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Polenta, a Lighter Carbohydrate

Polenta has been around for centuries. It used to be a peasant food but is now appearing in fancy restaurant menus. Polenta is made with cornmeal, and may contain a mixture of other starches. While it is high in carbohydrate, it has a lower glycemic index than some other carbs, making it a lighter alternative to your daily carb. It is also a source for protein and calcium.

While it is traditionally a slow-cooked item requiring a lot of attention in preparation, it is now available in cooked format. The recipe below makes use of the latter and only takes a few minutes to prepare.

Recipe: Polenta with Mushroom Sauce

Serves 6


1 ½ tbsp olive oil

½ tbsp sesame seed oil

1 lb pre-cooked polenta - These are available with herbs as well

½ onion, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 tsp dried oregano

1 tsp dried basil

3/4 lb mixed mushroom, sliced

1 tbsp soy sauce

1 tsp sugar

1 tb balsamic vinegar

1 Tsp corn starch

½ c mushroom broth or arrowroot powder, dissolve in ½ cup mushroom broth

Salt and pepper to taste


  • Cut polenta into ½" slices.

  • Heat 1 Tb olive oil in medium heat.

  • Sear polenta until lightly browned, about 2 minutes, on each side.

  • Place on serving plates.

  • Heat remaining oils in medium heat.

  • Add onion and cook until soft (about 1 minute).

  • Add garlic and herbs and stir till it is aromatic (about 1 minute).

  • Add mushroom, soy sauce, sugar, salt and pepper and cook till done (about 5 minutes).

  • Stir in vinegar.

  • Add cornstarch mixture to thicken sauce.

  • Spoon over polenta.

Serve immediately.


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