What I love most about polenta is how versatile it is. It takes on any flavor you want it to. You can make it Italian or Mexican or pretty much anything. It’s like a blank slate. Awhile ago I picked up a bag of dry polenta (not the logs you see in the store, although those are good to have on hand for a quickie dinner) and I’ve loved all the things I’ve created with it. The polenta I got can be made in the microwave, which is awesome when you don’t have a lot of time to cook. It takes about 10 minutes in the microwave.
Here are just a few things I made recently:
One that was a favorite and low in calories was a faux cheesy polenta and shrimp. I made the polenta in the microwave with a little bit of shredded Colby-Jack cheese in it, not too much. Michael cooked the shrimp in the skillet with some salt and pepper and dinner was served. Fast, easy, delicious, low in calories. Paired with a green salad it was very satisfying.
Another night, I was home alone and wasn’t sure what I wanted to make for myself. I was feeling very lazy. I decided to do a vegetarian dinner. I cooked polenta in the microwave and while that was cooking, I sauteed onions in the skillet and then added that to the polenta.
I cooked up some black beans (adding some cumin and taco seasoning) and topped the polenta with beans, a serving of shredded cheese, chopped olives and chopped tomatoes.
I LOVED this meal! It was so delicious. The polenta took on the flavor of the onions and beans and I topped it with a little sour cream and pico de gallo.
I had a serving of tortilla chips with dinner and when the food was gone, I wished I’d made more than one serving so I could have leftovers the next day. Delish!
The above meal shows up often in my life because it’s so simple and delicious. Really, you can do almost anything with polenta. I scoured the internet for some more recipes and came up with this:
Eggy, Crispy Polenta with Tomatoes & Mushrooms – minus the mushrooms, this looks amazing.
Polenta Chips – what a cute idea!
Roast Potatoes Two Ways: Polenta-Crusted with Rosemary & Garlic – I’m definitely going to try this one.
Polenta French Toast – this looks interesting, albeit a little strange. I always imagine polenta as a savory dish, not sweet, but I suppose you could do it.
Creamy Polenta with Goat Cheese – you had me at goat cheese! I’m in!
All of those recipes look so tasty. They are on my “to-try” list. If you’ve never had polenta before, I suggest you give it a try. It’s simple, healthy and fairly low in calories.
So what about you? What’s your favorite way to use polenta? Any recipes to share?