Posts Tagged ‘polenta

The Quinoa Corporation makes packages of premade polenta.  They’re perfect for a last minute dinner or snack.  The polenta they make is USDA certified organic, kosher, gluten free and fat free with no funky additives.  It comes in all different types, plain, flavored with garlic.

They also make yummy pastas with corn and quinoa and fun shapes for kids.  For today’s lunches I used their blend of corn and quinoa for added protein.  I like to cut shapes for the kids out of 1/2″ slices.  I also cook the leftover scraps for me to eat.  I either bake or grill the polenta on the stove top.  It’s pre-cooked so there’s no worry about it not being cooked long.  I cook it long enough for it to be firm and picked up by little fingers without falling apart.  Below are quinoa polenta hearts baked in a skillet on the stovetop over medium heat for about 10 minutes on each side.  In her mini dippers container is barbeque sauce for dipping.  next to the polenta hearts are a cup of raspberries and a pick of yellow grape tomatoes.  At the top left are heart shaped watermelon pieces and at the top right are cantaloupe hearts packed in her Easy LunchBoxes container.

For her snack today, Miss G has a LunchBots Uno with a sweet potato pumpkin shaped muffin at the top left, 2 Crimson Gold mini apples, slices of local Florida oranges with a lion pick and snow peas.

Miss A has mini leaves in her LunchBots Quad.  From the top left are watermelon leaves, cantaloupe leaves, quinoa polenta leaves and a peeled clementine surrounded by dried apricots.

Things I used to make this lunch:

My girls like variety just like any toddler. As with most kids who are 2 & 4, they decide what they will or will not eat. The only thing we can really do is to find different forms of encouragement. What works for us is fun colors, shapes, picks and presenting things in a fun way. They will TRY almost anything if I present it well.

A lot of vegan recipes use polenta, but it can either be bland or interesting depending on how you prepare it. I decided to try making polenta fries for the kids as a snack. This recipe was adapted from a cookbook I have called Vegan Lunch Box by Jennifer McCann.  I used a pre-made package of organic, non-GMO polenta as a time saver. You can certainly make a polenta loaf at home too if you find the time. I sliced the pieces about 1/2 an inch thick and broke out the fun mini cutters. The bird and butterfly were what wasted the least amount of polenta when cutting it. I lined a baking sheet with parchment paper. Lightly sprayed it with coconut oil and laid out the shapes on the pan and lightly sprayed the tops of the pieces again with oil. I broiled them on high for 10 minutes on each side flipping after 10 minutes (20 minutes total) along with the leftover pieces for the adults to snack on. They become browned and slightly crispy on the outside and still soft in the middle. I allowed them to cool about 5 minutes before serving them with barbeque sauce in a small container. You can also sprinkle them with salt, nutritional yeast or whatever you like once they come out of the oven to cool. They would also be good with tomato paste, marinara or ketchup for dipping.

Here was the end result.

Things I used to make this lunch:

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