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Change It Up With Polenta

I know you've seen it in the grocery store, sitting on the shelf in a tube. It's yellow and a little squishy. It intrigued you, but probably not enough to buy it. I never would have even considered the stuff if I hadn't run into a friend at the store. She reached for a tube and explained all the wonderful things you could do with it, so I gave it a shot.

This pre-made polenta, made from corn meal and water, comes in a firm tube that you can slice up and grill, cook like pancakes, or bake. It makes a great alternative to pasta when making vegetable primavera or lasagna.

If you prefer creamy style polenta that has a similar consistency to mashed potatoes, you can mix this polenta with some water (milk or broth), heat it up and you're done. It makes a delicious side dish on its own, or you can mix it with cooked veggies. You can also use it in place of tofu when you stir-fry.

So is it healthy? To check out the nutritional info and see a picture of my favorite way to make polenta

I love to sauté sliced polenta in a little olive oil. Then I place it in a pan and baked it with some mozzarella until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Then I top it with a raw slice of tomato, bake it for another five minutes and that's it. Quick, easy, delicious and good for you.

Serving Size 2 half inch slices
Calories 70
Total Fat 0g
Saturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg
Sodium 310mg
Carbs 15g
Fiber 1g
Sugar 1g
Protein 2g

This pre-made polenta has salt added to it, so you don't need to add any when you cook it. This is one healthy and different alternative to your old pasta, bread, and rice standbys. Let me know if you have any other great ways to incorporate polenta into your life. Here's what I do:

Just slice it.
Sauté it.
Bake it with some cheese. Top it with fresh slices of tomato and enjoy.
Join The Conversation
pklotus pklotus 8 years
A little sauted spinach and garlic on top is amazing with polenta.
TidalWave TidalWave 8 years
Polenta is just grits?!! Really??
MsWalton MsWalton 9 years
Spectra, thanks for the suggestion. I was wondering how I would be able to get the consistency of the tube using a box of grits. Thanks so much!!
Advah Advah 9 years
Polenta is amazing, a shame dry polenta is difficult to find in the UK! :( The family recipe (Italian side at least) is to boil it with water, a bit of nutmeg and a bay leaf until it's creamy. Then you have the creamy version while still hot, with a bit of butter and grated cheese (it goes amazingly well with daube or wine sauces). You pour the rest into a salad bowl and let it cool down over night: the next morning it's solid, and you can just slice it and grill it or shallow fry it (with black pepper and parmeggiano!).
almostloli almostloli 9 years
at first i thought this was.. TOFU hahaha
Spectra Spectra 9 years
I buy my grits in the box and make them myself. You can make them and put them on a cookie sheet and stick 'em in the fridge and you'll get a similar texture to the kind in the tube. One caveat: STIR THEM immediately when you add them to the water or they will get lumpy.
hottpink hottpink 9 years
Dunnonuttin- Come on over!!! Give me 30 min to clean up my house! LoL
dunnonuttin dunnonuttin 9 years
Hotpink... I'm on my way to your house for dinner! That sounds sooooo good!
emalove emalove 9 years
Polenta is really good! I've never bought it, but had it before in various restaurant dishes. Yummy!
kang kang 9 years
In the South we call it grits and it's cheap, delicious and filling. Nothing better than some cheese grits on a cold winter morning.
Fitness Fitness 9 years
Oooh - portabello mushrooms and grilled veggies. Sounds delish. Love the stacking idea too.
ladyliz ladyliz 9 years
MMMMM! My mother-in-law showed me how to make this. She's from Ecuador. She usually slices it thinly, slightly fries it with olive oil, then places some cheese in between. Like little sandwiches. It's also very good if you add some chopped green onion. ... I'm getting hungry...
hottpink hottpink 9 years
This stuff I soooo good! I layer mine with portabello mushrooms and grilled veggie. I make like a stack sort of thing. Polenta on the bottom, then some veggies, then another slice of poletna and so on!
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
No thank you!
Esix Esix 9 years
I'm not a fan, I find the texture kinda icky. The only thing I like about it, is its color :)
flybee flybee 9 years
I love this thing called "polenta" (it's an italian word), in my country we make it at home, we can't find this type on the market. It's a traditional dish :) I make my own with corn meal, water and a little salt, and i make it creamy. And served with diary like cottage cheese, butter milk, yoghurt, feta, it's delicious. It's simple to prepare and very sattisfying! And it won't make you fat either, if you keep the portions in control, of cource!
MsWalton MsWalton 9 years
I'm glad there's a posting about this!! I noticed that they use it a lot of "Top Chef." I'm trying to get out of eating a lot of pasta and carbs in general. This is a great alternative.
Lovely_1 Lovely_1 9 years
It's sooooo good!!!
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