Polenta!

Squash-and-Eggplant-Casserole-af

I love to cook for myself. But I’m terrible at planning.  Being hungry by the time I start to cook means I want my food QUICK. This usually leads to eating a lot of cous-cous and polenta.   Both are super easy to prepare and give a welcome alternative to potatoes or pasta.

Polenta is cornmeal simmered in water or broth to create a thick, porridge-like, creamy mixture. The more finely ground the cornmeal, the creamier your cooked polenta will be. Try to find stone-ground whole grain cornmeal for your polenta recipes; it contains the entire grain of corn. If possible, avoid degerminated cornmeal; the process, which strips the grain of its germ layer, renders the cornmeal less nutritious.

One of my favorite ways to prepare it is topped with sauteed veggies, garlic, and onions.  Here’s a step by step:

1. Sautee onions and olive oil to a wok or pan

2. Add vegetable of choice: butternut squash, eggplant, zuchinni, peppers, etc all carry a nice flavor. Cover and leave the veggies to cook over a low to medium heat, until they are lightly tinged golden brown, about 10 minutes. At 10 minutes, add chopped garlic, so as to get the flavor but keeping it mostly raw (for maximum health benefits)

4. To prepare the polenta, bring water to a boil in a large saucepan over a high heat. Gradually whisk in the polenta (you want about 1/3 polenta to the amt of water) and continue whisking until the polenta absorbs all the liquid. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring, until the polenta is thick, 5–10 minutes. Beat in the Parmesan cheese and oregano with seasoning to taste.

5. To serve, spoon the polenta onto plates or into large individual bowls. Top with vegetables. Optional cheese or chopped nuts or cracked pepper!