Cornmeal polenta is a classic peasant food, made with cornmeal and slowly stirred over a low flame. In this low-carb, grain-free version, the versatile cauliflower takes the place of cornmeal — and it’s delicious. When yellow cauliflower is available, use that for this recipe, and it will look even more like polenta. Either way, this dish is loaded with plant-based protein.
Cauliflower Polenta With Tomato Veggie Sauce
For the polenta
- 2 cups (200g) chopped cauliflower
- 2 ounces (50g) chevré cheese
- 2 large egg whites
- 1 tablespoon shredded Parmesan cheese
For the sauce
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, chopped
- 1/4 cup (60ml) grated carrot
- 15 ounces (411g) canned diced tomatoes (petite dice is best)
- 1/4 cup (60ml) chopped parsley
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
Set up a steamer and steam the cauliflower for about 10 minutes, until very soft. Allow to cool to room temperature.
Preheat the oven to 400ºF (205ºC). Lightly spray two 1-cup ramekins or a 2-cup glass baking dish and reserve.
In a the bowl of a food processor, place the steamed cauliflower and pulse until it is minced, scraping down the sides as needed. Add the chevre, egg whites and Parmesan and pulse just until well-mixed, not smooth. Transfer 3/4 cup of the mixture into each ramekin, or all of it into the baking dish, and smooth the top. Bake for about 30 minutes, until slightly puffed and browned. Cool on a rack.
While the polenta bakes, drizzle the olive oil into a small pot and place over medium-high heat. Add the chopped onion and stir until it starts to sizzle, then reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring often. Add the garlic and grated carrots and stir for a couple of minutes to soften the carrots. Add the tomatoes and their juices and raise the heat to medium-high to bring to a boil. Cover the pot and reduce the heat to low, and cook for about 5 minutes. Remove the lid and add the parsley, basil and oregano and simmer gently until thickened and fragrant.
Unmold the polenta by running a paring knife around the edge of each ramekin or baking dish and placing a plate on top before inverting. Serve each polenta round or half of the larger polenta with about 1 heaping cup of the sauce.
Serves: 2 | Serving Size: 3/4 cup polenta and 1 heaping cup sauce
Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 223; Total Fat: 9g; Saturated Fat: 5g; Monounsaturated Fat: 2g; Cholesterol: 12mg; Sodium: 311mg; Carbohydrate: 23g; Dietary Fiber: 6g; Sugar: 12g; Protein: 14g