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Butter-nuts About Polenta....

Posted Jan 11 2010 9:05am
"Necessity is the father of invention." 

It is cold. Everyone in Florida is on lock down. It is dinner time. I am NOT venturing out in 27 degree weather! The challenge: Create a meal using only the contents of my pantry and refrigerator.

A wonderful, naturally gluten free alternative to the noodle is polenta. In northern Italy, polenta is just as popular as pasta in the south. Pre-made tubes of polenta can be found in the refrigerated section of most grocery stores, though it is not necessary to keep them refrigerated. I love slicing these tubes into rounds and layering them in place of lasagna noodles.

I hope you enjoy this new recipe. Seemingly decadent, but remarkably healthy, this alternative to lasagna is sure to keep you cozy this frigid winter.

Butternut Polenta Lasagna
(based on the recipe found here)

- 1 tube Pre-Made Polenta, cut into 1/4'" thick circles
- 1/8 cup Almond Milk (or hemp milk- I ran out)
- 1/2 cup Butternut Squash Puree
- 1/4 cup Nutritional Yeast Flakes
- 1 egg, lightly beaten and divided
Spinach Layer:
- 1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 10oz. box Frozen Chopped Spinach, defrosted and drained
- 1 small Yellow Onion, diced
- 1/2 teaspoon Herbamare
- 1/3 teaspoon freshly ground Black Pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon Sage
- 1/4 teaspoon Nutmeg
Butternut Squash Layer:
- 3/4 cup Butternut Squash Puree
- 1/2 of the beaten Egg
- 1/4 cup Unsweetened Plain Hemp Milk
- 1/4 cup Nutritional Yeast Flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon Herbamare
- 1/4 teaspoon Black Pepeer
- 1/4 teaspoon Sage
- 1/8 teaspoon Nutmeg
"Ricotta" Layer:
- 1 box Mori-Nu Silken Lite Firm Tofu
- 1 tablespoon Garlic Powder
- 1 teaspoon Oregano
- 1 teaspoon Basil
- 1 teaspoon Lemon Juice
- 1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1/2 of the beaten Egg

Begin by making the Ricotta.
Place tofu, garlic, oregano, basil, lemon juice, and oil in a food processor. Pulse until combined.
Place Ricotta in a small bowl and stir in the 1/2 of an Egg. Set aside.

In a medium skillet, heat oil over medium heat.
Add onion and saute until translucent.
Add spinach and spices and cook over medium low until most of the liquid has evaporated.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a medium bowl, combine ingredients for the Butternut Squash Layer.

Time to begin assembly!

Pour 1/8th cup Almond Milk in the bottom of an 8x8 pan sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.
Place 1/2 of the Polenta rounds in the bottom of the pan.
Evenly spread 1/2 cup Butternut Squash Puree over polenta.
Spread 1/2 Butternut Squash Mixture over the puree and polenta.
Next, layer the Spinach Mixture.
Then, spread 1/2 of the Ricotta Mixture over the spinach.
Top with the remaining Polenta rounds.
Spread remaining Butternut Squash Mixture over top polenta.
Spread remaining Ricotta Mixture over the butternut.
Top with a 1/4 cup Nutritional Yeast Flakes.

Cover lasagna with foil. Bake, covered, at 400 degrees about 20 minutes. Uncover and continue to cook about 15 minutes.

Allow to cool about 7 minutes before cutting.

GF guy had 3rds! I think he liked it! I liked it as well. The polenta lasagna was surprisingly light and full of flavor. So, next time you are frozen in your home, explore your pantry. You may be surprised by what you come up with!

This post is linked to Slightly Indulgent Tuesday and Tempt My Tummy Tuesday

PS- Michal: Please email me your mailing address so I can get your prize shipped to you!
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