Monday, June 11, 2012

Grilled Italian Polenta

At my recent visit to Trader Joe’s I went on a little frenzy because I don’t have one near me anymore and everything that I love went into my cart.  One of those things was a tube of Polenta.  Now, I know I can get a tube of Polenta in any grocery store, but as I mentioned before I was just so excited to be there, that in the cart it went!
One of the many great things about Polenta is that it has a super long shelf life – it’s like 9 months!  Of course, it’s also super yummy and is very low in calories.  The entire tube has only 350 calories.  As I’ve mentioned before, it’s very versatile and makes a wonderful side dish to really just about anything.
I have been in an Italian mood lately so I decided that I was going to try to do something Bruschetta-ish with it because I absolutely love the taste of fresh basil and tomato sauce.  The result was amazing!  And you can’t just use the word “amazing” for everything…it truly does have to be AMAZING...folks, this was, I promise you!
I served it with just a basic grilled shrimp for a light dinner of less than 450 calories.
1 tube Polenta (any flavor will do)
1 cup marinara sauce (I used spicy tomato basil)
½ cup fresh grated parmesan cheese
Olive Oil spray or Pam
2 T garlic seasoning (garlic, salt, pepper combination)
5 fresh basil leaves, chopped

Preheat grill to 300 degrees or medium heat.

Slice the polenta into 10 slices, about ½ inch each.
Spray both sides of the polenta slices with olive oil spray and season with garlic mix.  Note:  I found it was easiest to spray a foil lined baking sheet first and then sprinkled some of the seasoning onto it before I placed the polenta slices down on it.  Then I sprayed and seasoned the tops.
In a small saucepan, heat the marinara sauce over low heat until ready to use.
Place the seasoned polenta slices onto the hot grill and leave them alone for about 5 minutes.  At the 5 minute mark, flip them over.  They should have a nice grill mark on them.  Grill for an additional 5 minutes.  They should have a little crispness to them.
Next, top the polenta slices with approximately 1T of marinara sauce each.
Sprinkle a little bit of grated parmesan cheese on each top and leave it to grill to melt the cheese a bit.  Remove the polenta from the grill to a serving platter.
Top each with a little bit of fresh basil and serve!
Isn’t it so PRETTY??
Serves 5 (two slices each)
Calories 137 / Carbs 19g / Fat 4g / Protein 7g / Fiber 2g / Sodium 595mg

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