I'm single. It's a fact and a choice at this point in my life. Sometimes that makes cooking for one difficult, I normally end up with tons of leftovers and am eating stuffed peppers all week. But, I've found some go-to Single Lady dinner staples, one of which is the Polenta Bowl.
What is Single Lady Food? It is food that is easy and fast (like some single ladies, you do you, girl). Food that doesn't require a ton of prep work (foreplay is, however, required) and won't create a ton of dishes (because we don't have a partner to do the mundane domestic tasks #genderneutralchores).
Back to the Polenta Bowl. I first became acquainted with this concept last year at Talula's in Asbury Park, NJ. As I have two egg-laying hens #backyardchickens, I have an endless supply of eggs (which, if I'm being honest is the main reason for acquiring chickens in the first place, I'm low-key egg obsessed). I have since recreated and perfected my own version of a Polenta Bowl, often using whatever vegetables and cheese I have sitting around the bottom of the crisper drawers.
- 1/2 c dry polenta grain aka stone-ground corn grits (I have a dry-goods store near me, but most grocery stores carry the grain)
- 2 T of Nutritional Yeast (I use Red Star brand, it's what they carry at the dry-goods store, but you can omit if you can't find, I mainly use to add a little "cheese" flavor)
- 2 c water
- 1/2 t olive oil
- 1/4 onion, sliced thinly
- 1-1.5 c mixed hearty greens (I used garden fresh kale, spinach, and swiss chard, basically non-lettuce greens)
- 1-2 eggs
- Cheese of some sort for sprinkling on top (I used ~1T of feta)
- Okay, so everyone has their own way of making polenta, I get it. My way is super easy: combine dry polenta, nutritional yeast, and water in a pot (with lid) on stove top. Bring to a boil.
- Meanwhile, pour a little olive oil in a frying pan, and sauté onion.
- Once the polenta mixture has come to a boil, stir, turn down to low, and put on lid. Be very careful, the boiling hot polenta water mixture spits easily, definitely use a long-handled wooden spoon.
- Back to the frying pan. Add your greens to the pan. I used about 1.5 c of greens, so I added them in two batches. You will want to put a lid on this pan as well, to encourage wilting.
- The polenta cooks for about 15 minutes, until it is porridge like in texture. You want to be able to see the bottom of the pot when you stir with spoon.
- The greens, keep an eye on them, but once they are done, remove from pan & place in half of your serving bowl.
- The polenta is likely still cooking. Stir occasionally.
- Fry 1 or 2 eggs in your pan. I love a runny yolk and I actually think the yolk adds a nice dimension to the polenta, but if you're not a fan #youdoyou. I cooked my eggs sunny side up.
- When the polenta is done, portion into bowl with greens (you probably cooked about 3 servings of polenta, but it could be more or less depending upon taste).
- Once the eggs are done, place eggs on top of polenta and greens.
- Top with cheese and ground black pepper (and salt if you're into that, but honestly the cheese is likely salty enough). Garnish with fresh herbs if available.
- Slice into yolks right away for maximum yolk-polenta intermingling.
One of the things I love about this is that you will likely have 3 servings of polenta, so you can experiment with different bowl combinations instead of having the same boring leftovers. Try it with just vegetables. Try it with chicken. Try it for breakfast. The possibilities are endless (As long as you're not afraid of the fact that polenta assumes the shape of whatever container it is stored in. Add a little water to the polenta when re-heating in the microwave).