Robin's Healthy Take: Tubed Polenta, Two Ways

Tubed polenta allows you to skip the time-consuming process of making polenta from scratch. Make it a secret weapon in your kitchen.

Ever seen those tubes of pre-cooked polenta in the store and thought, “Cool, but what the heck would I do with that?” Prepared polenta is your best “kitchen buddy” because you can skip the time-consuming process of making polenta from scratch AND you get a cornmeal-based dish with dozens of options. Think of polenta as a creative, fiber-rich alternative to your traditional starch – pasta, rice, potatoes, bread. Since tubed polenta is pre-cooked, you simply slice and reheat by sauteing, grilling, roasting, broiling or even microwaving. Once the slices are tender on the inside and caramelized on the outside, top them with just about anything – your favorite sauce, vegetable, meat, seafood and/or cheese. You can even use cubes of polenta in vegetarian recipes that call for tofu. Check out my recipes below: In the first, the polenta is grilled and topped with Parmesan-spiked creamed spinach and the second is seared and then topped with Caprese-style toppings. Got fun ideas of your own? Send them my way!

Grilled Polenta With Creamed Spinach

For thinner creamed spinach, add 1/2 cup buttermilk.

Cooking spray

18-ounce tube prepared polenta, sliced crosswise into 1/2-inch thick slices (makes 12 slices)

1 cup thawed frozen chopped spinach (well-drained)
1 cup low-fat buttermilk
1 tablespoon grated parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon dried minced onion (sold in the spice aisle)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Coat a stove-top grill pan with cooking spray and preheat to medium-high. Add polenta slices to hot pan and cook 2-3 minutes per side, until golden brown.

Meanwhile, combine remaining ingredients (spinach through nutmeg) in a small saucepan and set pan over medium heat. Bring a simmer. Simmer 2-3 minutes, until hot. Spoon hot spinach mixture over grilled polenta slices and serve.

Makes 12 polenta rounds
Nutrition Info Per Serving (1 polenta slice with toppings)
Calories: 132
Total Fat: Saturated Fat: Total Carbohydrate: 27 grams
Sugars: 1 gram
Protein: 4 grams
Sodium: 100 milligrams
Cholesterol: 2 milligrams
Fiber: 3 grams
Seared Polenta With Pesto, Tomato and Asiago
Cooking spray

18-ounce tube prepared polenta, sliced crosswise into 1/2-inch thick slices (makes 12 slices)

2 tablespoons prepared basil pesto
2 Roma tomatoes, thinly sliced
4 ounces thinly sliced Asiago cheese

Coat a stove-top griddle or large skillet with cooking spray and preheat to medium-high. Add polenta slices to hot pan and cook 2-3 minutes per side, until golden brown.

Preheat broiler.

Top each polenta slice with 1/2 teaspoon pesto, 1 tomato slice and 1 slice Asiago cheese. Transfer slices to a baking sheet and place under the broiler. Broil 1-2 minutes, until cheese melts.

Makes 12 polenta rounds
Nutrition Info Per Serving (1 polenta slice with toppings)
Calories: 164
Total Fat: 4 grams
Saturated Fat: 1.9 grams
Total Carbohydrate: 27 grams
Sugars: 1 gram
Protein: 6 grams
Sodium: 133 milligrams
Cholesterol: 9 milligrams
Fiber: 3 grams

You Might Also Like:

Robin Miller is a nutritionist, host of Quick Fix Meals, author of "Robin Takes 5" and “Robin Rescues Dinner” and the busy mom of two active little boys. Her boys and great food are her passion. Check her out at www.robinrescuesdinner.com.

Keep Reading

Next Up

Robin's Healthy Take: Salmon 3 Ways

Here are three of Robin Miller's best recipes for heart-healthy salmon.

Robin's Healthy Take: Chili, Three Ways

When it's cold outside, nothing warms you up like a bowl of hot chili. Try Robin Miller's recipes for beef chili, turkey chili or vegetarian chili.

Robin's Healthy Take: Quick Bread 3 Ways

One slice of regular banana bread has 330 calories and 11 grams of fat. Truth is, you don’t need that much fat and sugar for an amazing treat. Check out 3 of my favorite healthier quick breads.

Robin's Healthy Take: Chocolate Treats 3 Ways

There’s no better way to show someone special how you feel than by making candies from scratch. I’m not talking about labor-intensive sweets that require a candy thermometer, patience and little room for error. I mean chocolate treats that are super-simple to make and can be customized for anyone and everyone. Check out my three favorites: truffles, chocolate bark and white chocolate haystacks.

Robin's Healthy Take: Pork Tenderloin 3 Ways

Robin Miller's 3 favorite healthy weeknight pork recipes.

Robin's Healthy Take: Healthier Chips

Deep-fried chips are out; healthy, baked chips are in, like Robin Miller's kale chips, maple sweet potato chips and curried potato chips.

Robin's Healthy Take: 2 Chickens, 4 Dinners

Robin Miller uses 2 pre-cooked rotisserie chickens to create 4 healthy meals.

Robin's Healthy Take: Football Snacks

Get ready for football season with Robin's healthy football snacks: black bean guacamole, chicken fingers and a broccoli-cheese calzone.

Robin's Healthy Take: School Lunches

Robin Miller's ideas for healthy back-to-school lunches for kids.