Lately I've been wearing my black cotton dress with the cross-over front a lot and that's not necessarily a good thing. Now don't get me wrong, it's a super cute frock and I get complimented on it often but I know when it becomes my "go to outfit" that usually means I've put on a pound or two (or three) around the midsection. The dress in question is comfy, loose and black---and hides a multide of sins (and bulges). So what to do? Try and go healthy, I suppose. In an attempt to exercise good nutrition and lose the bulge, I usually try and up the salad and veggie intake which is pretty easy given the accessibility to the farmers' markets this time of year; but sometimes I just really want some (gasp!) carbs on my salad...just a little. something to give it that satisfying crunch...but something just slightly different then your average ol' boring crouton. That's where polenta croutons come in. They're like croutons...only better. Still not sure? Ok...close your eyes---now, picture a crouton, then picture a crouton with a superhero cape...and now you know what a polenta crouton looks like. ;)
Parmesan-Garlic Polenta Croutons (recipe from You're Gonna Bake It, After All)
Instant polenta (1 cup)
Grated Parmesan cheese (1/4 cup)
Herbs to taste (I used fresh rosemary)
Olive oil for drizzling
Garlic powder & salt, to taste
1. Prepare instant polenta according to package directions, using a whisk.
2. Add in herbs and grated Parmesan cheese.
3. Coat a baking sheet or pyrex/ceramic dish with cooking spray. Spread the polenta mixture into the pan quickly, and spread evenly with a spatula. Place pan in refrigerator to cool and set for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400F.
4. Cut the polenta into squares or triangles.
5. Drizzle both sides of polenta pieces with olive oil and sprinkle with garlic powder/salt (if using). Bake at 400F for about 45 minutes, or until crispy. Turn them half-way through to make sure they get crispy on both sides. Cool on a rack when done.
6. Best if used the same day, but you can store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator and reheat them until crisp the next day.