Adding riced cauliflower to polenta is a great way to lighten up this classic Italian dish and add a boost of nutrient-rich veggies!
Thanks to Acorn Influence and Green Giant for sponsoring today’s conversation! As always, all opinions are my own.
You may have noticed cauliflower recipes popping up everywhere these days. Whether it’s cauliflower rice, cauliflower bread, cauliflower pizza, or even cauliflower steak, the humble cauliflower has become one of the hottest recent culinary trends. And why is that? For starters, it’s packed with nutrients and is extremely versatile- it can be worked into a wide variety of dishes. Plus, it’s gluten free. Cauliflower can be ground up and served as a healthy, low calorie, low carb substitute for white rice. It can even be made into a flour and used in pizza and bread recipes like my Cauliflower Cheesy Bread. Riced cauliflower is a great option if you’re watching your carbs or even if you’re just trying to incorporate more veggies into your diet and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
I’m always looking for easy, convenient ways to incorporate more vegetables into my family’s meals. So I was excited to hear about the new line of frozen riced vegetables from Green Giant. I went to my local Walmart and found four varieties in the frozen vegetable aisle- Cauliflower, Cauliflower & Sweet Potato, Cauliflower Medley and Cauliflower & Broccoli. Made with 100% vegetables and no sauce or seasoning, they can be added to recipes for a boost of nutrient-rich veggies and will save you the trouble of making your own riced vegetables. On a busy weeknight, who really wants to pull their food processor out of the cabinet, right?
I decided to use the riced cauliflower and sweet potatoes in a polenta dish as a way to lighten it up and add some healthy vegetables. If you’re not familiar with polenta, it’s an Italian dish made from ground cornmeal. Polenta can be cooked and served like a hot porridge or it can be cooled and cut into squares, which can then be baked, grilled or fried. It’s sold in some grocery stores as polenta or instant polenta and it also comes pre-cooked in a tube that can be sliced. If you can’t find it, you can just buy cornmeal.The @foodiephysician's Cauliflower Polenta uses @GreenGiant riced veggies to lighten up the dish #VeggieSwap #adClick To Tweet
My favorite way to enjoy polenta is a big bowl of it topped with marinara sauce and cheese. I like to cook my polenta in broth to infuse it with lots of flavor. As it cooks, it absorbs the liquid and the consistency should be like a thick porridge when it’s done (it will continue to thicken as it cools). For my cauliflower polenta, I added the riced cauliflower and sweet potatoes to the broth so that they cooked along with the polenta. Normally I would use about 1 cup of polenta for 4 servings but because the vegetables really bulk up this dish, I only used ½ cup, which lightened it up considerably. The riced vegetables retained a nice bite that added a pleasant texture to the final dish.
I like to finish my Cauliflower Polenta with a bit of Parmesan and mascarpone cheese. The Parmesan adds a nice salty bite and the mascarpone makes it rich and creamy. Mascarpone is an Italian cream cheese that’s probably best known for its use in traditional desserts like tiramisu. If you can’t find it, you can substitute cream cheese or add a little butter.
You can serve the Cauliflower Polenta with stews or braised dishes like chicken cacciatore, beef stew or braised short ribs- it’s perfect for soaking up sauces. But sometimes simple is best. A warm bowl of polenta topped with some homemade marinara sauce, a dollop of mascarpone and some freshly grated Parmesan cheese- it’s comfort food at its best.
- 3 cups reduced sodium vegetable or chicken broth
- 1 package (12 oz) Green Giant Cauliflower & Sweet Potato Riced Veggies
- ½ cup polenta or cornmeal
- 3 tablespoons mascarpone cheese
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- Salt and pepper
- Optional toppings: marinara sauce, grated Parmesan cheese, mascarpone cheese
- Pour the broth and the vegetables into a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Once boiling, pour the polenta in slowly, whisking continuously to prevent lumps. Lower the heat to a low simmer and simmer for 15-20 minutes until cooked.
- Stir in the mascarpone and Parmesan cheeses. Season the dish with salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve polenta with toppings of your choice.
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