Wondering What To Do with Polenta?

Do not fear–I will tell you.

This cornmeal based food is about as versatile as cornmeal-based foods get. As you probably know by now, I enjoy foods that change personality based on how they’re prepared. One day soon, I pledge to cook polenta from scratch, but I’ve only ever bought it in this tube-like packaging, (laziness).

It's not the most attractive of food items, is it?

Sometimes, in all its cylindrical glory, these polenta globules are found by the rice shelf, and sometimes they’re found near the cheeses and eggs, in the refrigerated area. I suppose it depends upon your grocery store. Obviously.

Anyway. I’ll throw up two preparations here, because, well. I eat these things half a tube at a time. When you first cut into the packaging of this, some water will squirt into your face. Just so you  are prepared.

And food scales are very helpful for getting to that exact half-way point! Have I told you guys that I have a food scale? Well, now you know.

I don’t think that you would die from not cooking the polenta, but I always do because it makes it much more delicious and appealing. After slicing it, you can sprinkle spices (sweet or savory–it’s really versatile) on it & then toss it in the microwave, pan-fry it, or do what I did, and try baking it.

Those are just sprinkled with salt & pepper. And I sprayed the baking rack with pam.

Baked at 400 for about 30 minutes, probably, flipping mid-way through

Then what should do you with these lovely golden discs? Hah. Words.

You can pretty much do whatever you want. I wanted to eat roasted vegetables & tofu & goat cheese over them. So I made that happen.

Yum.

Then, a few night later, I did this with the rest of the polenta.

Also yum.

So basically, this stuff is great & you can do whatever you want with it. My mom used to make polenta lasagne, which just uses polenta discs instead of pasta, for example.

However, next I will actually make it from scratch. Because, well. I’ve got to now.

In other news, whoever googled “excessive runners face”? I love you almost as much as I love the person who googled “wonderful spring”. I hope you both found what you were looking for!

In additional other news, I bought another bike, because Orange Bike is just hanging on to its beautiful life by the teeniest of threads. I’m such a snob.  Even though there will never again be a bike with the personality of Orange Bike, it will be nice to have a road bike that will not break every 40 miles. And also one that I can carry up my stairs without nearing death. Obviously, more is to come on this development.

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3 Comments to “Wondering What To Do with Polenta?”

  1. You definitely have to try soft polenta- polenta from scratch- which has a consistency of grit but finer. Is you make soft polenta and refrigerate it you get what you buy in the store in the tube. Making polenta from scratch is super easy. I make up a batch and add some Parmesan and goat cheese to it to make it extra creamy. I serve roasted veggies or a homemade red sauce (spaghetti sauce) over it. Thats how my Italian side eats polenta. Any leftovers I refrigerate and then make polenta cakes, like you did, and serve as a side to a nice piece of fish.

  2. You will be amazed at how easy it is to make polenta from scratch!
    The only problem is resisting the urge to load it up with lots of yummy cheese!

  3. Sarah – Robin from the WW message boards here. My FAVORITE polenta recipe, trust me it’s stinking awesome (and it freezes great for lunches….and making co-workers jealous with the smell of it heating in microwave):

    -1 16 oz tube polenta (I make mine from scratch for the record)
    -1 Tbs olive oil
    -1 clove garlic, crushed
    -1 28 oz can crused tomatoes, undrained
    -1/2 tsp dried oregano
    -1/4 tsp salt
    -1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
    -4 oz chopped mozzarella
    -1/2 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

    Heat garlic in olive oil. Add crushed tomatoes, oregano, salt and some of the basil. Simmer 10 minutes

    Slice polenta in 1/2 inch thick slices and arrange in baking dish sprayed with Pam. Top polenta slices with tomato sauce, both cheeses and remaining basil. Bake uncovered for 20-25 minutes at 400 degrees.

    Serving 3 polenta rounds, 1/2 cup sauce:
    Cal 245
    Fat 11g
    Sat Fat 5g
    Chol 26mg
    Protein 10g
    Carb 27g
    Sugar 6g
    Fiber 3g
    Sodium 688mg

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