Polenta With Roasted Winter Vegetables

Happy holidays everyone! I love this time of year….all of the sugary goodies, Christmas tunes, chaotic shopping, parties, festive cocktails, and spending time with loved ones. This will be our 2nd Christmas in California, and it is nice to still be coat-less, but we still feel kind of bewildered without a nip in the air and some snow. (After about 21 years in the Midwest, I’m used to mittens, scarves and that smoky smell of fireplace kindling in the air!) Sorry if I have disappointed with the lack of Yuletide recipes. We have been purposely eating healthfully, so we don’t fall into our old ways of gaining extra waistline inches at Christmastime by gorging on cinnamon rolls, chocolate, and cocktails laced with Bailey‘s. (It’s tough being a foodie!) Don’t worry though, the chocolate pecan bread pudding is coming, as promised. Check back for the spiced biscotti and my favorite holiday cocktails as well!

Polenta With Roasted Winter Vegetables

Adapted from Ladies Home Journal December 2011/January 2012

Serves 2-3

1 beet
2 carrots (4 if they are organic & small), diced
½ red onion, sliced
2 parsnips, diced
1 tablespoon olive oil
kosher salt
ground black pepper
½ tsp thyme (¼ tsp if using dried)
1 cup low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
½ cup polenta or yellow grits
semi soft goat cheese (I use Montchevré )
2-3 tablespoons milk, (cow’s or non-dairy)
1-2 tablespoons butter

Heat oven to 400°.  Wrap beet in foil and roast for 20-25 minutes. Meanwhile, place carrots, red onion and parsnips on a baking sheet and toss with olive oil, a sprinkling of kosher salt, black pepper, and ½ tsp thyme. Add to oven with beet and roast for 20 minutes or so until vegetables are nice and roasted and beet is tender.

Let the beet cool for a few minutes, then peel & dice.

(beautiful!)

While the vegetables are roasting, bring chicken broth and 1 cup of water to a boil. Add grits or polenta gradually, whisking constantly. Reduce heat and simmer over low heat until thick & creamy, stirring frequently. Add salt & butter to taste. Remove from heat, stir in 1-2 tablespoons of goat cheese and 2-3 tablespoons of milk. Serve polenta in a bowl topped with roasted vegetables and extra goat cheese crumbles.

Feel free to try any combination of roasted vegetables you like- this meal is delicious & makes for an inexpensive grocery bill.

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