Summer Vegetable Polenta Bowl


IMG_7051At 2am last Friday, I drove my daughter to a Starbucks in a nearby town.  She got out of the car, gave me a big hug and sleepily climbed into the truck of a classmate whose parents had offered to drive them to the airport.  From there they would join their teacher and other classmates and board a plane to New York City.  She spent 3 days in NYC seeing everything there is to see, then spent the last two days in Boston throwing tea into the harbor and eating as much food as she could.  I am so proud of her.  She really pushed herself going on this trip and had an amazing time.  I am thrilled I was able to send her and soon I hope to write a post about how I was able to do it.  Gosh, it seems like only yesterday she was just a tiny thing learning to write her letters and exploring local parks.  Now she is almost 14, full of ideas and opinions and dreams.  It’s so amazing to watch her grow up.

She returned from NYC with cool souvenirs like an NYC Starbucks mug for me and a couple sweatshirts for herself.  She also returned with a new love for salads, which I am just over the moon about.  She seemed so open about trying a salad that I thought I might be able to get her to try a version of a Buddha bowl, but with polenta.

It turned out so much better than I expected and better yet, she loved it too!  We even ate the leftovers this morning for breakfast.  I just threw a couple eggs on top and cooked them until the veg and polenta was warm and the eggs were cooked.  It was warm and filling, full of veggies and 100% gluten-free.

Summer Veg Polenta Bowl

  • Roll of precooked Trader Joes Polenta, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 4-5 handfuls of fresh veggies (I used 1 zucchini, 8oz sliced mushrooms, 1 bell pepper, snow peas, shredded carrots, a little spinach and some green onion, but use what you have on hand)
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 3-4 tablespoons of olive oil
  • Goat Milk Cheddar Cheese, cut into small chunks (Trader Joes!)
  • avocado
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder or red pepper flake (optional)
  • large pinch of sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Make the Cilantro Dressing first and set aside in the fridge.

Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.

Add 2 cloves of minced garlic and cook 30 seconds before adding the mushrooms.  Cook 5-7 minutes or until mushrooms begin to brown and the liquid starts to evaporate.

Add the rest of the veggies and continue cooking until everything is cooked evenly.  If using spinach add it at the very end and only cook for 2-3 minutes.

While the veggies are cooking, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a separate large skillet over medium heat.

When hot, add 1 clove of minced garlic to the pan and cook for 30 seconds stirring gently.

Add the cubed polenta to the hot pan and sprinkle with the salt, pepper, ginger, curry, and turmeric.  Using a spatula spread it out so the bottoms can brown, but do not stir it.  After about 5 minutes or when one side of the polenta has browned use a spatula to flip the polenta over to brown the other side.

When the polenta is browned stir gently to break up the pieces.  Serve in bowls topped with the veggies.  Top the veggies with goat cheese, avocado and then a drizzle of the Cilantro Dressing.


Cilantro Dressing

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon (or lime)
  • 1 cup of fresh Mexican cilantro leaves
  • 1 clove garlic
  • salt and pepper

Add all the ingredients to a food processor or magic bullet then blend until smooth.  Reserve in a small jar and use throughout the week on eggs, toast, chicken, salad or anything else you can think of.