Special Diet Information

Coumadin® (Warfarin)
This recipe is safe for Coumadin (warfarin) users.

This recipe contains cheese and some of those who are lactose intolerant may be able to tolerate it.

This is a low sodium recipe.

GERD / Acid Reflux
This recipe contains GERD triggers and those with GERD may wish to avoid it.

Gluten Sensitivity
This recipe is safe for those who are sensitive to gluten.


"Poets have been mysteriously silent on the subject of cheese."
-C.K. Chesterton, Poet

The refrigerator light goes on...

This recipe seems like it takes a lot of work, but it only takes time for things to cook. The squash is easy, the mushrooms and onions are simple and making the polenta a snap. The hardest thing about the dish is lining the Pyrex dish with foil.

The best part is that this is a perfect dish to make on a Sunday because the leftovers are fantastic. Allow to cool, then slice and store as individual servings and have them for dinner on Tuesday or Wednesday with a side salad. Makes a great breakfast, too!


Cornmeal is simply ground corn. The varieties of cornmeal are not quite that simple, however. It's helpful to know that there are three parts to a kernel of corn:

To make cornmeal, kernels are dried and then ground to either a fine, a medium or a coarse texture. Packages are either labeled stone-ground or steel-ground. The stone-ground method, sometimes referred to as water-ground, retains some of the hull and the germ while steel-ground cornmeal has mostly the endosperm. For cooking and baking purposes I prefer to use stone-ground cornmeal.

Polenta is simply cornmeal and Italian polenta recipes can be made with coarse ground cornmeal. Most of the polenta that you will find in specialty stores is a coarser grind than the coarse stone-ground American variety. It often has bits of corn in it and, as a result, it makes really great cornbread. (See also Blue cornmeal.)

1/4 cup grits = 130 calories, 0 fat, 0g sat fat, 0g mono fat, 3g protein, 29g carbohydrates, 30mg sodium, 5mg cholesterol


Baked Polenta with Mushrooms and Smoked Gouda

Servings = 4 | Serving size =about 2 cups

Cooking Time = 60 Minutes

This recipe can be multiplied by 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.

This recipe makes great leftovers and is actually better the next day so that the polenta can really firm up.

Serve with Herbed Zucchini or Healthy Caesar Salad or Beet and Shallot Salad or Green Bean and Mushroom Salad or Holiday Brussels Sprouts

1 medium acorn squash (sliced in half lengthwise)
2 tsp olive oil
1 large onion (diced)
1 lb crimini mushrooms (quartered)
3 cups water
1 cup coarse ground yellow cornmeal (polenta)
1/4 tsp dried tarragon
1/4 tsp salt
fresh ground black pepper (to taste)
3 ounces smoked gouda (shredded)
1 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano (grated)

Baked Polenta with Mushrooms and Smoked Gouda
Preheat the oven to 325F.

Place the squash in a large pan cut side down and place the pan in the oven. Roast for 60 minutes.

While the squash is cooking place the olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.

Add the onions and cook, tossing frequently, for about 5 minutes.

Add the mushrooms and toss. Toss the mushrooms about every 10 minutes and cook for 30 minutes total. Remove and let cool.

Place the skillet in the oven. Roast for about 20 minutes while the squash is roasting. Toss occasionally.

Remove and let cool.

When the squash is soft, remove from the oven and let cool. Scoop the flesh out of the skin and discard the skin, then mash the flesh with a fork.

Line a 12 inch oblong Pyrex dish with aluminum foil.

Place the water in a medium sauce pan over high heat.

When the water boils, slowly add the cornmeal while whisking.

Cook, whisking frequently, for about 10 minutes until the polenta begins to thicken.

Add the parmesan and the mashed acorn squash. Whisk until the cheese is melted.

Pour half of the polenta mixture into the bottom of the Pyrex dish.

Top with the mushroom and onion mixture.

Top with half of the shredded smoked gouda and then the remaining polenta.

Sprinkle the remaining smoked gouda on the top and bake for 30 minutes. Allow to sit for 5 minutes before slicing and serving.

Nutrition Facts

Serving size = about 2 cups

Servings = 4


Amount Per Serving

Calories 352 Calories from Fat 99
  % Daily Value
Total Fat 11g 17%
    Saturated Fat 6g 26%
    Monounsaturated Fat 3g
    Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 34mg 11%
Sodium 498mg 22%
Total Carbohydrates 48g 15%
    Dietary Fiber 6g 22%
    Sugars 6g
Protein 17g
Vitamin A 12% Vitamin C 29%
Calcium 43% Iron 15%
Vitamin K 0 mcg Potassium 1152 mg
Magnesium 106 mg