Whole Foods Lifestyle - Trying polenta for the first time




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azmom
03-13-2008, 06:27 PM
I just bought some organic polenta in atube (thought I would try the pre-made first).

I know I cut it and pan-fry it (in Pam of course!)

Then what???

What are good toppings for polenta?


LindaT
03-13-2008, 06:33 PM
Sauteed veggies. marinara sauce, fresh parmesan.. mmmm Add some chicken and you have a complete meal

You can top with goat cheese, olives, artichokes, red peppers

Swap out the veggies and/or types of cheese and you can have a whole other meal... lauaghing cow cheese would be good on it, feta.. I've heard of some people making a pizza crust out of polenta

mandalinn82
03-13-2008, 06:33 PM
I love a polenta "stack" with goat cheese, roasted red bell pepper, and fresh basil...mmm! Or you can just sprinkle with parmesan and basil.

Polenta will also work with any pasta-type sauce, particularly a good marinara.


2beautiful2Bfat
03-13-2008, 09:12 PM
I give it to my kids with just salt and pepper and they love it!

olivia627
03-14-2008, 01:00 PM
I, too, have yet to try polenta! I posted a recipe for it titled Sara's Secrets Amazing Grains where Sara Moulton topped polenta with some grilled veggies that were marinated in balsamic vinegar. The pics don't do it justice. It looked sooooo good on the television screen!

I'm going to try some polenta this weekend. Good luck!

Charbar
03-14-2008, 02:58 PM
I'm obviously new to whole foods: what is polenta?!

LindaT
03-14-2008, 03:02 PM
here you go

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polenta

You can eat it soft, like it is in the picture, or let it cool in pan and then it gets very firm and you can slice it

BlueToBlue
03-14-2008, 10:31 PM
I rarely bother pan-frying my pre-cooked polenta, I just stick it in the microwave.

I love pre-cooked polenta topped with sauted chicken breast, sauteed spinach, and a tomato sauce.

I also love pre-cooked polenta with diced chicken, refried beans, and salsa. I put it all in a bowl together and pop it in the microwave. It is reminiscent of tamales.

Polenta is also great with eggs. Put one serving of polenta in an oven-proof ramekin, layer on diced ham and veggies of your choice, break a couple of eggs into the ramekin and top with 1 tbsp of fat free half and half (or milk of your choice). Bake at 375 until eggs are done to your liking. It will take at least 15 min and could take up to 30 min.

Speaking of tamales, you can make a great, low calorie, tamale pie with polenta:

Polenta Tamale Pie

1 lb lean ground beef (at least 95% lean)
1 cup diced onion (about 6 oz)
1 cup diced red pepper (about 6 oz)
1 tsp minced garlic
1 cup salsa
8 oz can tomato sauce
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 14-oz can cream style corn (no added sugar) (or you can use 6 oz of frozen corn)
1 tube pre-cooked polenta
1/2 cup reduced fat cheese


Saute ground beef, onions, peppers, and garlic over med-high heat. When meat is browned, add salsa, tomato sauce, cumin, chili power, and corn. Simmer until most of the liquid is absorbed (5 min or so).

Meanwhile, slice polenta as thinly as possible (you want at least 27 slices) and divide slices into three piles. If you have a cheese slicer, that works best for this.

Coat an 8-inch square casserole dish (should be at least 2.5 inches deep) with cooking spray. Spoon one-fourth of the meat mixture into the casserole dish. Top with one-third of the polenta. Continue layering one-fourth meat mixture with one-third polenta and finish with layer of meat mixture. Cover and bake for 35-40 minutes at 350 degrees, until thorougly heated. Sprinkle with cheese and bake for another 5 min, until cheese is melted.

Makes 6 very satisfying servings @ about 260 calories per serving.

Glory87
03-15-2008, 12:09 AM
I rarely bother pan-frying my pre-cooked polenta, I just stick it in the microwave.

I have to pan fry it and/or broil it - I love it crispy golden grown and crunchy around the edges!!!

Patti1951
03-15-2008, 01:03 AM
Polenta looks like what being from W.Va, we would call corn meal mush. My Dad always made it when I was a kid. He would pour it into a loaf pan then chill and slice and fry it for breakfast, sometimes we would put syrup over it. It was good.:D

WaterRat
03-15-2008, 03:23 PM
It is the same thing! :) Well, if you do it from scratch, technically corn meal for polenta is ground finer, but regular works just fine.

zenor77
03-15-2008, 03:47 PM
It is the same thing! :) Well, if you do it from scratch, technically corn meal for polenta is ground finer, but regular works just fine.

I buy dry polenta and it is coarse like grits, only yellow. Maybe the grind can vary or is it a regional thing?

I love polenta! I prefer it as mush though and I've never had it from the tube. It's so good drizzled with a little oilive oil with some roasted veggies and a sprinkle of cheese. So filling too.

WaterRat
03-15-2008, 05:25 PM
Hmmm, had to check other sources. Wikipedia says: Polenta is made with either coarsely, or finely ground dried yellow or white cornmeal (ground maize), depending on the region and the texture desired. It's all good, however it's ground. :lol:

BlueToBlue
03-15-2008, 09:38 PM
It is the same thing! :) Well, if you do it from scratch, technically corn meal for polenta is ground finer, but regular works just fine.

Actually, it's the other way around. Polenta is the coarsest grind of cornmeal; corn meal for baking is ground finer. You can prepare either grind in the manner used for polenta, but fine ground cornmeal will have a smoother (or mushier) texture than coarse ground.

dgramie
03-15-2008, 10:18 PM
I had to join in this thread. MY grandmother use to make us cornmeal mush when we were sick. It was like a comfort food. I hadnt thought about it in years...thanks for the happy memories.
debi
might makes some tommorow...i have the flu

get fit in ky
03-15-2008, 10:34 PM
Alton Brown did an episode of "Good Eats" on the food network a couple years ago and said they were the same but more often one color or coarseness was ascribed to grits/mush and another to polenta. I just always thought while they were "Good Eats" that it wasn't that healthy....lots of carbs, not much fiber.

BlueToBlue
03-21-2008, 06:23 AM
Alton Brown did an episode of "Good Eats" on the food network a couple years ago and said they were the same but more often one color or coarseness was ascribed to grits/mush and another to polenta. I just always thought while they were "Good Eats" that it wasn't that healthy....lots of carbs, not much fiber.

It all depends on how it is made and whether the hull and germ of the corn kernal are left in during the grinding process. If the hull and germ are left in, then it will have more fiber and maybe a little more protein. One indication is how it is ground. Steel ground generally means the hull and germ have been removed; stone ground usually means that at least some of the hull and germ are left in. Also, looking at the ingredients might help. If it says "whole kernal corn" then it should have the hull and germ.

Or you can just look at the nutritional label to see if has any fiber and how much protein it has (even with the hull and germ removed, it should still have some protein). Bob's Red Mill Course Ground Cornmeal (http://www.bobsredmill.com/catalog/index.php?action=showdetails&product_ID=140) has 5g of fiber per serving, which 1g more fiber than oatmeal (although oatmeal has 3g more protein per serving--you win some, you lose some :dunno:). But the Golden Pheasant polenta I've been buying has less than 1g of fiber per serving (I need to find a place around here that carries Bob's Red Mill products).

WaterRat
03-21-2008, 02:39 PM
Barbara, my local grocery (which is Fred Meyer, owned by Kroger) carries lots of Bob's products in the "health food" section. I usually buy the steel-cut oats there, as well as ground flax (which is in the refrigerated section) but I notice the other day the wide variety of stuff they have. Not bad for a small town grocery.... :)

SoulBliss
03-21-2008, 02:51 PM
I love to make arugula pesto or basil or sundried tomato pesto (sometimes all 3) and eat that over polenta. A good puttanesca sauce is good on it too.