Let’s Move or Dance?

Posted by on Feb 27, 2015 in Asian and Vegetarian | 2 comments

Created in partnership with Michele Obama’s, Let’s Move campaign, Creamy Polenta with Mushrooms, Chickpeas, and Olives requires special ingredients and time a busy mom dreams of.   Mise en place speeds the cooking.  Directions for sautéing and combining the mushroom medley seemed rushed to me, not allowing each element to reach its flavor peak.   Prepare this dish for a relaxed evening with someone to join in chopping and stirring.  Use 4 cups of water when making the polenta; cook it while you are prepping mushrooms, onions, etc.  That way you are right there to give it a stir now and then, as it bubbles.









Saute the onion in oil for a couple of minutes; then add the garlic and thyme to soften.  Season with salt and pepper as you go-- Pour in the white wine (if using) and the balsamic vinegar; stir and scrape up the brown bits and reduce to a simmer.








When liquid is reduced by half, add mushrooms and broth.  Simmer until the mushrooms are tender, about 5 minutes. Taste and season.








Add the garbanzo beans (chickpeas) and cook until heated through and slightly thickened.















To finish the polenta, add half of Parmesan cheese (I used the real deal). Scoop the polenta into a serving dish and top with mushroom medley, chopped olives, parsley, and more cheese.

I suggest buying the olives at a market olive bar; you only need 12. In that way, you can pick and choose-- eliminating costly bottles of olives parked in the fridge.  Dry thyme is fine as well. Bump the broth up to 1 1/3 cups if you are omitting wine, using the 1/3 cup in place of the wine.  Serves six.  No way.








In the end, it was a satisfying scoop of slightly cheesy creamy long-simmering polenta with tasty earthy mushrooms, and briny olives— MP and I danced (moved) to Jack Mack and the Heart Attack while we simmered and bubbled.




  1. 2-27-2015

    I can just visualize the two of you rockin out in the kitchen together! This sounds yummy and I’ll bet made for a great dinner.

    • 2-27-2015

      …and we had entirely forgotten about our groupie days chasing this band at the Golden Bear which is another story:)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *