Long time no see!
How was everyone’s Thanksgiving? We had a great time with my husband’s family — lots of fun times and delicious food. Seriously, the food was amazing. I’ve been reliving it ever since — sweet potatoes, stuffing, corn casserole, and yummy appetizers as far as the eye could see. I could’ve done without the 13-hour drive to get there (and back!), but sometimes things like that can’t be avoided.
Do you want to know something crazy? I never eat turkey on Thanksgiving. I get way too excited about all the yummy side dishes that I always end up deciding to save all the room on my plate/in my stomach for the sides. I mean no disrespect to turkey (I even had some leftover turkey the next day and it was great) — but I just have my strategy, you know?
I do have another (slightly more embarrassing) reason for forgoing the turkey. Basically, my favorite way to eat turkey will always be with a side of…ketchup. Gross, right? I know. I’m gross. I used to ask my grandma for ketchup at Thanksgiving, but now that I’m a full-on adult with a job and a husband and a 401k, I know that such requests will no longer fly. Sigh. Growing up is hard!
Anyway, after a weekend full of overindulgence, I feel the need for something a little healthier, don’t you? Check out our latest vegetarian dinner — guaranteed to cancel out all the pecan pie you at this weekend 🙂
POLENTA VEGGIE BAKE (adapted from EatingWell)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium eggplant, diced
2 zucchini, diced
salt and pepper
1/2 cup water
10 oz baby spinach (I used frozen, but fresh would work too)
1 and 1/2 cups your favorite marinara sauce
1/2 cup chopped basil
14 oz prepared polenta, cut into 8-10 slices (comes in a tube-like package, like sausage)
1 and 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese, grated
1. Preheat oven to 450. Spray a 9×13 baking dish with nonstick spray or olive oil.
2. Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add eggplant, zucchini, salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until veggies are just tender (about 5 minutes). Add water and spinach. Cover and cook until wilted, about 3 minutes. Stir in marinara sauce and heat through (1-2 minutes). Remove from heat and stir in basil.
3. Place polenta slices in single layer in baking dish. Sprinkle with half the cheese, then top with veggie mixture. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.
4. Bake, uncovered, until cheese is melted and bubbling, about 12-15 minutes. Top with additional basil, if desired. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
Healthy and tasty! Other than chopping the veggies, this comes together really quickly, too. Think of it as your Thanksgiving detox!