Recipe: Baked Polenta with Rainbow Chard and Cheese

It’s the night before a race…so you know what that means, right?

Pizza!

Except…not today.  I didn’t have anything in my apartment to work pizza into the equation…so I had to break with my pizza before a race tradition and come up with something I could make with items I did have on hand.  Well, today is the day my CSA bin was delivered and one of the items nestled inside was beautiful rainbow chard.

It was from there…and the fact that I keep polenta on hand in my pantry…that I threw together this recipe for a later than usual dinner.  It was delicious and relatively easy to make.  As I am lactose intolerant, I substituted the ricotta cheese for silken tofu and used Daiya vegan mozzarella cheese.

The rest of the recipe is from Epicurious…but I really enjoyed it with my substitutions.  So delicious.

Recipe: Baked Polenta with Rainbow Chard and Cheese

Baked Polenta with Rainbow Chard and Cheese

Baked Polenta with Rainbow Chard and Cheese


Servings: 8
Time: Prep 20 minutes; Cook 1 hour 10 minutes; Cool 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large white onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
  • 1 pound rainbow chard, thick stems and ribs removed, leaves cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-wide strips
  • 3 1/2 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup polenta (coarse cornmeal) or yellow cornmeal
  • 1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese (I used Nosoya Silken Tofu)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups coarsely grated low-fat mozzarella cheese (about 8 ounces) (I used Daiya mozzarella shreds)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Lightly oil 2-quart glass baking dish.  Heat oil in heavy large deep skillet over medium heat.  Add onion; sauté until tender, about 15 minutes.  Stir in garlic and crushed red pepper, then chard; cover and cook until chard is tender, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes.  Uncover; stir until any excess liquid in skillet evaporates.  Season with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, bring 3 1/2 cups water and salt to boil in heavy large saucepan.  Gradually stir polenta into boiling water.  Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer until polenta is very thick, stirring frequently, about 10 minutes.  Remove from heat.

Whisk ricotta and eggs in bowl; whisk in 1 cup hot polenta.  Stir ricotta mixture into polenta in saucepan.

Spread half of polenta mixture in baking dish.  Spread half of chard mixture over.  Sprinkle with half of mozzarella.  Repeat layering with remaining polenta, chard, and cheese.

Bake until puffed and brown on top, about 45 minutes.

Cool 30 minutes.

~*~*~

You would never be able to tell that this recipe was made with tofu instead of ricotta cheese, and with vegan cheese over regular.  The onions, chard, and garlic mixture is delicious.  And the polenta made a delicious, creamy addition once it was cooked up.  I loved this and am so happy that I have another 3 days worth of it.  YUMMY!

Best part…each serving has 259 calories.  That’s it!  Amazing.  Delicious.  And quite satisfying.  I served this with a salad made up from fresh produce, also from my CSA bin.  This recipe does take some time to cook…but the end result is worth it.  I would make this again in a heartbeat.

Now…we’ll see how this does when it comes to my race day performance.

I might be sorry I skipped out on pizza…but this was definitely a huge, tasty, epic dinner win!

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