Roasted Polenta Casserole

We’re sorry about the lack of posts this week; it has been an up and down week for us. The cooking class went great on Tuesday night; thank you to those who came! We enjoyed meeting each of you and hope you liked the recipes we prepared. For those of you who didn’t make it, we did tape part of it but it will be a little while before we will be able to hopefully post it. We also have two recipes from the class that we’ll be posting about as well.

I’m not sure if we’ll be posting anymore this week because a family emergency has taken us out of town, so we’re staying in a hotel tonight. I do have a recipe for you that uses the polenta that we featured last week so hopefully this will tide you over for a little while.

If you don’t want to take the time to make the polenta (even though it’s really easy to do!), feel free to substitute pre-made polenta, it just won’t taste as good ūüėČ

Roasted Polenta Casserole

  • 1 tsp. dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp. dried rosemary
  • 2 cans fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 1/2 of a roasted red bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup. julienned sun dried tomatoes
  • 1/2 tsp. dried basil
  • 2 cups spinach, chopped
  • 1/2 cup. chopped onion
  • 2 small portabella mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 recipe Tofu Ricotta (from Veganomicon)
  • 1 recipe Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Polenta, or substitute one store-bought package.
  • 2 Medium Tomatoes, sliced thinly
  • Nutritional Yeast, Garlic Salt and Garlic Powder

– Preheat oven to 375F.

– For the sauce: In a small saucepan, add the first five ingredients and heat over medium-low, stirring ocassionally.

РMeanwhile, prepare the tofu ricotta mixture as directed and heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Once heated, add the onions and saute until translucent. Add the mushrooms and continue to cook until they begin to release their juices. Than add the spinach and cook just until wilted; remove from heat.

– Using an immersion blender (or regular blender, just make sure mixture isn’t too hot or you might have an explosion on your hands), blend the sauce ingredients until smooth.

– Assembly:
– Spread an even layer of sauce on the bottom of a glass baking dish (I used one that was 8×8):

– Top the sauce with a layer of polenta:

Cut the polenta however you like to fit your baking dish.

  Р and then with a thick layer of ricotta:

– Then sauce, then spinach mixture:

– Followed by more sauce, ricotta, sauce, and finally the polenta:

– Lastly, spread the tomato slices on top and sprinkle with Nutritional Yeast, garlic powder and garlic salt.

– Bake, uncovered, in the oven for 1 hour, or until heated thouroughly and then broil until the top is golden-brown.

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Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Polenta

Brrr! I had¬†yesterday off so luckily I did not have to leave the house but I know that it was freezing out! Instead, I stayed inside and cooked, so lucky you ūüėČ

I don’t have a whole lot else to say today so I thought I’d get right down to the recipe. You’ve probably seen or maybe bought pre-made polenta but have you ever made it yourself? It’s super easy both to make and to adjust to your preferred taste. I love roasted red bell peppers and sun-dried tomatoes so naturally I decided to throw them together into one dish. Polenta is also known as corn grits or course-ground cornmeal and should be somewhat easy to find in your grocery store.

Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Polenta

  • 1 cup Polenta (not quick-cooking)
  • 4 cups Vegetable or No-Chicken Broth
  • 3/4 cup Onion
  • 3 tsp. Chopped Garlic
  • 1/2 cup Chopped Roasted Red Bell Pepper
  • 1/2 cup Chopped Sun-Dried Tomatoes
  • 1 tsp. each Dried¬†Oregano, Basil
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • 3/4 tsp. Dried Rosemary
  • 1/4 cup Nutritional Yeast
  • oil

– In a medium-sized saucepan heat a small amount of oil and then add the onions (they should sizzle when they hit the pan). Saute until translucent and then add the garlic and spices, continuing to saute for about 2-3 more minutes.

– Add the broth and bring to a boil.

РAdd remaining ingredients, except Nutritional Yeast, and stir constantly for about 10 minutes. 

РAdd the Nutritional Yeast and continue stirring until the polenta thickens and begins to pull away from the pan (15-20 minutes).

– At this point you have multiple options!
  РEat as is.
  РPour mixture into a pan and allow it to cool completely. This will thicken similarly to the pre-made kind you can buy in the store.

РYou can then cut whatever shapes you choose and saute or bake them before enjoying.

РThis recipe goes great dunked in a tomato sauce or by itself since it is so packed with flavor. I used it in a casserole/lasagna recipe that I will be sharing with you soon!