Cheesy Polenta with Roasted Vegetables

I never had polenta until a few years ago. My mom hated the yellow stuff so we never had it. After tasting it for the first time, I remember being in complete shock at the notion that there are people in this world who are going around not liking polenta. It's craziness! Who doesn't like polenta? If you don't like it, I must know why. It's confounding, so please tell me. I'm dying to know. 

If you, for some obscure reason have had an aversion to poletna in the past but want to try it again (I do this with root beer floats every six years or so...still hate 'em), this is the perfect dish. This poletna is rich with vegan cheese and topped with absolutely scrumptious, roasted vegetables. I don't know if the polenta or the vegetables star here. I couldn't quit snatching up the roasted veggies while waiting for the poletna to do it's thing. They're sweet, somewhat caramelized, and pair perfectly with the cheesy polenta. 

This is one of my ultimate polenta dishes! It's so good, it's going to be one of the vegan/vegetarian options at Todd's sister's wedding! Feelin' pretty darn fancy pants about it...in case you hadn't noticed. 

Cheesy Polenta with Roasted Vegetables  

Serves 9

  • Vegetables:
  • 2 small zucchinis, diced
  • 3 small yellow summer squash, diced
  • 1 orange bell pepper, de-seeded and diced
  • 1/2 sweet potato, diced
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • drizzle of olive oil 
  • sprinkle of kosher salt
  • sprinkle of ground black pepper
  • Polenta:
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cup stone-ground polenta, dry
  • 2 cups vegan cheese, shredded 
  • 1/4 cup large flaked nutritional yeast
  • sprinkle of kosher salt
  • sprinkle of ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 450 F. Dice the vegetables and scatter them on large rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Give them a good shake and a stir. Roast at 450 F for 25 minutes, stirring halfway through. When done, remove and set aside. Reduce oven to 350 F.

Bring a large pot with the 4 cups of water to a boil. Give it a sprinkle of salt. Once boiling, slowly add the polenta while stirring continuously for 5 minutes. Then, turn to low heat and stir frequently for about 25 minutes to thicken. Stir in the cheese and nutritional yeast until melted and well combined. Remove from heat.

Coat a 9x9 inch baking dish with a nonstick cooking spray. Pour in the polenta and smooth over the top. Bake for 15 minutes at 350 F. 

Once done baking, add the roasted vegetables on top and bake for an additional 15 minutes at 350 F. 

Remove from oven, season with salt and pepper, and allow to rest for 5 minutes being serving. Serve hot. 

Scrumptious!

My little Bobbledore is now seven years and two days old. Time flies when you have such a great companion! 

German Word of The Day: Polenta --> Maisbrei (pronounced: mice-brye) *EDIT* A German reader informed me that they pretty much use the word Polenta as well! So happy to know the real word usage...it's just polenta peeps. Don't be going around saying maisbrei, okay? 

Good Deed of The Day: Take 5 seconds to sign this petition to outlaw animal crush videos. This is absolutely horrific, monstrous, and one of the cruelest things imaginable. Please sign it.  

Cheesy Pumpkin Sage Penne with Sausage

I questioned whether I should really post this recipe or not. For one, I've seen like a bazillion pumpkin pasta recipes in just the last three days alone. However, I'll have you know that I made this like a week ago, okay!? And second, I adapted it from...Rachael Ray. Disgust. Apparently my distaste for Rachael knows no bounds. That, and I couldn't get any good photos. Yes, the odds were definitely against me on this one, but this pasta was much too delicious not to share! It'd be a crime, and rather selfish. Plus, I wanted to share photos from our first ski of the Winter with you! There's currently no snow around here, so we had to go seek it out in the mountains. 

And we were not disappointed. Alaskan beauty at it's finest! Winter is the best time of the year. You can see those photos below the recipe, but first, it's pumpkin time! 

pumppasta4

I said, "It's pumpkin time!" This pasta is creamy, cheesy and packed with pumpkiny goodness. The sage lends depth and the sausage...well, you have to have some vegan sausage right? Yes.

Cheesy Pumpkin Sage Penne with Sausage

Inspired by Food Network

Serves 4-6

  • 18 oz. penne pasta, dry
  • 2 Field Roast Smoked Apple and Sage Grain Sausages, sliced
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil 
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves,  minced
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 15 oz. can pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened soy milk
  • 1/2 cup vegan mozzarella, shredded 
  • pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
  • pinch of nutmeg, freshly ground
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 tsp. cornstarch
  • 1 Tbsp. nutritional yeast  
  • 3 Tbsp. fresh sage leaves, minced

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil and cook pasta until al dente. Drain and set aside until ready to use. 

Bring a medium frying pan to heat with a bit of nonstick cooking spray and brown the sausage slices, for about 5 minutes. Set aside when done until ready to use.

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Bring a medium frying pan to heat with a bit of nonstick cooking spray and brown the sausage slices, for about 5 minutes. Set aside when done until ready to use.Meanwhile, heat the oil in a small saucepan. Add the onions and garlic and saute for a few minutes, until the onions begin to turn translucent and the garlic becomes fragrant. 

Produce On Parade - Cheesy Pumpkin Sage Penne with Sausage

Add the remaining ingredients to the onion and garlic, excluding the sage and sausage. Whisk well to combine and allow to simmer over medium-low heat for about 5-10 minutes, or until the sauce begins to thicken. Add additional cornstarch as is needed. 

Once thickened, add to the pasta and toss to coat, along with the sausage slices.

Produce On Parade - Cheesy Pumpkin Sage Penne with Sausage

Serve hot, with additional sage and cheese to top it off!

Produce On Parade - Cheesy Pumpkin Sage Penne with Sausage

Now onto those Alaskan Winter photos I promised! 

Produce On Parade Produce On Parade Produce On Parade Produce On Parade Produce On Parade Produce On Parade Produce On ParadeI'm listening to Wild Child – Crazy Bird

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Cheesy Stuffed Autumn Delicata Squash

Have you ever had Delicata squash? It's my absolute favorite. I especially love that it doesn't have it's rind removed. That's right, the skin is edible! It's super tender and chewy and utterly divine. As some of you may know, I have battled many a squash trying to remove the rind and anytime I can avoid that is a grand thing indeed. If you haven't tried delicata squash you best get yourself some. It's one of my favorite things about Fall! I know that sounds totally lame, but it's the truth, okay? This squash is so simple and so incredibly delicious. Todd told me it tasted like pizza. I didn't really pick that up but I'm pretty sure that anything with veggies and a cheesy flavor equals pizza to Todd. Sorry, sweetness.

This squash is roasted tender and stuffed with veggies and quinoa then topped with melty, cheesy goodness. What's better than that? Plus, it makes six squash halves which obviously equal six meals! I haven't tried it, but I'm willing to bet they would freeze pretty well too. Plus, I delight in the little stems sticking out! Is that weird? Apparently all sorts of people have been stuffing squash since the beginning of time but this was my first squash stuffing expedition and I have to say, it was pretty darn awesome. 

Produce On Parade - Cheesy Stuffed Autumn Delicata Squash

Cheesy Stuffed Autumn Delicata Squash

Inspired by Edible Perspective

Makes 6 squash halves

  • 3 medium delicata squash (same size)
  • 1 cup quinoa, dry
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced small
  • 1 large carrot, diced small
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced small
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. fresh sage, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh parsley, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh thyme leaves (or 1 tsp. dried)
  • 2-3 Tbsp. nutritional yeast
  • 1/2-1 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup vegan cheese, for topping (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 F. Wash the squash well and cut in half, veggie dog style. Place face down on a baking sheet coated with a nonstick cooking spray and roast at 400 F for about 30 minutes. After the time is up, a knife should poke through the outside of the squash very easily. Remove from oven and allow to cool on the baking sheet. Leave the oven on. 

Produce On Parade - Cheesy Stuffed Autumn Delicata SquashWhile the squash cooks, bring the quinoa (rinsed please!) and the water to a boil over high heat in a small saucepan. Once boiling, turn down to a simmer and cover. Allow to cook for about 15 minutes. After the time is up, ensure that all the water has evaporated, fluff with a fork and set aside for use later. 

While the quinoa cooks, heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the onion, carrot and bell pepper. Saute for about 10 minutes, until the carrots begin to soften. Add the garlic and saute another few minute or until it becomes fragrant. Once the carrots have softened a bit, add in the quinoa and the remaining ingredients except for the cheese. Stir very well to combine and remove from heat.

Produce On Parade - Cheesy Stuffed Autumn Delicata SquashCarefully flip the squash on their backs and scoop out the seeds only. In their place, add in the quinoa stuffing. Divide it evenly between the squash halves. Change your oven to broil. Top the squash halves with vegan cheese and place on the baking sheet on top of the highest rack in your oven to broil. Allow to broil for about 5 minutes or so, just enough so that the cheese has melted. Keep an eye on it so it doesn't burn by checking it frequently. 

Produce On Parade - Cheesy Stuffed Autumn Delicata SquashServe hot and garnished with little thyme leaves, because it's fun. Oh yum. That's what I'm talking about.

Produce On Parade - Cheesy Stuffed Autumn Delicata Squash Produce On Parade - Cheesy Stuffed Autumn Delicata SquashI'm jammin' out to Audra Mae – Little Red Wagon

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