I love polenta. I don’t know if it’s my Italian genes or that I just enjoy sweet flavors, but I can eat this creamy Italian mush anyway you prepare it. So, polenta lasagna it is for dinner tonight. This recipe comes from one of my cookbooks, Glycemic Index Cookbook for Dummies and offers a lower calorie and medium glycemic version of lasagna without giving up any flavor.
Having toddlers makes preparing meals challenging, at least in my experience. There is always somone that needs something or they are hanging off my leg wanting me to go in the other room with them. They remind me of cats, the second I start doing something productive they feel the need to block me any way possible. I try to get them involved with the process, but it’s sort of difficult when chopping veggies is on the agenda. Recipes like lasagna, stews, chilies and soups work for me right now because once you get the prep work done of cutting all your veggies the cooking part is simple.
During the kids nap time, I cut up all the veggies and put the lasagna together, cover and place in the refrigerator for later. Then I can just throw it in the oven. I still have plenty of time to have my own lunch and some down time before everyone wakes up. Nap time is too precious to me to be working the whole time!
Preparation time: 15 minutes Cooking time: 32 minutes Yield: 8 servings
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
2 zucchini ,cut lengthwise into slices 1/4–1/8-inch thick
2 portabella mushrooms, thinly sliced
½ yellow onion, thinly sliced
One (18 ounce) package polenta, cut into 1/4 inch thick slices
1/4 cup pesto
1/2 (24 ounce) jar bottled marinara sauce
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
1 Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray an 11x7x2 inch baking dish with non stick cooking spray and set aside.
2 Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the zucchini, mushrooms and onions and cook until softened, about 6-8 minutes. Drain any liquid and set aside.
3 Arrange a single layer of polenta in the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Spread a thin layer of pesto over the polenta. Spread the sautéed vegetables, sprinkle with fresh herbs, followed by ½ cup mozzarella cheese, ½ of the marinara sauce and the next layer of polenta.
4 Top with another layer of polenta and sauce. Bake, uncovered, for 20 minutes.
5 Turn on the broiler. Top polenta with cheese and broil until cheese lightly browns, about 3-4 minutes. Watch carefully as all ovens are different.
Per serving: Calories 191 (From Fat 86); Glycemic Load 19 (medium); Fat 10g (Saturated 4g); Cholesterol 15mg; Sodium 649mg; Carbohydrate 19g (Dietary Fiber 3g); Protein 8g.
Excerpt from Glycemic Index Cookbook for Dummies, Dec. 2010, Wiley