This is one of our all-time favorite side dishes for a busy weeknight when we're trying to be a bit healthy but still get some taste into our meals. I really like polenta's versatility and the fact that it fills me up without making me feel heavy.
There are different kinds of polenta you can buy. Some are pre-made and others are instant (like grits). This is my favorite kind because it always assumes the taste of what you put in it, it's super cheap, and it cooks quickly. I find it in both the organic section and the Italian foods section of our little Kroger.
Another bonus of this side dish is you can use up some of the veggies and cheese that may go bad soon! I had some cherry tomatoes and drunken goat cheese that were going to go bad (what a sin), so I threw those in with the polenta and shabam.. delish.
Cheesy Polenta with Veggies
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1½ cups thinly sliced yellow onion
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon minced garlic
Quick-cooking polenta (1 tube)
Chicken broth (enough for desired consistency)
¾ cup (3 ounces) crumbled Gorgonzola cheese (or cheese of your choice – Aged White Cheddar, Parmesan, Asiago, etc.)
Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add olive oil to pan, and swirl to coat. Add mushrooms and thyme; sauté for 4 minutes or until the mushrooms are tender. Add onion, bell pepper, garlic, salt, and black pepper; sauté for 8 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
In a separate pot, cook polenta according to package instructions with chicken broth, salt, pepper, and desired cheese.
Once both pieces are ready, serve polenta first and top with vegetable mixture.