Steeped in a colder season now, I’m craving fireplaces, brandy, and solid home-cooking 🙂 This is a super easy recipe that fits the bill, exuding “cozy comfort” vibes for sure. The polenta is smooth and rich. The rosemary is aromatic and inviting. And the browned crispiness and garlicky-ness (is that even a word?) of the roasted veggies is belly-warming. Comfort food in my mouth!
Do note that, while super easy, this is one recipe where the time crunch is real. Your veggies will need the maximum amount of time to roast. And timing depends entirely on how long it takes your oven to heat up. My oven takes 10 minutes to heat to 450 degrees (which I realize is pretty fast). So, I used those 10 minutes to prep the veggies. Then I let the veggies roast the full, remaining 18 minutes. They were perfect. If your oven takes longer to heat up, this might not be the recipe for you OR you should allow extra time.
It’s a lot of busy work at the beginning of meal prep. But then there will be a period of downtime in the middle of cooking, when the veggies are roasting in the oven and the polenta is simmering in the pot. Use this time to set the table and check on your kids.
Side note: I personally choose to use Bob’s Red Mill Cornmeal. The company’s mill and headquarters are just outside of Portland, and I like to support local. Plus, Bob’s Red Mill is a great company. They focus on whole grains, are employee-owned, still run by the founder, and have lots of gluten free products.
🌈 KIDIFY THE MEAL 🌈
🍅Kids pick the veggies. This recipe is highly customizable. Let your kids pick out the veggies at the grocery store, or pick from what’s in your fridge….within reason, of course! The second time I made this, I roasted brussels sprouts and potato wedges.
🍴 MODIFY THE MEAL🍴
🍅Make it Vegan & Dairy Free! Super easy. Just eliminate the cheese. Make sure your veggie stock/broth is vegan. The one we suggest, Better then Bouillon, definitely is. To add extra flavor, sprinkle some Nutritional Yeast on top of the dish. Also make sure your butter is dairy-free and oil-based. I’ve always like Earth Balance.
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- 4 oz small mushrooms (halved)
- 1 red bell pepper (cut in half slices)
- 2-3 cups broccoli florets
- 1 medium zucchini (sliced)
- 1 large garlic clove (minced)
- 2 T olive oil
- 1/2 t salt
- 1/2 t black pepper
- 1/4 t onion powder
- 4 cups vegetable stock/broth
- 1 cup cornmeal
- 1/2 t rosemary (dried)
- 2 T butter
- 2/3 cup parmesan cheese (shredded)
- (optional: arugula or other greens)
Heat oven to 450 degrees. While it's heating up, assemble mushrooms, bell pepper, broccoli, zucchini, and garlic in a large bowl. Toss with olive oil. Mix salt, pepper, & onion powder in a small bowl and then sprinkle over veggies and toss again.
Transfer veggies to a baking sheet and make sure they are spread as much as possible, without overlap or clumping. Pop veggies into the oven. These can roast until the meal is ready to be served.
Meanwhile, heat broth in a medium pot. Bring to a boil. Slowly whisk in cornmeal & rosemary. Once smooth, reduce heat to low, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. Once polenta is thick and creamy, remove from heat and stir in butter and cheese.
Serve roasted veggies on top of polenta, next to polenta or mixed into the polenta. I served mine with some arugula greens on the side.
We recommend that all meals for children be served with milk.