Friday, June 3, 2011

Spinach with Polenta Croutons

When I go out to eat, one of the things I like to do is to note what makes something taste so good. Then, I work to re-create that taste at home using healthy ingredients and healthy cooking techniques. I recently tasted a spinach salad that had croutons made from polenta. In addition to adding to the overall complexity of taste, the croutons also added a satisfying crunch, and made the salad substantial enough to call a meal. Here's my rendition.


2 3/4 inch thick slices of premade polenta
2 handfuls of baby spinach
1 handful of thinly sliced cabbage (or use broccoli or cabbage slaw)
4 tomato wedges
1 tablespoon gorgonzola cheese
1 tablespoon salad dressing


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut the slices of polenta into 3/4 inch cubes. Place the polenta cubes on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil and spritzed with olive oil. Bake the cubes for about 15 minutes until they begin to turn golden and brown in spots. For additional color, turn the oven to broil and broil the polenta croutons an additional minute or two until brown.

While the polenta is browning, arrange the spinach on a salad plate. Top with cabbage or broccoli slaw, tomato wedges and cheese. Use whatever kind of cheese you like best, and have on hand! Pour dressing over salad, then top with croutons. Serve immediately, while the croutons are still warm, and the salad greens are still cold.

Serves one as a main course or two as a side salad.

Stealthy Cooking Tip: Using premade polenta turns this salad into one that can be made quickly. Sometimes quick fixes help us to eat more healthy ... so keep things you can fix quickly available in your frig so you can have them when you want them!

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