Polenta is often under appreciated and not used in a lot of recipes. Possibly, because it’s made out of corn and I notice people tend to avoid corn. In my opinion, corn gets a bad reputation. Polenta is a low carbohydrate food rich in Vitamin A and C. Boosting eye and immune health.
Although polenta is relatively easy to make I like to buy the pre-made organic polenta from my local grocery store (Sprouts) because…well, it’s pre-made! I’ll take a shortcut in the kitchen where I can get it. I’m finicky about ingredients so I always make sure to buy the organic one with less preservatives.
My friend made a version of this with Italian-style ingredients, and even though I am Italian I always tend to have more Mexican-style ingredients on hand. Probably because my husband could eat a burrito any time of day! Haha, ok I digress.
My version kicks it up a notch. This recipe is not spicy at all, but you could definitely add spice in a variety of ways like with green chili’s, hot sauce, spicy salsa or cayenne pepper.
Fiesta Polenta Bake
This hearty and LEAN fiesta polenta casserole will be sure to please your whole family. It can also be made ahead of time and thrown in the oven when you come home from work. Each servings contains about 35 grams carbohydrate.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a square 9x9 baking dish (preferably glass) with non-stick cooking spray.
Cook onion and carrot and zucchini in 1 tbsp avocado oil on medium high heat. Season with salt and pepper. When onions start to caramelize add garlic and cook for another 1-2 minutes. Be careful not to burn the garlic. When the vegetables are cooked al dente pour into a bowl and set aside.
Once the vegetables are removed add the remaining 1 tbsp avocado oil to the pan. Add the ground turkey and cook over medium high heat. Once cooked through add the tomatoes, cumin and chili powder. Cook for another 2-3 minutes and turn the heat off. Set pan aside,
Slice polenta into 1 inch pieces.
Use a spoon and spread about 2 tbsp tomatillo salsa on the bottom of the baking pan. Layer slices of polenta, then add the cooked turkey, vegetable mix, tomatillo salsa and cheese. Continue to later until all ingredients are used. You want to make sure your top layer is cheese.
Bake at 375 degrees for 30-35 minutes (depending on your oven). Everything is cooked so you are just heating everything through and melting the cheese.
Once you pull the pan out of the oven let it sit for 5-10 minutes before eating. Top with sliced green onions and maybe even a dollop of Greek yogurt (aka - my version of sour cream) 🙂
I hope you enjoy!
Be careful not to add too much salt because there is salt in the premade polenta, the cheese and the salsa. I would add a pinch of salt to your vegetables while cooking only. Recommend removing extra salt if you have any issues with high blood pressure.