A polenta so tasty, you’ll want to [gar]lick your plate clean

As I mentioned in a previous post, I had never cooked risotto before buying an Instant Pot® (IP). Well, another creamy Italian dish I had never tackled was polenta. By now I’ve made it a couple of times, and it’s a really lovely, and different, foundation for a satisfying meal. Using words that I use with my kiddos, I certainly wouldn’t call polenta an ‘anytime’ food, but it certainly makes dinner time more unique once in a while (i.e. it’s a ‘sometimes’ food).

Instant Pot Creamy Polenta with Roasted Mushrooms and Garlic
Serves 4

Ingredients:

Mushrooms:
16 ounces mushrooms, sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt & pepper
5 cloves garlic, chopped
½ teaspoon thyme

Polenta:
4 cups water
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup dry polenta (corn grits)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 ounces Parmesan cheese

To finish:
Fresh lemon juice

Instructions:

Mushroom prep:
1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
2. Combine the mushrooms, olive oil and salt & pepper in a bowl. Stir until mushrooms are nicely coated.
3. Spread on baking sheet. Do not put in the oven until your polenta is cooking in the IP.

Polenta:
1. Turn on the Sauté button on the IP. Add the water and kosher salt into the IP pot.
2. Slowly whisk in the dry polenta until combined. Whisk occasionally and, once simmering, whisk one more time and put IP lid and lock into place. Make sure venting knob is set to Sealing.
3. Press Keep Warm/Cancel and then set to Manual High Pressure for 8 minutes.
***While Polenta is cooking, put the mushrooms in the oven for 10 minutes. Once that 10 minutes is finished, take mushrooms out, toss in the chopped garlic and thyme, and cook for an additional 10 minutes***
4. Once the cook cycle is over, let the IP naturally release for 10 minutes, then carefully release the rest of the pressure.
Serve the creamy polenta with the mushrooms on top. Squeeze fresh lemon juice on top, if desired.

Cook’s notes:
– Try to serve this dish as soon as the polenta is ready, as it will be the creamiest and soft. The longer you wait, the more ‘set’ the polenta will become (but, no worries, it will be equally as delicious!)
– Once polenta is removed from IP pot, immediate soak the pot in the sink for best clean-up results
– This entire recipe can be doubled, if desired

There are a couple of things that can be served alongside this dish to create a well-balanced meal. Firstly, I think throwing a poached egg (or 2!) on top would be heavenly (You really can’t lose when you serve eggs and mushrooms together). Additionally, a simple salad or some cut up vegetables would be nice to serve on the side. You could even roast an additional veggie with the mushrooms, like asparagus.

The ingredient I’ll be featuring on the Nutrition Highlight segment for today is one that I use in 99% of savory dishes I prepare. It’s none other than. . .

GARLICgarlic-3419544_1920


Garlic contains:
Copper: Involved in antioxidant function and critical for growth of connective tissue, energy production, metabolism or iron and neurotransmitter function
Manganese: critical component of enzymes involved in antioxidant function, bone development, metabolism, and wound healing
Sulfur-containing compounds (including L-cysteine sulfoxides and γ-glutamyl-L-cysteine peptides): provide antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits (may be anti-cancer and anti-microbial as well as protect the cardiovascular system)
Vitamin B6: necessary for many metabolic enzymes in addition to brain and immune function
Vitamin C: acts as an antioxidant (protect cells from damaging molecules [‘free radicals’]), is a requirement for collagen production, and is important for some neurotransmitter synthesis

So, that’s all for now. Please feel free to ask questions about my experience with the IP, Weekday Vegetarianism, garlic, general nutrition or whatever! See you next time!

References:
1. http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=60
2. http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/minerals/copper
3. http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/minerals/manganese
4. http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/food-beverages/garlic#organosulfur-compounds
5. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminB6-Consumer/
6. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminC-Consumer/

Disclaimer:
Any content you find on Sunny Seeds Nutrition Blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you have regarding a medical condition.

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