This is inspired by my favorite smoothie recipe. Not the polenta. Just the spinach and blueberries. Talk about antioxidant heaven! We had this as an entree salad, but you could use smaller portions as a starter or a side dish.
Spinach Blueberry Salad with Polenta Croutons
2 cloves garlic, pressed and finely minced
1 tsp olive oil
3 cups water
3/4 cup corn meal
1 tsp salt DRESSING
1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
3 Tbsp blueberry syrup
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp fresh mint, finely chopped
1/2 tsp dry mustard
Dash fresh ground black pepper
8 cups baby spinach leaves
1 cup red onion, thinly sliced
1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
2 cups polenta croutons
In a medium nonstick saucepan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add garlic and saute until softened, ~2 minutes. Pour 3 cups water into pan and bring to a boil. Add salt and slowly whisk in corn meal. Reduce heat to medium and whisk continually for 15 minutes or until thickened.
Lightly spray a 9x9" baking dish with cooking spray. Pour thickened polenta into dish and place immediately into refrigerator. Chill for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray a baking sheet with olive oil spray (I used my mister). Remove solid polenta from refrigerator and turn out onto a cutting board. Use a lightly-greased knife to slice polenta into 1" cubes and place them onto the baking sheet. Bake for ~20 minutes, or until crispy and lightly brown (inside will remain lightly soft). Remove from oven and cool.
Whisk all dressing ingredients together in a large liquid measuring cup. Allow to sit for 10 minutes.
Place spinach leaves into a large serving bowl or plate. Add dressing (to taste- you may not use all of the dressing) and toss to coat. Garnish the salad with onion, blueberries, feta cheese, and polenta croutons.
Nutrition Info per 2 1/2 cup serving: 255 calories, 8 g fat (5 g monounsaturated), 7 g protein, 34 g carbohydrates, 7 g fiber