Most days all I want is my delicious oatmeal, but some days call for a special breakfast treat. Here’s a perfect recipe for a brunch, special occasion, or just a tasty change of pace. I recommend taking the extra time to make this simple and incredible fresh corn polenta (especially in the summertime) but you can also cook up dried polenta and stir in the cheese at the end.
Fresh Corn Polenta
- 4 ears fresh corn
- 1 cup 8 oz cheese of choice I use vegan almond ricotta but you can also use feta or goat cheese for a dairy option
- 1 cup fresh basil chopped
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes
- 1 bunch kale shredded
- 1 bunch asparagus or broccolini
Toppings & Garnishes
- 1 fried egg per serving
- Avocado to garnish (optional)
- Additional fresh herbs e.g. chives, green onions, basil, cilantro, oregano
- Salt & pepper to taste
Make the Polenta
- Shuck the corn and use a large knife to shave the kernels off the raw cobs. Place the kernels in a medium saucepan and cover with 1 ½ cups of water.
- Cook for 12 minutes on a simmer. Use a slotted spoon to sieve the kernels and place them into a food processor. Don’t throw out the cooking liquid.
- Process for several minutes, breaking up as much of the kernels as possible. Add a little cooking liquid if the mixture becomes too dry.
- Return the corn paste to the pan with the cooking liquid and cook, stirring, on low heat for 10 to 15 minutes, until thickened to a mashed potato consistency.
- Fold in the cheese, tomatoes, and fresh basil and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
Roast the Veggies
- Preheat the oven to 400° F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Toss the asparagus or broccolini with a little bit of olive oil (or lemon juice to keep it oil-free) and a generous amount of salt & pepper.
- Roast the veggies on a baking sheet for 8-10 minutes (until crispy).
- In a nonstick skillet over medium heat, sauté the kale in a splash of olive oil, salt, and pepper for a few minutes, until softened and warm. For an oil-free breakfast, steam the greens in a steamer basket instead for a minute or two.
Cook the Eggs
- How to Perfectly Fry Eggs: Heat a dab of oil on a nonstick skillet over medium low heat. Carefully crack the egg onto the pan – it should sizzle. Add a dash of salt and pepper. For sunny side up, cover with a lid for a minute or two until the yolk is cooked to your liking. For over easy, cook uncovered and flip after a minute or two and cook until the yolk is cooked to your liking.
- How to Perfectly Poach Eggs: Poach the eggs by stirring the boiling water in the pot with a large spoon and making a little whirlpool. This will keep the egg together. Crack the eggs gently into the whirlpool and turn heat down to a low simmer. Start a timer. Remove the eggs with a slotted spoon after 3.5 minutes for a perfectly runny yolk.
Assemble & Garnish Bowls
- Assemble bowl ingredients and top with the egg, veggies, and other optional garnishes.
- Veggies can replace breakfast fruit in the BLE food plan. Here, the tomatoes, greens, and roasted veggies are counted toward the veggie serving.
- BLE counts dried polenta as a grain, and it is measured exactly like oatmeal, dry or cooked. Fresh corn is counted as veggies, so this one is a little ambiguous. In this breakfast I count this polenta as a grain.
- For a weight loss breakfast, use half the amount of cheese in the polenta (4 oz total, 1 oz per serving) so that you have half of a protein serving left to use for 1 egg on top. For a maintenance breakfast, I make the polenta recipe as is and top the breakfast with 1 egg and 2 oz of avocado, which is 1.5 proteins and 1 fat. I don’t worry about getting the 1.5 maintenance grains in this breakfast, as it’s plenty filling as is.