Polenta Paradise

Going completely gluten free can be rough sometimes because I miss things like Italian soft Focaccia Bread. I have tried some of the gluten free copy cats and honestly none of them have been spot on. About a year ago I stumbled across this yellow tube at Trader Joe’s. This yellow tube, also known as polenta, became my golden treasure. At that time I have never made or even eaten this foreign substance. I usually do tend to keep the amount of corn in my diet low because most of the stuff is usually genetically modified. And I selfishly save my corn allowance for chips and salsa…aka my crack :). But this I just had to give a chance.

The first time I made this polenta it turned into a gooey mess…a mess that had an interesting flavor but certainly was not something I would serve to guests or Mr. Picky (Anthony). After some experimentation I discovered the proper baking for polenta…. bake first with only a dash of rock salt and olive oil and then add toppings! And this is what I came up with…so amazing!

Ingredients:

  • 1 tube of polenta, sliced into ¼” thick slices
  • Olive oil
  • 1 tbsp white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 2 tsp dried basil
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1-2 tsp rock salt
  • 1 c chopped mushroom
  • 2 c chopped spinach
  • 1 large shallot, chopped
  • Goat cheese (optional)

    Ingredients

    The fixins

  • 1 package of pre-cooked chicken sausage; love the spicy Italian

    Vegans! You can always pick your fav vegan protein!

    Vegans! You can always pick your fav vegan protein!

Directions:

  1. Turn oven to 350 degrees. Wrap a baking sheet with foil and coat with olive oil.
  2. Place polenta on baking sheet, leaving a space between each piece. Drizzle each piece with olive oil and a bit of rock salt. Place in oven and bake for 20 minutes.

    Polenta-ness

    Polenta-ness

  3. In a fry pan, heat 1-2 tbsp olive oil, garlic, basil, oregano, and chopped shallot on medium low. Stirring occasionally until shallot has cooked down.
  4. After 3-5 minutes, add mushrooms and turn heat up to medium.
  5. Once mushrooms have softened add spinach and reduce heat back down to low. Stir until spinach has wilted.
  6. Finish mixture with white balsamic vinegar and cook for another 3 minutes. Once complete pour into a heat safe bowl.

    The veggies are ready

    The veggies are ready

  7. Once polenta has finished baking (should be crisp to the touch). Pull out of the oven and top with veggie mixture and a bit of goat cheese. Put back in the oven and cook for an additional 5-10 minutes.
  8. Take the veggie fry pan, coat with olive oil and heat to medium. Cook sausage, turning frequently to get a nice even brown.
  9. Plate up and enjoy!
    mmmm..

    mmmm..

    I love how easy and how delicious! For you vegans or vegetarians… this can always be made simply by removing the goat cheese and replacing the chicken sausage with vegan/vegetarian sausage.Also play around with your toppings! I love polenta because it is so versatile. It works great as an appetizer as well!

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