my job gave me an iPhone and now my husband also has one. So, perhaps with a look into the future we were destined iPhone users? I blame in on his designer friends & the gps ability. Great post! This recipe looks like it will need to grace our table soon!

  5. Too funny!! My husband got into a huge conversation yesterday at the park with a few people comparing their phones and they were all bragging about why each of their phones could do. I swear it would have been a great commercial. Each swore that theirs was the best because… whatever. I don’t even have a stupid phone!! But I’m married so I guess it’s okay.

    I also still have never tried capers. I have it in my mind that I don’t like them so I think I had something 100 years ago that had capers that I didn’t like. I need to give them a try again. This looks amazingly good!!

  6. Satya says:

    this cannellini beans recipe looks very delicious n healthy …love its beautiful color n that gorgeous toppings …


  7. Kristen says:

    From my non-existent, non-smart phone status, those beans look really good. However, being a non-person, my opinion may not count.

  8. The beans and vegetables sound delicious over polenta, a yummy dish!

  9. janet says:

    I found the study, but I remember quality vs quantity! iPhone may have more sexual partners, but maybe the Androids are more loyal? I hope so because my bf is an Android user… I don’t use any cell phone, so who knows what that says about me! 🙂


    Love the recipe too.. haven’t had polenta in a while… but are these fall recipes already? NOOOO! 🙂

  10. S. says:

    I suppose that must explain why I’m single.

    I didn’t even know how to text until last year, so I figure I’ve got some single girl years left in me … (that, and I’ve given up my cell phone.)

    Lovely recipe. I love polenta. Like, big puffy heart love.

  11. Nothing wrong with being a single lady Joanne!!!! Besides it leaves more of this delicious dish for yourself!!

  12. Ashlee says:

    i love a big bowl of anything tomato-ey over polenta. this looks delicious!

    good thing i found my husband back before smart phones came about, i finally just got unlimited texting on my plain old cell phone.

  13. Giovanna says:

    I have never owned a cell phone in my life! Ever, not even a crappy one for a short time and some how I managed to meet my husband, have 3 kids and be constantly busy! : ) Do not worry, when the time is right, you will find your prince charming, until then mangia and be thankful for the quiet times you have now. With love comes marriage, with marriage comes kids, with kids comes noise. CONSTANT NOISE! : )

    Polenta is my ultimate comfort food, we had it so many different ways and it was always amazing. Your polenta looks oh so yummy!

  14. Dana says:

    Some of my very favorite things in there. Your photos are looking very smart these days I have to say. I have an iPhone and, while I was totally smitten with it for the first six months I had it, I think they are overrated. My husband would tell you, like a good Microsoftie, that the new M-soft phone is coming out this fall and men will flock to your door if you own that one, but we all know that’s not true. Not the men flocking part, but the phone being any good part… 🙂

  15. That looks very delicious, a complete meal in itself…

  16. Why not post your recipes (and photos — yours and the food — on the dating websites? However, don’t rush. Single is good. Marriage is good. For everything, there is a time……!!

    This looks delicious!


  17. Katerina says:

    Not until recently have I discovered polenta and I liked it a lot. I love the veggies you put on it. It is very colorful. Regarding cellular phones I have an iphone and to be honest I think it is overrated.

  18. Martha (MM) says:

    Mmmm, this looks so good. I’m home sick today and could use a bowl of that right now – soup, schmoop, this would be the cure I’m sure!

    As for the phones, you know I have Harry the Blackberry – guess that’s just for old married people now, ack!

  19. elra says:

    Haven’t made polenta in such a long time. This looks really delicious combination Joanne.

  20. The Mom Chef says:

    Another comfort food post? This must be the fifth or sixth I’ve seen over the course of the past two days. I’m sorry that your Android will leave you out of luck in love. If it helps at all, I met my husband and I met in 1996 via AOL at a time when cell phones made better weapons than they did phones, they were so big and clunky (and neither of us owned one).

  21. Amy says:

    All is not lost, Joanne. When I met Paul I was using a basic Motorola, without any computer screen, no texting capabilities, no applications available. It was merely a cell phone. And it was totally from the dark ages (so old that when I finally did upgrade to a Blackberry, the sales guy didn’t know how to transfer my data off of it!) But, Paul? He still thought I was hot. And married me.

    Now, did someone say Cannellini beans? My favorite!

  22. That survey must have been sponsored by Apple! If that is indeed true, then neither you nor I would have been born… Some iPhone diehard fans must have been trying to prove to the world that they are the cooler and spunkier people who inhabit this earth…. I am a blackberry user but I got myself an iPad… :-p

  23. Ameena says:

    I wish I was single instead of married to an iPhone-losing husband. Just kidding – I think.

    I love polenta! I haven’t had it in so long and I am not inpsired to whip some up again. Love the topping Joanne! I can’t wait to try this recipe.

  24. Kristin says:

    I don’t know why but this just screams fall to me. The warm polenta and all of the vegetables sounds like a winner to me.

  25. aipi says:

    Lovely combo of ingradients..looks delightful!

    US Masala

  26. Wonderful fresh flavors served over the fantastic polenta. Bravo!

  27. Hahaha I will never be an iPhone gal either. Can I join in on this dancing? This dish looks yummy and filling. Please can somebody tell me why I haven’t made polenta in ages? I sure as hell don’t know 8).

  28. Mary says:

    So, “What’s your major?” doesn’t cut it any more?
    This looks like such a warm and lovely dish. Who needs men when there are dishes like this on the table? I hope you are having a great day. Blessings…Mary

  29. I’ve never made polenta, but this recipe gives me the perfect excuse to try! Looks great!

  30. Pam says:

    Thank goodness I am already married… I have a plain old, regular, nothing special, cell phone.

    I am loving this dish. I have never made polenta and have only eaten it twice. This recipe makes me want to change that asap.

  31. Polenta is new to me. I love the colour and combination of this dish. So comforting yet attractive! 😉

  32. Kelsey says:

    what if i dont have any phone? no seriously, i think i missed the boat when it came to cellphones..why dont i love them “maybe cuz u have no friends to phone” lol jk. i had a cell but never used it as much as i thought and ended up with so many headaches over cell phone companies- theyre so greedy here!

    anyways the beans look great! i always get excited when ur cooking and preparing a bean dish, very yummy my dear <3


  33. tigerfish says:

    And THAT’S a happy lady, yay! 😉

  34. Juliana says:

    Joanne, what a great way to serve polenta…such a nice vegetarian dish…and the photos are awesome!

  35. As always – beautiful! How do you get SO MANY good photos! Wow, I’m glad I’m married b/c I’m still using the same generic cell phone from 4 years ago! I need a new one though I see!!!

  36. Marcia says:

    Your photos are amazing.

    Good thing I’m married because I have a pre-paid cell phone from the dark ages.

    I just read your previous post. Holy cow. Powerful stuff. I’m so glad you made it out home okay.

  37. sweetlife says:

    oh joanne you truly will be a wonderful girlfriedn, i mean with all these wonderful plates of food, who wouldn’t want to come home to these, and keep the sass girl,

  38. Eliana says:

    The one thing I don’t like about being married is that I can’t open sing and dance to single ladies without getting dirty looks. So live it up girl!

  39. Mo Diva says:

    Oh joanne. this saddens me as I do not have an iphone but a PAM Pilot… not even a PALM Pilot because i lost the L and now its PAM. It makes so much sense now. My friends, all iphone users are lucky in love and now i know its because im brand loyal to palm, i mean PAM, that i am unlucky in love. Dammit Pam.

  40. Dawn says:

    Well thank God for scapegoats. Dang dating sites. It’s all their fault!
    You know I haven’t done much with polenta. Not sure why…I guess I need to branch out more but I’m still on my dang barley kick.

  41. Tasha says:

    These photos are absolutely gorgeous and this recipe sounds so good, I’d really like to have some right now! I’m not even hungry, it just looks that amazing.

  42. R. says:

    You’re hilarious my dear! Congrats on being newly single 😀 Nothing wrong with that, no matter what phone you’ve got!

  43. RamblingTart says:

    Oh girl, you are HILARIOUS!! I love this post. 🙂 iPhone or not, you are an amazing catch, and I love all the single lady things you did. You go girl!! 🙂

  44. Faith says:

    Too funny! Every time fall rolls around with its chilly nights I crave polenta. I’m definitely making this one!

  45. Rachana says:

    You are hilarious!

    The recipe sounds so good. Lovely photos too 🙂

  46. Mari says:

    aint nothing wrong with being single!!!! I love my life =)

    btw I miss you! we need to some jo and mari time!

  47. Cristie says:

    Smart phones. . . they are just trouble. You’ll meet the right guy. Your recipe looks lovely. I love the colors, so inviting. I need to master polenta, yours is beautiful.

  48. Monet says:

    Way to embrace your android loving self! It is so funny to read all of these statistical studies that people conduct about relationships and love. Thanks for giving us this delicious polenta recipe (anything you can add fresh basil to makes my day!)

  49. Reeni says:

    I have to agree with Mari’s comment above me – I love being single! I can do what I want when I want…my cat can sleep on the pillow next to me…and I can still use my old school ‘flip’ cell phone without a care. I can gorge on your delicious and comforting polenta whenever the mood strikes! Even if it’s in the middle of the night…and I want to eat it in bed.

  50. Chef Dennis says:

    I can’t imagine that there are not lines of perspective boyfriends circling the block around your apt! what ever phone you use, but thanks for letting me know those statistics, my wife has been hinting for an I phone!
    Your meal is positively comfort food, and delicious comfort food! I would love to try it!

  51. Megan says:

    I love polenta – I think it’s such a nice change from pasta.

    With that being said, let the record show that I have an Iphone. And I’m married. For almost 16 years.

    Does that make me boring?

  52. Shannon says:

    ha, well i had considered signing up for those online dating things… but now, upon hearing this news, i shall not even try, as i have no smart phone 😉 polenta, on the other hand, is something i really need to tackle!

  53. All I can say is I’m glad I don’t have to try to compete for online dating because I’m sadly smart phone-less. Wit and charm have to prevail over technology and you have both, in abundance. (I think I just quoted Sense and Sensibility!).

    I would love that meal!

  54. Raina says:

    Who conducted that study..Steve Jobs? I say it is flawed. I keep telling you there is a very handsome doctor in your future, and boy will he be lucky when you make this dish for him:) I love polenta and with all of the healthy goodies you have put on top…yum!

  55. I think, I know the cause of all your relationship problems. You did not link this wonderful recipe up at My Meatless Mondays. That is the place to meet great guys and you ignore it.

    Far be it, for me, to tell you how to catch a fellow, but I do know, they lurk in corners at My Meatless Mondays, singing Joanne.

    Such a pity.

    Have a great day, Joanne and I love this recipe.

  56. Hi Joanne! Great post. I have NEVER made polenta before, can you believe that?? This is going into my TO-DO list!

  57. So beautiful- loving that polenta! My hubby and I met and married before the electronic tether was a fixture. Land lines worked for us!

  58. pajamachef says:

    good thing i’m already married. cause i don’t have a blackberry or an iphone or an android. or a smart phone at all. i do have the internet though, does that make me cool? these beans look good!

  59. Victoria K. says:

    Don’t feel bad. I’m a crackberry user! haha, actually I read that exact same study!! It was kind of random but I remember thinking how lame I must be in the smartphone world with my old school, not touch screen Blackberry. Someday, maybe I’ll be cool like the rest, haha.

  60. theUngourmet says:

    I’ve never heard of this study but I have heard that iPhone users get pretty crappy signal and have to put duct tape on their phones. That seems a little dorky to me. I say you’re one hot Android toting mama. Embrace it and blow off those silly stats! ;D

    Great meal BTW! I cannot believe I STILL have not made polenta! What is wrong with me anyway?!

  61. MaryMoh says:

    Love your story. Just enjoy your life and enjoy your food 😀 I’m sure many out there envy you to bits :)…….including me….hehe. Wish I can cook healthy food like you 🙂

  62. Laura says:

    I miss those single lady meals…now it’s all meat and potatoes! Love my Android too. Droid does! lol. This looks great.

  63. Jessie says:

    Are you kidding? Smartphone?? Good thing I got married long before the iPhone became super popular :O Don’t worry, Joanne! Your perfect half will drift through your door, drawn by the scent of your delicious cooking 🙂 Maybe that crazy matchmaker taxi driver you met before can set you up with someone 😉

  64. brandi says:

    I am cursed when it comes to polenta! I can never make it the way it is when I order it out somewhere. But I still love it.

  65. Barbara says:

    First of all, let me tell you from my heart that I am grateful I am no longer in the dating scene. God. What a nightmare.

    Anyway….this dish is heavenly, Joanne! I adore polenta (but usually like tons of butter on it, so parmesan is an acceptable substitute) and the healthy mixture of beans, zucchini and tomatoes is deeeevine. Right up my alley!

  66. This recipe looks amazing… I will be trying it out and feeding it to my boyfriend soon so he doesn’t leave me for an iPhone user.

  67. Julie says:

    hahaha i was just talking to my coworkers the other day about online dating. they ALL met their husbands through it. i kid you not. they were trying to get me to do it. not that i have anything against it. i think its great but for now i’m sticking to my blackberry and my singledom 😉

  68. I’m a zucchini addict, so I can just tell this recipe and I are going to become best buds this fall. =)

  69. Ian Low says:

    this looks yummy!

    btw thanks for droppin by my site 🙂

  70. Joanne, the dish looks lovely. Btw, I’m not a smart phone user either. I’d rather save my money towards lens 😛

  71. Suman Singh says:

    I have never made polenta but your recipe tempts me to try this one soon..thanks for sharing..looks yummy!

  72. Sippity Sup says:

    Whenever I say “sorry I don’t make the rules” I usually mean I do make the rules. Is that what you mean too? GREG

  73. Heh, I have an ancient cell phone so I’m sure I’d be screwed in this study. But if I could make and eat fabulous meals like these, I probly wouldn’t care 🙂

  74. Foodjunkie says:

    Phew! Thank god I tied the knot before the iPhone came out! If yous see my phone, you’ll understand why… Great healthy dish as always. You are never tired of squash are you? 🙂

  75. Deborah says:

    Good thing I’m already married – or else I’d be in trouble with my old school flip phone!!

    This looks so good – love the seasonal flavors!

  76. I adore the polenta! I was thinking to pour some mango chutney on top. :-))

  77. Pierce says:

    Funny story – I think online dating would confuse me!!By the way, Thanks for your advice the other day, We have started walking…will hit the jogging after vacation in October.

  78. Radhika says:

    This looks like a winner recipe. Yumm

  79. Elizabeth says:

    Lady Gaga’s meat dress is SO yesterday. The Polenta Dress rules! Joanne, you captured the beautiful color of polenta in these photos. Thanks — I’m making this!

  80. Such a simple yet delicious recipe!

  81. My stomach is literally grumbling at this…it looks truly fantastic.

  82. Debbie says:

    My phone is a touch screen phone and I am not crazy about it. But I do love the picture of the polenta. Looks so delicious Joanne….everything you make looks wonderful!!!

  83. This is some great-looking single lady food! There might need to be a separate study on Android users who can cook well. That has to upset the stats!

  84. This looks delicious! And I think that study is a total riot! I’m a Blackberry user, so I’m expecting my bf to leave me anyyy day now. He has an iPhone. And if it’s the last thing he’ll do, he’ll make sure I have one too. I just say no. Relationship doomed?


  85. Julie says:

    This looks so delicious. I love polenta! What a funny study!

  86. Marie says:

    I honestly did not care much about polenta until I came across your post! Now, I seriously want to try making some at home. Thanks for the inspiration!

  87. Biren says:

    Joanne, you make me laugh! Your polenta dish looks like a very comforting kind of dish.

  88. Carolyn Jung says:

    I’m on the verge of getting a Blackberry. heheheh. Good thing I’m already married, huh? 😉

  89. Debinhawaii says:

    Yum! I was just craving creamy polenta and this looks delicious. Perfect comfort food. 😉

  90. Phew…I just upgraded my phone! There’s hope for me yet.

  91. Hey Joanne! I just linked to this post on my blog, and used one of your pix to encourage people to come on over . . . I hope that’s OK, if not you know where to find me. =)

  92. grace says:

    i wish i could rest atop a bed of polenta… 🙂
    meanwhile, has anyone ever told you that your recipe names are extremely lengthy and uber-descriptive? ’cause they are. 🙂

  93. Ian Low says:

    haha … very witty!

    i am jus kinda shocked u r single, i think u r charming and attractive ennough to be an iphone users eons ago! … but then, i admire yr integrity to stick to yr android … 🙂

  94. Susan says:

    Think how much longer you will live, Joanne. Not fiddling w/ your iPhone while crossing NYC streets dramatically reduces your risk of being roadkill. (You know what I’m talking about. :D)

    You’re a hoot. How you have time for men *and* medicine at the same time is beyond me.

    Love this mound of sultry Italian flavors on a heap of fluffy polenta. Thanks for your MLLA recipe!

  95. Chris says:

    I guess I’ll go peel the “Blackberry users do it with their thumbs” bumper sticker off my car then….

    These grits look exceptional, Joanne. Yep, them is grits and tasty ones. I don’t know what this “polenta” is. ha ha

  96. Yumm this looks really flavourful and comforting! I must admit I love my iPhone. I never thought I’d get one but I seriously love it. My fiance has an android and while he likes his phone, he often lusts over mine haha.

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