Clean the Fridge Night

You know those nights when the fridge is full, but it doesn’t seem to have anything of real value? I had a late lunch yesterday, so I was poking around for something light, yet with enough substance to keep me away from the carrot cake my grandma had brought over. What I created was a masterpiece in polenta and veggies. Though many people are unfamiliar with the name, polenta is simply the Italian’s take on cornmeal. Different cultures use cornmeal in all sorts of ways: muffins, tortillas, loaves, grits, etc. But one of my favorites is polenta. I like to buy it in log-form, although it is available in a more cream of wheat-ish texture as well.

In skillet number one, I added a bit of oil and placed the sliced polenta in to brown. In skillet number two, I added all the nutritious elements of my refrigerator that I could find. This included broccoli, red peppers, edamame soy beans and Trader Joe’s roasted corn kernels. I sauteed these ingredients while some pine nuts toasted in the toaster oven. And in under 20 minutes, I quite the colorful meal. Of course, no polenta dish would be complete without a healthy chunk of goat cheese on top.

For a last minute creation, I was really quite pleased with the results. I know the picture isn’t much to look at, but you can see how colorfully delicious the whole thing was. Of course, you could use whatever veggies you have in the fridge – which is the beauty of the dish. And you need very little seasoning since the goat cheese is so flavorful. I actually used one that had been rolled in herbs and spices, so that helped as well. It could certainly be served as a side dish to a meal as well. Now go and empty your fridge and see what you can make!

Max’s Masterpiece in Polenta and Veggies


1 log polenta
1 small log goat cheese
1 C. broccoli, cut into small florets
1/2 sweet red pepper, diced
1/2 C. edamame beans
1/2 C. Trader Joe’s roasted corn kernels
1/4 C. pine nuts, toasted


Slice polenta into disks about 1/4-inch thick and saute in oil, flipping once to brown both sides. In a separate skillet, heat oil and saute remaining ingredients except the cheese. When ready to serve, place 3 to 4 polenta slices on each plate. Put a thin slice of goat cheese on top of the polenta and spoon veggie mixture over each.

Yield: 2-3 servings as main dish

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