2008-01-16

Vegetarian Polenta Pie

Layered polenta, veggies and vegan cheese.

An easier savory vegetarian pie than this you won't find. It's a simple fresh recipe that rocks. I made it to celebrate.

We just got back from my three-month post-op check-up. The hip looks good. "I gained ten pounds," I said to my hunky surgeon, Brant, as he was lifting my left leg in the air and poking me in the pelvis.

"So what?" he snorted and turned to Steve. "These tall skinny chicks. Ten pounds."

"I thought you'd be proud of me," I countered. "You know- that whole, You fit the broken hip profile thing you said to me? Female. White. Skinny. Vegetarian. (Celiac!)"

"Yeah, well. I gotta give you shit about something," he said.


Vegetable Polenta Pie

The cheese in the photo is rice-based. But if you can handle dairy, real cheese would work. Goat cheese would be fabulous. The vegetable filling is flexible, too. I used what I happened to have on hand. Layer your own favorites and season with herbs, chopped garlic, a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

Ingredients:

Extra virgin olive oil, as needed
1 package/roll of cooked polenta, room temperature
1 medium red onion, sliced thin
1 heaping cup artichoke hearts (if frozen, thaw first)
2 cups raw baby spinach leaves- or sliced zucchini
2-3 medium vine-ripe tomatoes, sliced thick
1/2 cup green or black or Kalamata olives, sliced
4 cloves garlic, chopped
Balsamic vinegar
Herbs- basil, thyme, oregano, etc.
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
A 6 to 8-oz. package of vegan cheese, sliced- or sliced Jalapeño Jack, Parmesan or Cheddar

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 375ºF. Lightly oil a pie plate.

Slice the roll of polenta into thin slices and line the pie plate, overlapping the polenta slices slightly to form a sort of "crust".

Next- you have a choice...

  • If you enjoy your veggies crisp, with an al fresca flair, layer the uncooked veggies into the pie dish; drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.
  • If you prefer a softer, more cooked texture, stir-fry the veggies first in olive oil (except the tomatoes), until barely tender; then layer them into the pie.

Top the veggies with garlic; season with herbs, sea salt and pepper; add the tomatoes; season; sprinkle with balsamic vinegar and more extra virgin olive oil, to taste.

Top with cheese slices.

Add extra artichoke hearts and olives in the center, if you like.

Bake for about 40 to 45 minutes or so until piping hot.

Serves 4 (or six as a side dish).



21 comments:

  1. That is Great news about your hip! I am so happy to hear you are healing well.
    This pie sounds oooh la la lovely - looks like dinner tomorrow night for me! YUM! Thanks once again Karina!

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  2. Yay for a looks-good, good-lookin' hip!

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  3. Great recipe to celebrate some fantastic news. Congrats on the recovery!

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  4. Ten pounds? Way to go cutie! HUGS

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  5. that looks really good! i'm going to try it.

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  6. Looking good. (You and the food!) :)

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  7. I'm so glad you're recovering well. This pie sounds incredible - I love the idea of a polenta crust and I'm definitely going to try it.

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  8. Karina - Congratulations on the wonderful news about your hip. I'm so glad to hear that you are healing so well.

    Sheltie Girl @ Gluten A Go Go

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  9. Great news about the hip! I'm so happy for you.

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  10. Vegetarian? Did I miss something?

    Glad you are recovering well. I broke my foot last summer and people were giving me so much sh*+* (I'm vegan) even though the doctor said that this particular fracture was quite frequent.

    Hope your hip heals well :-)

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  11. Thanks, all for the kind support on the hip front! Now I just have to wait and see if the ball joint stays "alive". We'll know by March.

    Anke- I've been mostly vegetarian for forty years. Vegan some of time. It's only recently that I've begun to eat meat for protein- after food allergies showed I am allergic to dairy/egg/soy/bean/nut and many seeds.

    My ortho surgeon said vegans and vegetarians are at higher risk for bone fracture.

    He also acknowledged that celiac disease causes malabsorption of bone-building minerals and that celiacs are at risk for developing osteoporosis.

    That said, he told us the hip fracture "profile" is: Female. Caucasian or Asian. Thin.

    And being vegetarian ups the risk.

    Karina

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  12. So glad to hear your hip is healing well. That's great news.

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  13. Thanks, Kalyn! xoxo

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  14. Karina,

    I have only recently discovered your amazing blog. How comforting it is to “know” someone out there who faces so many food allergies as I do. Many of my friends just don’t understand! So first, I wish to thank you from the bottom of my heart for all of your tried and true recipes. I have made several of them and each one has been a winner.

    I am still figuring out how to navigate your site for specific answers to some questions. Although (I’m happy to say) that after one year of being GF/CF and other things free, I have eliminated many of my original 31 food allergies, I still have about 8. (And the remaining health challenges that accompany “leaky gut syndrome”.) Two of them are brewer’s and baker’s yeast. This does not bode well for light and fluffy GF bread out of my brand new bread maker, which I was inspired to purchase after reading about yours. (I thought I had eliminated my yeast problem until I was recently re-tested.)

    This raises the question: do you know of any reasonable substitute for yeast? I found something on a web search that I might try, but I wondered if you had experimented in any way. (My search revealed this: 1 TBSP baking soda and ½ tsp. unbuffered vitamin C.) I might actually give that a try later today if I can find the time. (Would you like me to share my results?)


    One more question for you. Not being as blogger savvy as the next gal, I do not know if you will see a response to a page that is “old”. Do you? Or must one respond only to the most current page? I would like to become one of your adoring blog fans!

    Thanks once again for your beautiful site. You are an inspiration.

    Sincerely,

    Amy

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  15. Hi Karina! So happy to hear your hip is healing well. This recipe looks SO HEALTHY, as well as delicious!

    Take care!

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  16. Congratulations on the hip! That has to be a relief. The recipe looks really good. I was thinking in the summer, one could grill the sliced polenta and then add the veggies on top. Yum! I think my mind is on summer already!

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  17. Yay on the good hip news!

    Reading about your experience with your hip led me to talk to my dietitian about calcium, which has led me to taking calcium pills daily. So there's a tiny bit of lemonade to be made from your lemons (we have to take what we can get,right?)--and I'm sure I'm not the only one it scared.

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  18. Hi Amy,

    Thanks for writing. I'm glad the blog has helped.

    For specific questions you might want to join the blog's GFG Google Group. We have some very helpful members there who share ideas and resources. You can join here:
    http://groups.google.com/group/gluten-free-goddess

    Your quest for yeast is similar to my personal quest for an egg replacer. Some vegan recipes have ideas- the baking soda with C is a vegan trick. I wonder if Ener-G Egg Replacer would work for you instead of yeast?

    Another thought is- if you need leavening, I'd double the baking powder and for a liquid I would use club soda. The sparkling gas might help the loaf to rise. Though if it were me, I'd try making a flatbread like focaccia. I do this in a 9-inch cake pan. I pat the dough into a circle and smooth it out in the cake pan. That way the loaf doesn't have to rise as high. You might get better results.

    Also - if you can do eggs you could try adding 2 extra egg whites, whipped (the dough may need a tablespoon of flour added- adjustment- if it becomes too wet).

    As for the blog- old posts are still receiving comments and yes, I do read them. :)

    You can also subscribe to any post you comment on. Look for the "subscribe" to this post's comments link when you write a comment.

    Thanks again- and take care!

    Karina

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  19. Hi Kathy- thanks! :)

    Gluti Girl- How good would this be grilled? The polenta, and all the veggies. Fabulous idea! xoxo

    Hey Sally- Yes- I was hoping that blogging about my hip fracture would alert women with celiac. The thing is- I've taken calcium-magnesium pills since I was 35. I've been gluten-free for six years. And still, at 53 I broke my hip.

    Women- get a bone density test!

    And make sure you're getting enough protein and vitamin D.

    Karina

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  20. My mom made this for our GF/Vegetarian option for our Thanksgiving meal. I'm the only GF one in the family, but all the vegetarians loved it too! Delicious!!!

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