Monday, January 14, 2013

#38 Polenta with mushrooms, zucchini and mozarella

Polenta is ground cornmeal that is boiled with water or stock. An ancient food that originated in Italy, it is commonly eaten since the Roman times. I also learned that it historically has been a peasant food. It was only in the 16th century when corn was introduced to the New World. Before then, Polenta was made with farro, chestnut flour, millet, spelt or chickpeas.

Ground cornmeal is also enjoyed in many parts of the world, with many different names and cooked in a similar way to Polenta. Sometimes it is eaten directly after boiling, sometimes after grilling and baking. For this recipe, I bought my Polenta ready made from Trader Joe's. It is inexpensive, super easy to prepare, filling and delicious.



Olive oil-flavored cooking spray
1 (16-ounce) tube of polenta, cut into 8 slices
3 cups diced zucchini (about 2 medium)
1 (8-ounce) packaged pre-sliced mushrooms
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes with basil, garlic, and oregano, drained
1 cup (4 ounces) pre-shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
Freshly ground black pepper (optional)


  1. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat; coat pan with cooking spray. Add polenta rounds, and cook 3 minutes on each side or until lightly browned. Remove from pan; set aside, and keep warm. 
  2. Add zucchini and mushrooms to pan; saute 7 minutes or until tender. Stir in tomatoes, and cook 1 minute or until thoroughly heated. 
  3. Place 2 polenta rounds on each of 4 serving plates. Spoon vegetable mixture over polenta. Top with cheese. Sprinkle with pepper, if desired.

Recipe adapted from Weight Watchers 15 minute cookbook, 2007

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