Today we’re going to be talking all things Polenta. Over the weekend, I was lucky enough to visit La Polenteria: a polenta based 100% gluten free Italian in the heart of London (review with amazing food pics coming soon). I had never thought about Polenta before, but once I looked into it I realised that it was the perfect non-gluten comfort food. What’s more, it’s FODMAP friendly, contains soluble fibre (so easily tolerated for most IBD/IBS-D folk) and 100% dairy free. I decided to experiment with this ingredient as a base to create a few polenta recipes.
Basic Polenta Bowl.
This first polenta recipe is the perfect dish after a long day at work. It’s the simplest of recipes, designed for people who may be trying to rest or soothe the gut but not able to whip up something fancy. All you’ll need is…
- Polenta (Tesco sell a ready-made version, which you literally just microwave but you can also buy it as a flour like consistency: you just add water and boil)
- Hazelnut Milk or another dairy-free milk.
- Butter/Dairy Free Spread
- Nutritional Yeast.
As I wasn’t sure how my first experiment with Polenta was going to be, I simply used the ready-made version (bad food blogger). I added a splash of Alpro Hazelnut milk (I recommend Alpro as most of their products are carageenan free but you can also try Rude Health!), a teaspoon of dairy free spread (I use Pure) and mashed well. Once done, it resembles mashed potatoes almost (although slightly thicker). I then sprinkled Nutritional Yeast over the top: which is great vegan cheese replacement and also contains B12 which- as I mentioned in my post on gut health supplements– lots of people are deficient in.
The result? A surprisingly indulgent creamy dish; it reminded me of cheesy mash and unlike other gluten-free grains- didn’t leave me feeling full or bloated!
As you can see, that polenta recipe is a little simple and obviously lacking protein and veggies. So here’s two more Polenta bowl recipes.
Mackerel Polenta Bowl
- Polenta Bowl Ingredients as above (Polenta, Non-dairy milk and spread, Nutritional Yeast)
- Tinned Mackrel
- Herbs (optional)
Again, another super simple recipe! This time, I simply added some tinned Mackerel in tomato sauce (a great Omega 3 hit)and mashed well; sprinkling over herbs and Nutritional Yeast.
Butternut squash Polenta Bowl
For the final polenta recipe, I decided to add some spiralised veg (easy to make yourself but is also sold in M&S and Sainsbury’s) Butternut Squash is one of the easiest veg to digest since it contains soluble fibre and is much easier to break down. This is my favourite bowl since it’s a perfectly balanced meal: Butternut squash provides Vitamins A+K, Mackrel provides protein and Omega 3 and the Polenta provides soluble fibre.
This is the just beginning of my Polenta experimentations I think! I’d like to add a cashew cream next time and experiment with differently veggies and tofu to make a perfect vegan dish. If you’ve got any polenta recipes, please link them below and I’ll definitely check them out!
If you enjoyed this, remember to checkout my recipe page for even more gluten/dairy free recipes.