Mexican Polenta Casserole is an alternative, healthy, one-dish, flavorful recipe. It replaces the boring potatoes or pasta. Polenta is cornmeal that is simmered in water to make a creamy type of porridge. It can be grilled, sautéed, or used in casseroles and lasagna-type dishes or covered with tomato sauces. You can make your own polenta or you can buy it pre-cooked in tubes at the grocery store.
This recipe is healthy. If traditional ingredients for the standard American diet are used, it would not be a healthy meal for anyone looking for meals that don't increase cholesterol and fat.
We have chosen a plant-textured ground round as the beef or turkey replacement. Automatically almost no cholesterol and no saturated fat! We then replaced the standard dairy cheese with a delicious soy cheddar cheese, which again, provides all the benefits of a plant-based meal. The salsa pops the flavor. You regulate it to mild or spicy by the salsa you choose.
This will become a family favorite.
12 oz. tube of polenta, sliced into 1/2 or 1/4-inch slices (approximately 20 slices)
12 oz. Smart Ground by Light Life® (or other vegetable protein substitute)
3 cups of soy or rice cheddar cheese, grated finely
2 tbsp. garlic, crushed
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 cup of medium or spicy salsa
3 tbsp. canola oil
-Experiment with degrees of spiciness by using mild, medium, or hot salsa.
-Replace Ground Vegetable with Tempeh (see ingredient glossary)
-Eliminate salsa and use Easy Veggie Red Sauce, and oregano
-Use soy mozzarella cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Heat oil (medium heat) and sauté the garlic for 1 minute.
Add onions and cook until clear.
Add Smart Ground; simmer for 3 minutes.
Add 1/2 cup of salsa (or more); simmer 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
Lay polenta slices into the bottom of casserole dish.
Cover with ground beef mixture. Top with a cup of cheddar cheese.
Make at least 2 layers of the polenta, meat, and cheese. (End with cheese as top layer).
Cover and bake until cheese is bubbling (approx. 12 minutes).
Remove cover after 10 minutes. Serves 5.
-A complex carbohydrate, meaning it is on the low end of the glycemic index
-Rich in good amounts of iron, thiamin, zinc, phosphorus, and magnesium
-Contains some proteins but is not a complete protein.
-aides in digestion and a good source of fiber, folate, thiamin, phosphorus, vitamin C, and magnesium, according to WebMD.
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