Polenta bruschetta

Hi guys! Hope your day is going well <3 Thank you so much to those of you who have ordered your Kale Yeah tees already! Remember, we’re only doing one run of this fun design and each one of these cute shirts will feed 12 emergency meals this holiday season. <3 I can’t wait to wear mine with you!

Today was a perfect mix of productivity and play. I went to Starbucks to crank through some work, and enjoyed a Zen tea + purse trail mix. I’ll usually have an easy homemade trail mix in my bag: just almonds, chocolate chunks and unsweetened cranberries.

For some reason, I am so much more productive when I’m not at home. At home, I look around at all of the things I need to clean or do, and it distracts me. At a coffee shop, I park myself at a table, put  headphones in + Bastille station on Pandora, and get it done.


Today was also a perfect beach day! The summer visitors seem to have dwindled down, since the beach was fairly empty and we found parking right away (<— miracle right there). I would say “Well, it was a Tuesday afternoon, but surfers be like “every day is surfing day, brah.” I’m old.

Beach day

Tiny sandy toes pulling me to jump in the waves with her. 

Sandy toes

We jumped over waves and ran around in circles for about an hour, while Liv yelled “THIS IS AMAZING.”

Me and liv at the beach

Not a bad way to spend the day <3

Today, I’m excited to share a quick and easy appetizer recipe. We had this one over the weekend; it wasn’t quite dinner yet, but we were ready for a little snack.

Polenta bruschetta!

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I tend to have a tube of polenta on hand.. and the same tube lives in the pantry for years untouched.

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(This was a fresh one, haha)

I think I love the idea of polenta, but since it’s not something I’ve eaten often, I don’t have a ton of ideas for recipes or how to use it. The taste is extremely mild, and it has a soft, slightly gummy texture which crisps up beautifully in the oven. Since it’s a relatively blank canvas, I thought it would be a fun substitution for bread in bruschetta. 

I chopped up a couple of beefsteak tomatoes and added 2 cloves of minced garlic, a drizzle of olive oil, about a tablespoon of balsamic, salt and pepper.

After cutting the polenta tube into slices and placing them onto a cookie sheet, I topped each round with some of the tomato mixture.

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Next, a crumbled of herbed goat cheese, and baked for about 20-25 minutes at 375.

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When they came out of the oven, I added some chopped fresh basil. It was an easy and healthy little appetizer! It would be perfect for any upcoming parties or get-togethers, too.

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Let me know if you give it a try! 🙂

Are you a polenta fan? Any awesome recipes to share?? Where and when do you feel the most productive during the day? 

See ya in the am with a fun Halloween post!



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  1. April on October 28, 2014 at 4:33 pm

    Oh, this looks delicious! Polenta is always something I want to buy but can’t quite wrap my head around it. Perhaps this recipe will help me dive in? 🙂

    And I am the same about working at the coffee shop. I have these big dreams of getting stuff done at home but ultimately, I need to be surrounded by the hum of others and the smell of coffee to be productive!

  2. Linda @ the Fitty on October 28, 2014 at 4:35 pm

    Is Polenta a cheese?

    • Fitnessista on October 28, 2014 at 4:37 pm

      it’s corn 🙂

  3. Tory on October 28, 2014 at 5:06 pm

    It’s delicious GRILLED!! Cut into rounds, brush with olive oil, salt pepper, and fresh herbs (rosemary or basil). I then usually make a mushroom mix sautéed (olive oil, shallots, a few different varieties of mushrooms, more herbs, garlic, salt, pepper). Spoon the mushroom mix over a few slices and top with fresh parmesan and optional chill flakes. Super flavourful. Or can also do a homemade tomato sauce with veggies mixed in and fresh parm too.

    • Fitnessista on October 28, 2014 at 5:42 pm

      glorious!! i will definitely try that- thank you!

  4. amber on October 28, 2014 at 5:13 pm

    Ohhh great idea! I do mine on the stove and top it with bolognese sauce. Perfect comfort food!

    • Fitnessista on October 28, 2014 at 5:41 pm

      that sounds lovely!!

  5. Megan Stanchik on October 28, 2014 at 5:16 pm

    I make mini polenta pizzas quite often. I use tomato slices, fresh mozzarella cheese, and basil. It’s a great snack or appetizer. I pan fry the polenta with a touch of olive oil, however….:-s

  6. Megan @ Skinny Fitalicious on October 28, 2014 at 5:30 pm

    I love polenta but never actually made it myself. I’ve had a few recipe ideas for it that I would love to try. Bruschetta wasn’t one I thought of. I need to try your starbucks trick for getting with done. Last weekend I was having major writing procrastination.

    • Fitnessista on October 28, 2014 at 5:41 pm

      that happens to me, too. for some reason, coffee houses seem to cure it!

  7. RachelG on October 28, 2014 at 5:57 pm

    I accidentally (because I know nothing about polenta) bought the mix rather than the tube. Every time I see the bag in the pantry I think “what am I supposed to do with youuuu???”. lol. I’ve used it a few times but think I’d do more with it if I bought the easy to use tube.

    • Alyssa on October 29, 2014 at 5:41 am

      Hi Rachel! I wanted to let you know that I’ve only ever made polenta the old fashioned way(creamy consistency) and we top it with sliced sausage, peppers & onions and tomato sauce and serve that over top the polenta mixture… it is sooo delicious!!

  8. Yaara Leve on October 28, 2014 at 6:01 pm

    It must be so nice to have that gorgeous beach as your back yard! I’m jelly 🙂

  9. Christina @ The Beautiful Balance on October 28, 2014 at 6:19 pm

    Love how easy this recipe is! Compared to the tube (which I buy when I’m feeling lazy) there is a major flavor change in homemade vs. store bought.

    • Fitnessista on October 28, 2014 at 9:54 pm

      don’t you have to stir the homemade version for a very long time? i’m sure it’s worth it, but i haven’t committed so far!

      • Christina @ The Beautiful Balance on October 29, 2014 at 7:46 am

        It takes me about 15 mins to make it but I’ve made it in the slow-cooker before and it’s even better than stovetop. To make it even faster I throw the cornmeal (for polenta , it’s a finer grain) in the vitamix and it makes the creamiest polenta ever!

        ps I made these polenta bites last night and my boyfriend and I loved them!

        • Fitnessista on October 29, 2014 at 8:08 am

          wowwww amazing. i will def try putting the cornmeal in the vitamix!
          so happy to hear you liked them 🙂 xoxo

  10. Carrie (This Fit Chick) on October 28, 2014 at 8:04 pm

    That’s the cutest idea!! i would love these- i like softer textures, so usually normal bruschetta is too hard!

  11. Tricia @ A Couple of Dashes on October 28, 2014 at 8:39 pm

    Im so much more productive when I’m not at home too! I have to get all my work done outside of the house or else it won’t get done!

  12. MW on October 28, 2014 at 8:50 pm

    The problem with the tubes of polenta is they’re SO HIGH in sodium! So while I love it, I just can’t bring myself to buy it or to serve it to my family. Too bad, because this recipe looks delish!

    • Fitnessista on October 28, 2014 at 9:53 pm

      i think it depends on what brand you buy. the tj’s brand i picked up has about 300mg per serving, which is definitely high, but if you monitor sodium intake the rest of the day, it should be easy to stick far below the recommended max.

  13. Alex on October 29, 2014 at 3:41 am

    I don’t often cook with polenta as quinoa and brown rice are my go-to’s, but this is such an easy and unique take on bruschetta. Tomatoes aren’t in-season this time of year around here-they typically have a less than stellar tasta- but I will definitely be book making this for next summer. Looks delish – and a great option for an gluten-free friends or family in your life!

  14. Laura on October 29, 2014 at 3:57 am

    Where do you buy unsweetened cranberries from I can never find ones that don’t have added sugar?

    • Fitnessista on October 29, 2014 at 8:11 am

      trader joe’s has them!

  15. Erin @ Her Heartland Soul on October 29, 2014 at 4:25 am

    You’re the one who introduced me to recipes with polenta! This looks yummy, thanks so much for sharing.

  16. Livi @ Eat, Pray, Work It Out on October 29, 2014 at 5:27 am

    OMG gluten free bruschetta! Yummmmm

  17. Lauren @ The Bikini Experiment on October 29, 2014 at 5:35 am

    I am careful of buying polenta since I feel it could live in my pantry untouched for years as you said. This looks like a very tasty recipe though. Love the term “purse trail mix.” Have a good one!

  18. Crystal on October 29, 2014 at 6:28 am

    Man, I still can’t get over the fact that you get to go to the beach so much now! Livi’s such a cute little beach bum.

    When I was a kid, we had a babysitter who seasoned and pan fried polenta for us once and drizzled it with warm honey and topped it with sliced toasted almonds. My mom still has the index card with the recipe scribbled on it. We lost touch with her (this was when we lived in Germany), but I remember how skeptical I was to try it (picky kid!) and then how wonderful it actually tasted.

    • Fitnessista on October 29, 2014 at 8:10 am

      i still can’t get over it either. i have a “do we really live here?” moment every day. it will be interesting when we move and liv asks to go to the beach all the time 😉
      the honey polenta sounds amazing. we will definitely have to give it a try!

  19. june on October 29, 2014 at 6:32 am

    Try making a soft polenta (texture similar to grits) top with a sunnyside up egg, parmesan cheese, toasted pine nuts and drizzle a lil truffle oil. Swim.

    • Fitnessista on October 29, 2014 at 8:09 am

      that sounds heavenly!

  20. Tracy on October 29, 2014 at 9:31 am

    Not a bad way to spend the day at all! Looks like so much fun 🙂

  21. Alexa on October 29, 2014 at 9:33 am

    my mum makes this on special occasions, but on the grill! sooooo goooood 🙂

  22. Amna on October 29, 2014 at 10:33 am

    What’s polenta’s health profile, just curious?

  23. Cassie Vaughn on October 29, 2014 at 10:41 am

    Looks yummy!

  24. Jessica @ Pilates Happy Hour on October 29, 2014 at 2:28 pm

    I LOVE polenta! When it crisps up with olive oil and salt? Ultimate comfort food 🙂 I like the tubes but usually keep the dry polenta/cornmeal on hand. I can use the cornmeal for pizza crust or whatever, and for polenta it really only takes mine about 5-10 minutes to set up. I love the vitamin tip above! Then I pour it in a big 9×11 pan and put cheese and olive oil, salt and pepper on top and pop in the oven just to melt the cheese. Then an awesome mushroom mix or ragu or anything on top of that. That’s a common go to for dinner parties for me – so easy to take if you make in a disposable pan, too! Thanks again for the bruschetta idea 🙂

  25. Lisa on October 29, 2014 at 8:04 pm

    Polenta fries are delicious. Cut Polenta in fries and bake with evoo and salt

    • Fitnessista on October 29, 2014 at 9:23 pm

      yes!! it’s one of the very few things i’ve done with polenta. so good!

  26. Kay on November 4, 2014 at 9:51 pm

    I love polenta, but it’s always other people making it for me.

    I kind of love it as a base for pasta style sauce without pasta. So like a meaty bolognese sauce over soft polenta. Heaven.

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