I have your post-holiday salad right here (first, go eat all the cookies): Crisp Tossed Salad with Polenta Squares + Lime Agave Dressing.
There have been many weekend days over the past few weeks where Noah and I have forgotten lunch. I have never been a person to miss an opportunity to eat good food, but multiple times we have found ourselves hangry (hungry/angry) with grumbling bellies around 2 or 3 PM after crazily painting the walls of our house all morning.
Because I know that it was contributing to our tendency to eat out lately (AKA give me an Illegal Pete’s burrito bowl ASAP), I knew I needed to make a plan for our paint-frenzy days. This salad was born out of one of those days, with leftover cold polenta in the fridge and an array of veggies that I needed to make appetizing.
- ½ c dry polenta
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 cups baby spinach
- 1 medium carrot
- ¼ of a large cucumber
- ½ of an avocado
- ½ cup cherry tomatoes
- 2 green onions
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 1 tablespoon agave nectar
- The night before, cook ½ cup dry polenta with salt per package instructions (I make this as an extra amount when making polenta for dinner). Refrigerate the polenta overnight in a square container, or until firm.
- Chop the polenta into bitesize squares.
- Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a nonstick pan and fry polenta squares on both sides for about 5 minutes each, or until brown. When flipping, be sure to get under the crust that has formed to avoid breaking the polenta squares apart.
- Prepare the rest of the vegetables by chopping the baby spinach leaves a bit to break them up, peeling the carrot and cucumber into long ribbons, and dicing the avocado, cherry tomatoes, and green onions.
- Whisk together the olive oil, lime juice, and agave for the Lime Agave dressing.
- Toss the vegetables (reserving the green onions) with the dressing and divide into two bowls. Top the salads with green onions and the polenta croutons.
I absolutely loved this combination tossed together in a mixing bowl (and eaten out of a mixing bowl… true life). The warm polenta bites and crunchy and crisp vegetables are made complete by the addition of the sweet lime dressing and creamy avocado. It doesn’t take long to throw together, and you can sub many ingredients depending on what you have on hand!
On that note… I am off to drink hot cocoa, begin wrapping my small gifts for family, + prep for a few dishes for Christmas Day. I am thankful for this week off of work to reboot and relax!
I will be back on January 1st with the Back To Basics January Challenge – don’t forget to stop over and commit to joining me!