Black Bean Polenta Bowl

Polenta is simply ground corn which can be cooked in a number of ways. Boiling dry polenta gives you a delicious and creamy porridge - aka, grits. (For more on grits, check out my post on Shrimp and Grits, with a little history of my beloved corn buds). Likewise, polenta is also sold precooked, refrigerated and packaged in a tube for you to slice and either bake or pan fry. For some reason, I couldn’t find dry polenta at the grocery store here - at first I thought, ok sure, no grits in the north makes sense, but wait a second, how could it be impossible to find any corn product in the Midwest…I’m right in the middle of the US corn belt! So anyway, I bought the precooked tube of polenta and just cooked it down.

Cooking your polenta with stock, herbs and spices will add some great flavor. Mixing in some cheese and/or milk will add some calories, but it will also make it a bit creamier and of course make it taste just marvelous. If you’re worried about the fat and calories, choose low fat or fat free milk and cheese. Polenta is a cinch to make and a satisfying meal to keep you warm this winter.

Use the polenta as a side dish and serve some other vegetables along with it for a more balanced meal.

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