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Creamy Polenta For One

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For all my fellow polenta-lovers.

Because Christmas Eve is such a big event, we usually do something smaller for Christmas. This year, I somehow convinced my entire family to eat a vegan Christmas dinner! Mom was instantly on board, as it meant she didn’t have to cook.

vegan lentil stew

I cooked up a huge batch of Bread-Free Vegan Stuffing.

I’m kinda obsessed with this recipe, if you couldn’t tell. It’s especially simple to make when you have a sister chopping veggies for you and a dad who does the dishes.

vegan lentils

With the stuffing, I made a simple salad (just greens and almonds, letting everyone choose their dressing). In a polenta mood from my Christmas Polenta Casserole the night before, I opted for more polenta as a side dish—a quick and easy, single-serving recipe (I cooked extra for the family).

creamy polenta

Creamy Polenta for One

Measure your polenta, salt, and 1 cup water into a small pot. Cook on medium-high, with the lid on, for 4 minutes. Then uncover, stir, and lower to a simmer for 2 more minutes. Stir again, then keep simmering (still uncovered) 3 more minutes, or until desired consistency is reached. I make this ahead of time and add the creamer right before serving. Add the creamer, then re-heat until it’s warmed to your liking.

its-a-wonderful-life

After dinner, we cuddled up on the couch with Molly and Henry and watched It’s a Wonderful Life, a.k.a. one of the cutest movies–Christmas or not–ever made.

Side note: I did really well teaching Henry, who sheds, not to go on the couch. But then I missed cuddling with him when I sat on the couch! Sometimes, you have to weigh the pros and cons: missing out on Henry cuddles is so not worth having fur-less furniture.

Katie is the baker, photographer, and author of the popular blog Chocolate-Covered Katie. Her favorite food is chocolate, and she believes in eating a balanced diet that includes dessert every single day. More about Katie—> 
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  1. VeggieGirl says:

    You know about my pets 😉

  2. I have two cats and they are suuuuupeeeer spoiled! They are my children (for now). I am actually typing this comment with one hand as to not disturb the one on my lap:)

    1. Aww what a good mommy you are hehe

  3. Camille says:

    It’s A Wonderful Life is one of the greatest films ever made!
    I often like to tell my boyfriend that I will “lasso him the moon” if he wants. I’m just sweet like that :)

    1. I wonder what a person would do with the moon if he/she got it…

  4. That polenta looks fabulous!!!!!
    I have a cat and he’s spoiled rotten. He lies on his back on MY bed, only likes a certain type of cheese, will not eat any food that has been in his bowl for over an hour and tries to eat my chocolate.

    1. What?! Tries to eat your chocolate???! Get rid of that cat, asap! 😉

  5. Moni'sMeals says:

    I love your polenta recipes! They look really tasty.

    My dogs (English Bulldogs) are so spolied-spolied rotten and I would not have it any other way! 😉

  6. Thetreadmilldiaries says:

    This meal looks mighty yummy, Katie. ;). My two doggies – Maya & Rufus – are like my kids and definitely get all they need and some. Love ’em.

  7. Jenny says:

    oh honeybear, if you like polenta – you will adore the recipe I just posted on my blog!!! and it should be pretty easily veganized — just sub in a flax egg and use your sweetener of choice :) you’ll die!

    http://www.pbandjenny.com/2010/12/feeling-corny/

  8. I seriously wish I could claim my dogs as dependents! They are spoiled rotten. They sleep in the bed with us. There is constant dog hair on my clothes, in my car… DON’T CARE! Dog lovin’ always makes my day brighter!

  9. Kim says:

    Oooohhh yeah. My pets have always been spoiled but I think the chinchilla that showed up on my doorstep this spring (literally) has to be the winner in this contest. It could be his cuteness but we fall all over ourselves to make him happy, even going so far as to heat his shredded wheat square treat in the microwave for 5 seconds because he prefers it warmed. The cat comes in a close second. =^.^=

  10. It’s a Wonderful Life is one of my favorites!

  11. Oh when we had pets, little doggies, they were soooo spoiled! Pink purse dog carriers, food that cost more than most people’s, doggie daycare, doggie playdates, oh my, yes, total definition of pampered small dog syndrome :) It was fun and they were NICE dogs though. I never had those dogs that were yippy and barkey and annoying….lol.

    Great comforting meal too….:)

    1. Ugh yes, I hate when ppl have yippy dogs! Especially when people leave them out at night!!!

  12. I’ve been looking for a good, simple polenta recipe, and I think I just found it!

    I have two dogs (a golden retriever and a border collie mix), a kitty, and a horse. Ya, they’re pretty spoiled. But they all make me so happy (just like Molly and Henry, I’m sure) that they completely deserve to be spoiled! :)

    1. Molly would tell you that we don’t spoil her enough. She wants to be even MORE spoiled… if that’s possible.

  13. I’ve got to try that vegan stuffing; looks delicious. On a really involved note, I went back to that recipe, then back to the pinto bean pudding and… I made it back then too! So it was twice as popular as you thought :-)

    1. Oooh you made it? LOL that makes, what, three of us? 😉

  14. Liz says:

    I loooove polenta. I have a dog and he’s spoiled rotten too! He’s too old to jump on the couch though. : / So i just snuggle on the floor with him.

  15. Disturbed says:

    O I have three dogs at my dad’s house. I only claim two as my own. The beagle is my brother’s, and is the most annoying dog known to man. The Jack Russel (Dottie) and the lab/German Shepherd/hound mix (Jake) are my babies, and they couldn’t be more spoiled.

    1. Haha “the most annoying dog known to man”

      1. Disturbed says:

        It’s true. The dog will bark at anything-and since it is a beagle he doesn’t know how to just bark, but has to howl….and howl…and howl. Speaking of the devil, he is howling right now. All I did was get out of my seat, and he is now convinced that something is about to kill him, and not only that but he is a girl. Touch him in the slightest wrong way he will moan for an hour. He has issues I swear.

      2. Haha maybe he senses that someone is going to kill him because someone IS, if he doesn’t shut up! 😉

  16. Christina says:

    Hmm, not a fan of polenta :( It’s funny because the first time I made one of Susan’s polenta recipes (it was this one http://blog.fatfreevegan.com/2007/02/polenta-lasagna-with-portabellas-and.html) my mom told me how much I was going to love polenta, and I ended up eating around it! Oh well!

    My furballs are SOOOO spoiled! Nigel (http://bit.ly/g18qyJ) pretty much has free reign and acts like an 85lb lap dog most days. Definitely fun when your dog vaults himself onto the couch you’re sitting on and lays across your stomach 😛 But I guess I’m just glad he’s happy!

    And Xenophon (http://bit.ly/gEbOEX) is equally spoiled, except he’s slightly lighter and I don’t mind when he’s on the couch with me 😛

    On the pet note, I’m so excited for the summer because we’re getting another dog and not only with it get Nige out of the way every once in a while, but he’ll be so happy to have someone else to play with…I know he’s been lonely since we had to have Ben-ben (his big bro) put down last year. Anyways, I can’t wait! I’m thinking up names already…trying to convince my mom that Alastair is a fantastic name for a beastie…no luck yet >:( Lol, our poor animals suffer from my insistence on naming them things I couldn’t possibly name my children. Ebenezer is also a contender, but I’m afraid we’d end up shortening it to Ben, and that just wouldn’t fly :(

    1. Oh my gosh, Ebenezer lol. And hmmm, Alastair too? I bet I know one of your favorite movies!

      1. Christina says:

        Lol, glad you know the reference.

        For serious though, I’m all about ridiculous English names for my beasties. 😀

      2. Hehe it’s our favorite Scrooge version :).

      3. Christina says:

        I’m so torn between the Alistair Sim version and the Muppet Version. Which you also may have guessed from the tweet! 😛 I just LOVE Michael Caine as Scrooge. Ugh. Decisions.

        Wait, who am I kidding, I’ll just watch both and be really happy about life!

  17. Yummy! I never knew polenta was so easy to make. I must make this soon! :-)

  18. Fi says:

    Love polenta so needless to say I’ll be making that recipe! X

  19. My mom (but mostly my Dad) always said that my dog is NOT allowed on the couch. Even though he’s a poodle mix and doesn’t shed AT ALL. But somehow, he always ends up on the couch next to me or on my lap and my parents have given up trying to keep him off!

    1. It’s hard to tell them no, right? 😉 They just have the saddest, cutest puppy eyes… you can’t say no to that.

  20. How nice of your family to have an all vegan Christmas dinner. Though how could they refuse that delicious polenta dish? Yum, I’ll have to try this recipe.

    I have an old old cat. She’s quite senile, but I love her anyway.

  21. Namaste Gurl says:

    What girl, you beat me to it! How do us amazing bloggers think of the same posts to write? I guess great minds think alike :-) Mines a bit different though, ‘cheezy’ herb, to be exact!

    1. There can never be too many polenta recipes in the blogworld! :)

  22. BroccoliHut says:

    Oh, wow! I wish my family would agree to eat an entirely vegan meal!
    I think I just found a use for the Silk creamer that has been sitting in my fridge fo-evah…

    1. Ooh you can also put it in your oatmeal. It SERIOUSLY takes plain oatmeal into rice-pudding territory. Just 2T stirred in is ahhmazing :).

  23. Nicole says:

    Oh, you mentioned pets, and that’s totally enough to get me out of my long-standing lurkdom! :)

    I have two dogs. They’re horrendously spoiled. My littler one is a mini poodle with the biggest heart you could ever imagine, and she has my big, buff, mostly stoic father wrapped around that little paw of hers. She’s darling, though. Yours are too! :)
    I think I miss my dogs the most when I’m off at school… Don’t tell my parents that, though. 😉

    1. Haha aww I understand! When I was off at college, at least I could talk to my parents. But not the puppers :(… except the few times my mom put them on the phone and I got to hear Henry breathing!

  24. aren’t dads the best? had mine not been there to help and clean the dishes from all the cooking i did for the holidays, i’d probably still be doing dishes from thanksgiving 😉

    1. Ugh me too! Love you, Daddy! Yay for daddies ;).

  25. Jess says:

    SO cool you got your fam to eat a vegan christmas dinner–that’s such a sweet memory!

  26. I have actually never tried polenta! I will have to make this recipe. You’re the best, Katie! 😀

    1. Aw Laura, YOU are the best for always being so sweet to me :).

  27. Claire says:

    Haha, we;ve got a cat (Stimpy – not a reference to Ren and Stimpy as the other cat was called Bud, we’re slightly confused too :P). Stimpy is not so much spoilt as her own boss, there’s a cat next door (Crumpet – such a cute name!) who’s the biggest flirt. I spend more time patting him than studying!

    1. They should get a dog named Tea :).

      1. Claire says:

        Hahaha! That would be brilliant!

  28. Melinda says:

    That is really great that your family was on board for a vegan holiday meal. Polenta is always a good choice. I do have pets and they are spoiled. I think it is neat that they get to live overseas with us too. I think they have no idea that they live on a tiny Portuguese island.

  29. Oh yum! I had polenta yesterday … I just love it.

  30. Alanna says:

    I don’t know why polenta always intimidated me, because there’s so little to it! I was a little confused, though… I had creamy polenta last night, but when I opened my tupperware at lunch today I had semi-solid polenta in a water moat! I was able to mix it back together after heating, but it really surprised me. I feel silly asking a question on such a simple recipe, but having never made it before, I’m not sure if that’s normal or I did something wrong, lol.

    1. I usually leave my grains (polenta, oatmeal, etc) at least semi-uncovered (with at least a little pocket of air) for that reason. The water separates.

      1. Alanna says:

        Good to know — thanks!!

  31. PolentaReviewer says:

    Do you have tips of what you can do with polenta so that it isn’t bland?