Return to Spring Cleaning via Creamy Polenta with Oranges & Almonds

Creamy Polenta with Oranges & Almonds

Seems like everyone’s captivated with decluttering their lives. I too have jumped on the let’s simplify life  bandwagon.  But  lately, everytime I take one step forward,  I take several backwards.

My latest upset…


Lightning strikes again! Needless to say, simplifying life will have to wait, and  I can hardly believe it’s my day for the Recipe Redux. (Time flys when your having fun, lol).

 But here’s the good news! This month’s theme  is helping me get back on track with Spring cleaning: Today we’re giving  love to ingredients that have been hanging out for awhile in the  pantry, refrigerator or freezer.

Admittedly, I found two unopened bags of cornmeal sitting in on a shelf in my pantry  waiting for attention;  surely there are ways to enjoy cornmeal other than the occasional loaf of cornbread?!  Enter my signed copy of  the Vegetarian Flavor Bible which is  the inspiration behind this harmonious combination of ingredients (stay tuned for my upcoming book review) …Creamy Polenta with Oranges & Almonds

Ta da!   Yes, this porridge  tastes as good as it looks and  one serving provides: 294 calories, 10 grams of protein, 4 grams of fiber and is a good source of vitamin C.  For me, it’s the new alternative to oatmeal. Make this delicious  breakfast in 15 minutes any day of the week,  and/or be the hostess with the mostest the next time you have visitors over a long weekend.

Please check out the links at the bottom of this post to see how spring cleaning is inspiring my  friends and colleagues.

How are you simplifying life?

What ingredients have you been neglecting?

Creamy Polenta with Oranges & Almonds

Creamy Polenta with Oranges & Almonds; serves 4

cooking time: 5 minutes

Prep time : 10 minutes

by Diane Boyd


  • 1 orange
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cup skim milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3/4 cup stone ground yellow cornmeal, made with whole grain corn
  • 1/2 cup low fat Greek yogurt
  • 6 Tablespoons organic agave nectar, divided
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted


1. Zest the orange; you will need 2 teaspoons of orange zest. Set aside.

2. Peel orange and break into segments. Cut segments into thirds. Set aside.

3.Combine Greek yogurt, 1 1/2 teaspoon agave nectar and 1/2 teaspoon orange zest. Set aside.

4. Combine water, milk, and salt in a large sauce pan. Bring to a boil.

5. Add corn meal in a thin stream stirring continuously.

6. Cook while stirring until corn meal  thickens and separates from the sides of the pan. (May take anywhere from 1 minute to 5 minutes.)

7. Remove from heat. Add 1 1/2 tablespoons agave nectar and 1/2 teaspoon orange zest. Divide between 4 bowls.

8. Top each bowl with yogurt mixture , orange segments and toasted almonds.

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Cucumber Ricotta Salad with Mango Curry Granola

Cucumber Ricotta Salad with Mango Curry GranolaThere’s somethin’ about spring that’s motivating. I don’t know if it’s the sight of  trees budding, the warmth of  sun on my face, or the liberating feeling  of running  bare legged, but it brings out the best in me. This week, I have completed ‘the task’ I’ve been dodging for over seven months.   I am happy to report reorganizing my study is like a breathe of fresh air…

organizing my workspace   In addition to some obligatory spring cleaning, I ‘ve also been busy with one of my favorite spring activies,  transitioning menus to reflect the  fresh flavors of spring and summer.  It started with  Mango Curry Granola and the third  smart way to eat this delicious and nutritious fruit, nut and oat combination:  use it as an ingredient in other foods to easily and consitently  keep the granola portion size in check. There’s no limit to the foods that pair with granola for  high impact flavor. Today it’s  the topping on a cool cucumber salad (which btw can also top 2 slices of bread for an easy vegetarian sandwich). This is the salad that’s the perfect afternoon snack, providing some simple and complex carbohydrates, protein, and produce.  Here ‘s how simple it is to make: Spoon ricotta cheese onto a plate. Toss sliced cucumber with lemon juice and arrange on top of ricotta cheese.  Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with a tablespoon of granola. Detailed recipe below.

How is spring motivating you?

Cucumber Ricotta Salad with Mango Curry Granola

Serves 4     adjust servings


  • 1 English cucumber, thinnly sliced into rounds
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoon olive oil+ more for drizzleing
  • Maldon sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups low fat ricotta cheese

for the Mango Curry Granola

  • 1/2 cup old fashioned oats
  • 2 tablespoons quinoa, rinsed
  • 1/4 cup peanuts
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened flaked coconut
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon lime juice
  • 1Tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground curry
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon lime zest
  • 1/3 cup chopped dried mango


  1. 1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
  2. 2. Place ingredients oats through red pepper flakes in a small bowl and stir to combine.
  3. 3. Pour onto a foil or parchment paper lined baking sheet and bake for 20 to 30 minute or until golden, stirring every 10 minutes.
  4. 4. Allow to cool. Add lime zest and dried mango.
  5. 1. In a small bowl toss cucumber, with lemon juic and olive oil.
  6. 2. In a small bowl whisk ricotta until smooth and season with salt and pepper.
  7. 3. Spoon ricotta onto plates and top with cucumber. Sprinkle some of the granola on the cucumbers and garnish with a drizzle of olive oil and several tablespoons of granola. Serve right away.


Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving As Served
Calories 467kcal Calories from fat 294
% Daily Value
Total Fat 33g 51%
Saturated Fat 14g 70%
Cholesterol 63mg 21%
Sodium 633mg 26%
Carbohydrate 27g 9%
Dietary Fiber 4g 16%
Sugars 9g
Protein 20g

Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs:

Calories 2000
Total Fat Less than 65g
Sat Fat Less than 25g
Cholesterol Less than 300mg
Sodium Less than 2,400mg
Total Carbohydrate 300g
Dietary Fiber 25g
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