Roasted vegetable polenta bowl with roasted rainbow carrots, cauliflower, and eggplant served over creamy stovetop polenta. This perfect weeknight meal requires only 6 ingredients, 30 minutes, and tastes absolutely delicious! Balsamic apple vinaigrette optional, but highly recommended!
The other day we tried a new restaurant in Ann Arbor called Avalon. We know Avalon by their delightful bakery in Detroit. The new location, however, is not only a bakery but a restaurant as well. Farm to table, local, simple, delicious food. Right up my alley. On the menu, there was a “bowl” section. I went straight for the vegetable bowl, which was served over polenta and topped with creamy parmesan. I don’t really ever think I’ve had polenta, but I LOVED this dish.
Creamy polenta, melty cheese, and roasted rainbow carrots, beets, and eggplant. That’s it. Simple, hearty, and warm. Perfect winter food. It was like a hug in bowl form. I was so satisfied with the dish that I decided to make it for myself at home.
I picked up some gluten-free corn grits aka polenta fro my go-to brand, Bob’s Red Mill. Using the packaging as my guide I came up with a delicious version of that restaurant dish, veganized. Using almond milk and vegetable broth as the liquid portion, plenty of spices, and roasted vegetables, it came out beautifully. It’s the dish we ended up eating on Valentine’s Day, simple but also slightly more refined, than say, a plate of pasta. We both loved it. Especially with a glass of Cabernet.
For the vegetables, I went with roasted rainbow carrots, cauliflower, and eggplant. I adore eggplant, and used the leftovers to make baba ganoush. You can use any vegetables you would like, I think roasted apples would be lovely in the Fall. The base is simple, so veggies really make the meal. Add grated parmesan, pecan “parmesan”, or balsamic apple vinaigrette. We used the latter and I loved the tang it lended the otherwise savory dish. The point is, it’s a blank canvas for flexing your creative muscles.
This dish requires only 30 minutes, 6 ingredients, one pot and a roasting pan. It’s easy clean-up and easy preparation. If you’re looking to try something new without spending tons of time laboring over the stove on a Tuesday, this is the dish to try:) Enjoy!
- ½ cup polenta
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 1 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
- Olive oil, to taste
- Tamari, to taste
- Paprika, to taste
- 1 head cauliflower, chopped into florets
- 6 rainbow carrots, sliced into sticks
- 1 eggplant, slice lengthwise into 1" thick steaks
- For pecan parmesan and balsamic apple vinaigrette, see notes.
- Lay the eggplant on a wire cooling rack and salt both sides, let them sit while oven pre-heats to 400 degrees F. This helps remove moisture from the eggplant so they aren't mushy.
- Rinse eggplant under cool water and pat dry.
- Transfer them to sprayed baking sheet with cauliflower and rainbow carrots. Brush them all with olive oil, Tamari, and paprika, to taste, coating both sides.
- Bake for 20 minutes. Flip and bake another 10 minutes. Watch closely so they don't burn, you may need to remove them early from the oven.
- Meanwhile, cook your polenta. Bring almond milk and vegetable broth to a boil. Add polenta. Continue stirring until thick, about 30 minutes. Stir in ~1 Tbsp olive oil and parmesan, if desired.
- Divide into two bowls and top with roasted vegetables.
- Sprinkle with pecan parmesan (see notes) and balsamic apple vinaigrette (see notes), if using.
Balsamic apple vinagrette: ¼ cup olive oil, 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar, 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar, 1 tsp dijon mustard, 1 clove garlic, minced, salt and pepper to taste. Shake everything up and store in fridge up to two weeks.