Veggie Yogi

Food, health and prosperity for the body

Baked Polenta Casserole

Delicious and nutritious! Here’s a nice vegetarian dish made with polenta.

Hope you all had a wonderful Easter. This weekend my husband and I decided that we’d make something kind of special. So this recipe takes a little more effort than my usual recipes–but it is well worth it!  Thanks to Dwayne for doing much of the cooking. 🙂 It was delish! Had it for dinner last night and lunch again today! The rest went into the freezer in individual servings for later consumption. 😉 If you want to save yourself some time you can also buy cooked polenta in the grocery store and save the step of cooking the polenta.

Be sure to look for cheeses that are not made with animal rennet. I typically find them at Whole Foods because they carry products that are clearly marked as being vegetarian. Most cheeses in regular grocery stores are not really vegetarian because they are made with animal rennet, but if you look carefully you can find them without.

Here’s what you’ll need
For the polenta:
4 1/2 cups water
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 1/2 cups cornmeal (regular or instant)
For the tomato sauce:
1 tbsp olive oil
1 chopped onion
2 cloves of finely chopped garlic (or minced)
Pinch hot red pepper flakes
2 – 28 oz tins plum tomatoes with juices (I found some Italian tomatoes that had only 20 mg of sodium which is very low compared to other brands)
1/2 tsp pepper
Salt to taste
1/2 lb light ricotta cheese
1/4 cup pesto sauce
3/4 cup grated part-skim mozzarella cheese
2 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
3 roma tomatoes diced
4 oz sliced mushrooms
1 red bell pepper diced
Handful of spinach (or more)

Makes approx 8-10 servings

I adapted the recipe from Bonnie Stern’s recipe in Simply HeartSmart Cooking adding some veggies. I think if I made it again I’d try increasing the amount of veggies, but the way I made it was pretty good. 🙂

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Add canned tomatoes, roma tomatoes, mushrooms, and bell pepper and cook for approximately 30 minutes until thick.

Puree the sauce using a hand blender. Add salt and pepper if desired.

Mix in Spinach.

Spread 1 cup of sauce over the bottom of a 13 x 9 inch baking dish.

Slice the polenta.

Top with mozzarella and parmesan cheese and bake at 375 degrees for 35 minutes.

Wait 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

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