How many mouths do you cook for regularly? I cook for one, so six nights out of seven that means my dinner looks like this:
A Wasa cracker with fresh cranberry sauce, goat cheese and chives.
Except. It doesn’t look like that at all. I stole that picture from the interweb. Do you really think I have the patience to cut CHIVES?! Puhlease.
It’s more like this.
Okay, it’s exactly like that.
So when I come across a super delicious, healthy, easy to make dish, I get slightly obsessed.
Case in point: a yummy veggie polenta lasagna recipe. I’ve made it twice in two weeks and have been eating for all the dinners and sometimes lunch. It keeps getting better.
So. Let’s talk polenta. As I mentioned in this week’s Me Likey Monday, polenta is a great vegetarian substitute for pasta, potatoes or breads. It is made from stone-ground cornmeal – dried corn that’s ground down into smaller, coarse bits.
Here’s the skinny: Polenta is a less dense carbohydrate, rich in vitamin A and C, making it a good source of caroteinoids – antioxidants that can help prevent some cancers and heart disease, and strengthen your immune system.
You can buy tubes of polenta at the grocery store – I find mine at Trader Joe’s. Slice it into thick rounds and broil or fry it until it gets a little crispy around the edges, then top with maple syrup for breakfast. Or serve it creamy, underneath some roasted vegetables.
Or layer it for lasagna.
Vegetable Polenta Lasagna
Adapted from Two Peas and their Pod
1 TBSP olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 25 oz. jar of marinara sauce (I used TJ’s tomato basil
1/8 tsp fennel seed
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp dried oregano
Dash of crushed red pepper
Pinch of coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 small zucchini, chopped or peelered (my term for shaving the veggie into slices with my peeler)
1 small yellow squash, chopped or peelered
1 small red pepper, chopped
2 medium roma tomatoes, sliced
Drizzle of olive oil
Salt and pepper, to season vegetables
1 18 oz. tube of polenta, one-inch slices
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup crumbled goat cheese
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Place zucchini, yellow squash and red pepper on a large baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Toss. Roast for 20-25 minutes, or until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally. When the vegetables are done roasting, set aside to cool and reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees F.
3. When the veggies are about halfway through roasting, make the tomato sauce. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large pan. Add the garlic and cook for 5 minutes, or until tender. Stir in fennel seed, basil, oregano and crushed red pepper. Season with salt and black pepper and let simmer for about 10 minutes over low heat.
4. Evenly spread the sliced polenta on the bottom of a 2 quart casserole dish. Layer sliced tomatoes on top of the polenta, then place roasted vegetables on top of the tomatoes. Spread the parmesan cheese next, then evenly pour the tomato sauce over the vegetables. Top with goat cheese. Place the lasagna in the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until bubbly and the cheese is melted and slightly browned. Let rest for about 10 minutes.
Cut into squares and serve warm. You can also freeze this dish and thaw and serve at a later date!
Have you ever had polenta?
What is your “I’m in a hurry / lazy / hangry” dinner of choice?