Friday 8 January 2016

Cheesy Baked Veggie Polenta

This week has a been a real eye opener over how people cope with restricted diets. I've had IBS for what seems like forever, along with long term functional dyspepsia, and I can be a bit picky yet at same time eating everything within reason but this week I had to follow 2 days of low residue ahead of a special MRI scan to see what was happening as its been driving me slightly crazier than usual. The leaflets only tell you so much, it was very unpleasant experience, and that was just the diet! My shoulder alone is still aching from holding it above my head for half an hour and my stomach has been so crampy, god knows what they inject you with but it did not go down well! Anyway, hopefully its one step closer to getting it sorted. And I have a whole new appreciation for anyone subjected to restricted diets! I missed veg so much! How do you cope?!!

Anyway, on a separate note I have learned to love polenta of late, prior to this week and had been debating whether to blog it but it is really lovely, just ignore the photos I took on my phone - golden yellow becomes big bird yellow!!

Previously I had always boiled polenta, and it was alright but I didn't really get it. was a bit too grainy for me. And then one day on some magical whim I baked it instead-and whoopee! Its a winner! The texture changes, and becomes fluffy instead and makes a great side on its own, or jazzed up with some roasted vegetables. Feel free to cook this without the veggies underneath, it makes a tasty alternative to mash or rice.

Serves 4



1 red pepper
1/2 yellow pepper
1 tsp dried Italian herb seasoning
1 tbsp rapeseed oil

170g instant polenta (also known as instant cornmeal)
750ml veg stock (I used 1/2 tbsp veg bouilon powder)
50g grated extra mature cheddar cheese
1 tbsp good rapeseed oil or extra virgin olive oil

Pre-heat oven to 190o

1) Place the veg in a non-stick foil lined baking tray, toss with the oil and herb seasoning, roast for 25 minutes, or until softening and starting to brown

2) Meanwhile, heat the stock to boiling and whisk in the polenta, then using a strong silicon spatula stir until thickened -about 2 minutes - be careful its evil and will spit. Apron advisable. Remove from heat and stir in 30gof the cheese and 1/2 the oil

3) Remove the veggies from the oven, quickly splodge over the polenta, sprinkle over remaining cheese and drizzle remaining oil. Return to the oven and bake for 30 minutes, or until golden and fluffy

4) Remove from the oven, slice into wedges and serve. Wehad ours with some lush pork and cider sausages and home made onion gravy


If my dish has whetted your appetite for Polenta do check out these other fab blogger recipes - 

I really want to try these fab chunky alternative to potato chips - Polenta Chips from Recipes from a Pantry

This heavenly gooey looking Saucy mushroom and polenta bake from Family Friends Food is definitely on the make list!

I think I need to try again with sprout tops - this Maple glazed sprout tops with polenta from Elizabeth's Kitchen Diary looks delicious and hearty, great winter food!

Last but by no means least are these fab looking Courgette & Basil Polenta Wedges from The Veg Space -they look like they would make a delicious snack too or for my lunch box!


I have entered my dish in this months Extra Veg, from Fuss Free Flavours and Utterly Scrummy


  1. i havent cooked much with polenta - this looks like a good place to start

    1. Its definitely an ingredient worth a visit!

  2. Oh this looks like the ultimate comfort food! I'm fairly new to the whole polenta thing and I'm definitely going to have to try your recipe!

    1. It is proper comfort food Elizabeth, great for these cold wintery nights!

  3. I've only tried polenta once and it didn't come out well. This looks fab though so maybe I'll give it another go.

    1. Ah do try again! I agree it can leave you a bit under whelmed but do try baking it - its a whole new texture!

  4. Sorry to hear you've been suffering and I hope you get it sorted soon without having to go on a restrictive diet. I love polenta and used to make it all the time. Grilling it was my favoured way of eating it. Anyway, this sounds delicious. I hope 2016 will bring you good health.

    1. Thanks Choclette - I am used to it .. mostly.. but the last 6 months have driven me mad to the point of reluctantly agreeing to see the specialist!

      I've not tried grilling it - yet - but its definitely on the list, I just need to buy another bag now as I've run out :(

  5. I've had plenty of experience of cooking for family with restricted diets in the last few years and yet I don't think I've used polenta at all. I used to make polenta chips so often some years ago that I think everyone I know got fed up with it. I've got to get back to it and I love your way of using it here. I hope your health problems are sorted out very soon and you can eat well and feel fine in 2016.

    1. Thanks Phil :) And sorry to hear your family have been stuck on restricted diets I found it a minefield of mis-information at times! I am seeing a great Dr now, one who 'gets me' so I am hopeful too things can improve as it gets a bit tiring.

      I am yet to make polenta chips but its on the to do list!

  6. Ooh lovely, what a comforting supper. I thought I didn't like polenta, but am now a total convert and eat it all the time! Thanks for linking to my Courgette & Basil Wedges.

  7. Hope they get to the bottom if it and you feel better soon Anne.

    I love polenta, but it needs to be baked, and super crispy on the outside.

    Thanks for sharing with #ExtraVeg


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