Polenta!

Golden, delicious corn… it’s sweet, warming, light and nourishing..  In Vedic Astrology, corn is ruled by the moon… because the fresh kernals are full of sweet, cooling juice, and the moon rules all watery things.  Used as a dried grain,, corn is considered more drying and warming in Ayurveda.  Polenta is a great balance… generally quite moist, yet warming.

Polenta Sliced and Ready to Bake

I love polenta… and it’s one of the rare things that I use pre-made.  Āyurveda recommends that all food be freshly prepared… one should avoid or reduce eating left overs or pre-prepared foods as much as possible… And yet… we live full lives.  Some people live alone, work full-time, have kids who want to eat NOW, and so on.  Polenta is available in these ready-to-cook tubes… and I have not seen any negative health effects from making delicious & creative use of them.

Use ready-to-go Polenta if:

  • You are cooking for kids – they are very kid friendly, fast, easy.
  • You love sauces – they are a fantastic “vehicle”
  • You are on the go, have a busy day, and need to make something quick.
  • You are on a gluten or wheat-free regime
  • You are vegan – polenta has a creamy, chewy & satisfying texture without dairy or eggs

You can make Polenta from scratch… but here’s an image of the pre-made tube I use… available at Whole Foods & Trader Joes.  Please use ORGANIC – so you avoid (as much as possible) the GMOs that are rampant in US corn crops.

Organic Polenta

You simply remove the wrapping, and then you can slice it or crumble it.  Various ways to prepare it…

  • Bake on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper & drizzled with oil.  You can sprinkle them with salt, pepper and dried herbs (dill, coriander, rosemary are lovely).
  • Cook on the stovetop in a pan in oil with salt, pepper, dried herbs… and some red pepper flakes (more spice the better for kapha types & in cool / damp weather)
  • Mash and cook with veggies, like a tofu scramble or scrambled eggs.
  • After cooking you can top with sliced feta or tomato sauce or olive oil & balsamic
  • Top with Pesto – Parsley, Cilantro or Basil Pesto (made with walnuts or pinenuts)
  • Towers – layer baked polenta with stirfried veggies and pesto in between

Here are some images to inspire some ideas….

Baked Polenta with Feta (and a side of green beans)
Polenta Mash - with Brocalli, Watermelon Radish & Black Olives
Polenta with Feta, Green Olives, & Asparagus
Baked Polenta layered with Pesto & Sauteed Lima Beans, Butternut Squash and Black Olives
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