My first post came while I was at a 5 day training, and this one is somewhat related. On my way home, I stopped at my friend’s house to pick up my furry kids (kitties), and she was making dinner. Since I had work in the area the next day, she talked me into staying the night. This meant I had the honor of partaking of her yummy meal. It was a “Polenta Lasagna”, and it was delicious. (I had two servings!)
Here is my version of that meal.
The veggies in the recipe can be varied, depending on what you have that needs to be eaten before it needs to be thrown out.
Slice, chop, and otherwise prepare your vegetables.
Slice polenta and brown in oil in skillet until golden.
Put 1/2 of the cooked slices in the bottom of your 9 x 13 baking dish.
Add a little more oil to hot pan and sautee onions, peppers, and garlic until crisp tender. (If you are using meat, add it to the pan just before these three vegetables and cook the meat with the onion and garlic until ground meat is cooked through. At that point, add the peppers and continue with the recipe as described.)
Add the zucchini, sliced asparagus, and broccoli and saute for a few minutes. Add mushrooms and saute some more.
Overfill your pan with spinach and top with grape or cherry tomatoes.
Smash down the spinach with the lid and allow spinach to wilt. It really will shrink quite a bit.
When spinach and tomatoes are cooked, the assembly begins.
Spoon half of the vegetable mixture over the polenta slices lining the bottom of the baking dish.
Spoon half of the spaghetti sauce on top.
Top with more fried polenta slices.
Then finish it off with the remaining vegetable mixture and spaghetti sauce.
If no one has any dairy allergies, some low fat cheese can be sprinkled on top before baking.
Place it into a 375 degree oven and bake for 30 to 45 minutes or until hot and bubbly.
Cut into portions and serve.
This serving was sprinkled with Daiya Cheese after it was plated.
I hope you enjoy it.
Polenta Lasagna Recipe
1# ground turkey (Optional)
24 oz spaghetti sauce
Cut up a variety of fresh vegetables 1/2 to 1 inch strips or pieces. (You can substitute already cooked vegetables if available)
We used approximately
1 1/2 bell pepper cut into strips
1/2 red onion, sliced
1 zucchini, sliced
some leftover cooked broccoli (less than a cup)
8 0z package of baby portabello mushrooms
3 asparagus spears
2 chopped cloves of garlic
Halved grape (or cherry) tomatoes, or leftover diced canned tomatoes
1-2 cups of spinach
Cut up vegetables except spinach and set aside
Slice polenta into 1/2-1 inch thick slices and grill in 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil. Cook on Medium to Medium High heat, until light golden brown. Remove slices- Place 1/2 of them in the baking pan and set the rest aside.
In the same pan where you fried the polenta, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and brown one pound of ground meat with the onion and garlic. When the meat is almost done, add the peppers. (I usually use ground turkey, but the pictures are from a vegetarian version. It’s good either way.).
Add the other vegetables to the pan, adding the vegetables needing to cook the longest first and adding the others until all are in the pan, ending with the spinach and tomato halves. Cook the vegetables on medium heat until the desired consistency. After adding spinach and tomatoes cover and cook for 3 to 5 minutes until the spinach is wilted.
Preheat oven to 350 to 375 degrees.
Place 1/2 the cooked vegetables on top of the polenta already in the baking pan. Follow with 1/2 the spaghetti sauce. Add the remaining polenta, top with the remaining vegetables, and the rest of the sauce.
Place in preheated oven for 30 to 45 minutes or until bubbly and heated through.
If you can eat dairy, you can top with shredded cheese before baking. If not, I like to top it with Daiya cheese as I serve it.
Note: I kept this easy by using store bought polenta and a jar of spaghetti sauce. This can also be made with homemade spaghetti sauce and polenta. When following this version, you can add herbs and spices to the polenta when you cook it to add depth of flavor and compliment the spaghetti sauce.
Note: If you make homemade polenta, refrigerate it in a small loaf pan before slicing and frying. This makes it more manageable.