Whole Foods Lifestyle - Mmmm breakfast polenta recipe - I have to try this!

03-03-2008, 06:58 PM
I just saw this recipe, and I am dying to try it!

Polenta is a super food - corn is considered a whole grain :)

Breakfast Polenta Recipe

You can use any sort of dried fruit you like. I picked up a little bag of dried friar plums, and bright yellow pears at the market and used them this time around. Chopped dates are tasty as well. I used Bob's Red Mill Polenta, they also sell polenta with the nutritious germ still intact labeled as coarse stoneground cornmeal - slightly different beast. The later being the more "whole" option.

4 cups water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup coarse polenta (not quick cooking)
1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted
1/2 cup dried fruit, chopped
cream (I will probably skip the cream, but it sounds divine)

Bring the water to a boil. Stir in the salt and polenta. Stir and stir and stir. Reduce the heat (you might want to wear an apron as the polenta has a tendency to spurt and spit). Simmer for at least 30-35 minutes, if the polenta gets too thick and starts to dry out along the way, just stir in more water 1/4 cup at a time. You can cook the polenta for much longer if you like (again, great for a brunch scenario), just keep stirring in splashes of water as needed. In the end I like my breakfast polenta to be on the loose side, thick enough to coat a spoon, but loose enough that it has trouble holding shape. Serve warm in bowls topped with almonds, dried fruit, a drizzle of honey and cream (or other toppings).

From this site: http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/breakfast-polenta-recipe.html

03-03-2008, 07:43 PM
Yummm...I have never had polenta and this sounds like a great way to introduce myself to it.

Glory, do you eat a lot of polenta? Have you ever tried the ready made kind?

Suzanne 3FC
03-03-2008, 08:04 PM
That sounds good! :T

Last week, I bought some Bob's Red Mill organic grits, which also called them polenta on the label. I cooked it down till it was very thick, then stirred in a tiny bit of shredded white cheddar and a teaspoon of Rancho Gordo hot sauce, and poured it into a square pan to set. I slow roasted cherry tomatoes on the vine for 3 hours, with a touch of olive oil and course salt. I then cut the firm grits into squares and lightly browned them in a nonstick skillet, and topped them with the roasted tomatoes. It was good :)

03-03-2008, 08:16 PM
Hey Suzanne, that is good to hear! I loooove crunchy/grilled polenta the best of all. I need to try that, you have a good method!

Hey Azmom, I do eat polenta! I've never been able to make it from scratch successfully the way Suzanne describes (it's always too smushy). I buy the tubes a lot :) Whole Foods carries an organic variety - I just slice it and pan-sear it and then put it under the broiler for a minute to get it nice and crispy! I loooove it.

03-03-2008, 08:18 PM
Wow that does sound good... I think I have some polenta around here somewhere...

03-04-2008, 12:30 AM
I love polenta but really can't stand it unless its homeade. I actually had some today... here is my basic recipe:

Baked Polenta
(4 servings)

1 medium onion, chopped
4 cups water
1 cup polenta/very fine cornmeal
2 TB parmesan
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp olive oil

In saucepan, cover and simmer onion in 1/4 c of water until tender. Add in salt and remaining water, bring to a boil.

Gradually add cornmeal stirring constantly. Instant polenta will cook very fast, regular cornmeal will take 15 minutes. When its ready it will be quite thick. Spray a pan (9x9 or 8x11..round if you want to make a pizza) with cooking spray. Pour and spread in polenta. Let it set in pan, preferably overnight.

Brush top of polenta with olive oil and slice it into 4 pieces.
Bake at 375 for 12-15 minutes.

Per serving:
Calories 142.2
Fat 3.0
Carbohydrate 25.9
(Fiber 2.7)
Protein 3.8

03-04-2008, 03:17 AM
I love polenta, I like to make it for dinner. I prefer it as mush and not cooled to harden. It's simply divine with roasted veggies, some cheese, and a drizzle of olive oil mixed in! Yum!

03-04-2008, 12:09 PM
Omgoodness! All these recipes sound amazing! I can't wait to try them, I don't think I've ever had polenta but it sounds divine!

03-06-2008, 10:26 AM
These recipes sound great. Is this hard to find? I live in a fairly small town, and all we have is walmart and kroger, basically, no health food stores. I looked at walmart in the aisle with the flour and didn't see it. Any ideas?

03-06-2008, 11:40 AM
You should be able to find it - it's cornmeal which is a pretty basic item (used to make cornbread, for example). It should be with the flour, ask someone if you can't find it!

03-06-2008, 12:52 PM
Oh, so its just cornmeal? Lol, I thought it was something different, so I was looking for polenta on the box. :)

03-06-2008, 03:11 PM
Ok, I have to sound like a rube here. I cook something like that for my kids all the time but we call it mush.

03-06-2008, 04:44 PM
Lisa, you're so right! :) from About.com - Italian cooking

Polenta translates as corn meal mush, but it's much more. It's the staple food of the north, where it still outshines pasta, and can be served in innumerable ways, as a first course, baked, with stews, or even as a bread substitute

My DH loves it.

03-07-2008, 06:37 PM
Cornmeal and polenta are the same grain, but standard cornmeal for baking is ground much finer than polenta, which is usually a very coarse grind. So whether or not you can sub cornmeal for polenta is a matter of how much texture you like your polenta to have. If fine ground cornmeal is cooked like polenta, it will come out very smooth (mushy); whereas polenta traditionally has a little more texture.

Sometimes polenta is sold in the italian foods aisle or the breakfast foods aisle, rather than the baking aisle. The polenta I buy says "polenta" on the package and I can see that is it a much coarser grind than the cornmeal I buy.

03-07-2008, 07:17 PM
I haven't found very many polentas that I like. We did have one on the cruise and it was very tasty.

Some people say there is no difference between polenta and grits. I find a great difference. I really love grits and will make savory grits quite often. We love them with fish.

I'm going to try some of these recipes with my grits.

Tara D
03-08-2008, 07:29 AM
We ate yellow cornmeal as a hot cereal frequently as a kid. Just cook it with milk on the stove or in the microwave, and add something sweet -- we had sugar. Just eat it like oatmeal or cream of wheat.