Polenta is a corn-meal porridge. You can top polenta with anything you like which makes it a delicious options for breakfast, lunch and even dinner.
Polenta is identified as a yellow corn-meal. The way it’s process produces a more whole form of what many know as grits and contains 6 g of fiber. ( The most popular form of grits only have .7 g – yet I believe there is a white corn that can be used to create white polenta “grits” which reserves the whole kernels.
If cooking on the stove-top it takes about 30 minutes. Use 1 cup of polenta to 6 cups of water.
But I prefer the much easier option of using an Instant Pot. This recipe makes 4 – 6 servings.
1 cup polenta
6 cups water or broth
Vegetable Toppings: (in photo)
`1 bell pepper
2 stalks green onion
8 ounces mushrooms
4 ounces cherry tomatoes
4 cups spinach
Salt, pepper and crushed red pepper (optional)
Directions: (for Instant Pot)
Add polenta, water and sprinkle with a little salt (optional) into Instant Pot and stir.
Cook for 10 minutes (manually set or use ‘Rice’ button).
After time is up, Press ‘Cancel’ to switch to ‘Off’ and allow natural pressure release (usually 10/15 minutes).
Stir to combine water and corn-meal. Using a whisk makes this easier.
Heat griddle or pan on stove-top.
Add 1 tsp of oil and/or 2 TBS water to the pan.
Add all vegetables except for spinach and stir-fry (stir-steam) until desired tenderness, sprinkle with seasonings of choice.
Remove vegetables to a plate, turn off heat, add spinach and allow to wilt. (Adding a bit of water to create steam will help spinach wilt.)
Serve by adding polenta to a dish and topping with the vegetables.
I think I have been creating these all along prior to the term “Buddha Bowl” becoming popular. This is my second “go to” option when trying to determine what to eat next. My first is plant-based Tex-Mex meals. (I live in Texas y’all!)
The Buddha Bowl I prepared today uses quinoa as the base! I love quinoa for so many reasons and healthy ones too. It’s gluten-free and high in protein (a concern for some when embarking on a plant-based eating plan). I had roasted sweet potatoes using my favorite recipe. I had a bunch of colorful Swiss chard that I needed to prepare and hummus (which I practically keep on hand at all times). So I threw all of these “leftovers” together and created a very satisfying lunch.
pre-soak 1 – 2 hours for better nutrient absorption
Diced and seasoned with cumin, turmeric, salt, paprika, chili powder, garlic (sprinkled on as you like). Toss with a little coconut oil (barely oil them) and bake 350 – 400 degrees Farenheit
Saute green onions and bell peppers in water until soft. Add tomatoes and Swiss chard until wilted. Squeeze fresh lemon juice on top
Seasonings: cumin, lemon juice, tahini, roasted red peppers, salt/pepper and sometimes olives
Hey, here are some ingredient ideas for a Tex-Mex Budha Bowl!
This was really yummy. The texture of the eggplant mixed with diced tomatoes was right on target in this marinara sauce. I made the sauce in my InstantPot (love that appliance).
I cut the eggplant into cubes and just added it to the pot along with tomatoes and other seasonings and voila! I was done…
…except for the cooking of the pasta. Sometimes I cook the pasta in the Instant Pot too, but lately I seem to have trouble with getting perfect pasta …and my guess is that it’s probably because I was cooking gluten-free pasta. I think the better outcome has been with wheat pasta. (If anyone has any helpful hints on cooking gluten-free pasta in the InstantPot, please let me know. Thanks in advance.)
Back to the sauce..I cooked the eggplant until it was mushy. I liked it best this way because it was easy to combine with the tomatoes. The mixture of these two vegetables are superb. Yet, I call this a marinara because it’s very light vs. being more dense and doesn’t have any tomato paste which would make the sauce thicker.
This recipe makes about 2 – 3 servings. You can easily double it. Ingredients: 1 small eggplant 1 small can of diced tomatoes 1/2 cup diced onions 1/8 cup of chopped bell peppers (your choice) 1 clove garlic, minced 1/4 to 1/2 tsp salt 1 tsp or so of dried herbs (basil, oregano, Italian herb mix,
spinach to stir into pot after cooking or directly onto the plate (I prefer fresh)
Instant Pot Directions:
Put all ingredients into the inner pot.
Press manual, then adjust settings to 6 minutes.
Allow natural release (if you have enough time to wait)
Stir in spinach (optional)
Cook onion and garlic on low heat until soft. I prefer using water to steam the vegetables, so that I don’t have to add oils to cook with.
Add eggplant and a little salt to help soften, then cook about 5 minutes while stirring frequently.
Add diced tomatoes and remaining seasonings. Cook, covered over low heat until everything is very soft and (I prefer) mushy. Make sure your pan isn’t too high and use a small burner so the sauce doesn’t burn. This step may take about 10 more minutes.
Stir in spinach (optional).
Note: That is a corn-based pasta in the photo. Gluten free pastas that contain corn seem to cook the best.
I prepared this in my InstantPot. But I’m sure a pot on the stove top will work just as well. This was quick and easy. The perfect warm and satisfying meal for the cold night on which I prepared it. (Note: this recipe was based on a recipe I saw at Pinch of Yum, but I added a few things.)
4 green onions (about 1/3 cup),chopped
1jalapeño,minced (add depending on the spice level you want)
3 mediumsweet potatoes,peeled and cubed
1 cup garbanzo/chickpeas, cooked
1 14-ounce canfire roasted tomatoes
1 14-ounce cancoconut milk
2/3 cupwater for InstantPot or up to 1 1/2 if on stove top
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 – 1/2 cupchopped peanuts (or cashews)
2 x 2 strip of Kombu for added minerals
1/4 cup peanut butter (or cashew butter) You can also take some of the soup broth and blend with peanuts (or cashews) to thicken the soup.
1-2 cups kale, stems removed, chopped (or any other dark leafy greens: collards, chard)
1 – 2 tsp miso paste (for added flavor)
Place all ingredients in InstantPot and cook for 10 minutes or add to a pot on the stove top and cook until potatoes are tender.
Add the “after cooked” ingredients. If using InstantPot, after quick or natural release.
I usually cook a large batch of beans and freeze whatever I don’t use immediately. So, for this recipe the only ingredient that I had to make was the “Not-So” Cheese Sauce that I found in the Vitamix recipe book. If you have the opportunity to purchase a Vitamix you should definitely do so. You won’t regret it. I think I’ve owned mine for about 7 years and the only part I have replaced is the rubber top recently because it wasn’t fitting as snugly as it did when I first purchased it (6 years ago).
I pulled these tacos together rather quickly. The corn tortillas are Tortilla Land brand that I find in my local. The are uncooked and I prepare them on the griddle that I keep on the left side of my stove-top mostly for this purpose (and cooking pancakes just as often).
Tortilla Land corn tortillas (or make your own using masa flour)
black beans (red beans or pinto beans would also be good, canned is fine – just rinse them)
Recently I prepared three cabbage salads for the Grand Opening Event of Sadkhin Houston. Sadkhin is a weight loss program that doesn’t require any special foods, just mainly fresh fruits and vegetables.
One highly recommended vegetable for the Sadkhin Diet is raw cabbage. Also, since the diet suggests having no more than three vegetables/fruit combinations in each dish, we created the following cabbage salads for client sampling. (Note: Herbs, most spices, onions and garlic may be used freely. Also allowed are lemon juice and honey.)
1 large head of green cabbage
1/2 – 1 pound of carrots
1 – 2 green onions, thinly sliced
1/4 – 1/2 bunch of cilantro (about 1/2 cup, packed) For dressing, whisk together juice of 1 1/2 lemons (about 1/4 cup) and 1 lime, 1/2 of small jalapeno (seeds removed), 1/2 tsp cumin, salt (about 1/2 – 1 tsp) and a dash of granulated garlic, cayenne and honey to taste Optional: Add a fruit – mango would be good in this one also.
Apple Slaw 1 large head of green cabbage 3 -4 kale leaves, thinly sliced 2 medium Granny Smith apples For the dressing, whisk together juice of 1 1/2 lemons (about 1/4 cup), 1/4 – 1/2 tsp ground mustard, 1/2 tsp dried dill, salt (about 1/2 – 1 tsp) and honey to taste
Asian Slaw 1 small head of green cabbage 1 small head of purple cabbage 1 – 2 green onions, thinly sliced 1 – 2 Ataulfo mangos, diced small 1/2 tsp fresh ginger juice (or 1/2 tsp dried ginger spice) 10 leaves of fresh mint For the dressing, whisk together juice of 1 1/2 limes (about 1/4 cup – also can add lime zest if you like) about 1/2 – 1 tsp salt and honey to taste
I also put together an Italian oil-free salad dressing. (Simply omit the apple-cider vinegar and possibly use more lemon juice to make this oil-free dressing Sadkhin Diet compliant.)
This morning it took me a while to get around to preparing my first meal around 11 am. I had already had 32 ounces of water (mixed with barley green powder and 1/2 of a lemon which has now become my regular morning routine.) But at this hour of the morning, I felt like I wanted more than just juice. So I mixed together this quick smoothie.
You can use frozen pineapple, mango* and/or blueberries which are easy to find in the frozen food section of the grocery store these days. Actually, I purchase most of my blueberries frozen because that’s almost the only way I find organic berries. But I prefer fresh pineapple and fresh mango, especially the Ataulfo mangos that are plentiful in the beginning of summer time.
This recipe will make 28 – 32 ounces and can easily be doubled.
1 – 2 cups of pineapple (slices or chunks, and any of its juices)
5 mint leaves
1 cup blueberries
*High FODMAP food – remove from ingredients to achieve a Low FODMAP recipe.
Juice oranges (I used a manual juice press)
Peel and remove seed from mango
Toss all ingredients into a high speed blender (I use my all-time favorite, the Vitamix)
I added a handful of greens (kale & spinach are my favorite).
Today I made chili for the family and I will use it to top some potato hash browns. Remember to add whatever additional “chili” toppings you like (while sticking to your healthy diet, of course).
I needed something to eat and chili sounded great. But for now, I’m focusing on not eating as much meat and I definitely cannot have the potato hash browns while on the GAPS and SCD Diets. So here is the recipe I created for myself today.