Wheat Free Meat Free: French Toast Baked Polenta Sticks – Gluten-free + Vegan

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This next guest post comes from someone who should really call her blog “Wife of the Year”! Kalinda from Wheat Free Meat Free likely has the happiest and most spoiled husband around. Why, you ask? Kalinda’s husband Mike was diagnosed with Celiac Disease, so he can’t eat any gluten and he is also vegetarian. Kalinda does all the cooking and she is neither gluten intolerant, nor vegetarian. But in her words “She loves Mike, so she makes gluten-free vegetarian food for them to enjoy.” How adorable and insanely sweet is that? Not only does she cook for him, but she keeps a blog about it. As if the recipes and beautiful photos weren’t enough to make me stick around on Wheat Free Meat Free, once I read that sweet little detail right there, it sealed the deal for me. Although things are a bit opposite in our home, me having the gluten-intolerance and preferring to eat very little meat, etc – I did start my blog at my husband’s request, so he could “have a menu to choose from”. Ah, the things we do for our husbands. 

Kalinda was kind enough to create a brand new, mouth watering recipe to share with all of you and I am seriously bummed that I won’t be able to make these until we get home from Austin. These look incredible. Check it out…

Like most of you, I think Beth and her blog are super duper. So I was quite flattered that she asked me to write a post for her while she’s off at SXSW and Flatstock.

Actually, I was flattered and intimidated because, oh man, that means I had better take some good pictures. And, you know, produce a stand-up recipe. I hope this qualifies.

[print_this]French Toast Baked Polenta Sticks – Gluten-free + Vegan

  • 1 cup polenta (may also be called medium or coarse ground cornmeal or grits)
  • 1 15-ounce can coconut milk
  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • sea salt
  1. Lightly grease a casserole dish. Put the coconut milk and water in a medium to large sized saucepan and place over high heat.
  2. Once simmering, reduce heat to medium. While stirring, slowly pour in the polenta. Once all the polenta is mixed in, stir in the cinnamon, maple syrup, vanilla extract, and a pinch of salt.
  3. Cook, stirring regularly, until polenta is thickened and will hold its shape. If it looks like the polenta is scorching, reduce heat to medium-low.
  4. Press into the casserole dish, spreading evenly, aiming for 1/2 inch thickness. Chill in the refrigerator for at least one hour.
  5. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly grease a baking sheet. Invert the polenta onto a cutting board, and slice into pieces around 3-4 inches long and about 1/2 inch wide.
  6. Arrange on the baking sheet, and bake for 10-15 minutes, flip the pieces, then continue baking another 10-15 minutes, until golden brown on the outside. Remove and serve with maple dipping sauce.

Maple Dipping Sauce

  • 1/4 cup plain non-dairy yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Polenta cooking time will vary by the type. Mine was a rather coarse grind and took about 15 minutes. Finer grinds would take less time. Polenta sputters, especially in the first few minutes of cooking. Stirring helps, but be aware you might end up wearing some.

I used a 7″ x 11″ casserole dish to chill my polenta. That gave me the 1/2-inch thickness I wanted. It’s certainly OK to spread it out on a large baking sheet free form. If you wanted to make this for breakfast, the polenta can be prepared then chilled overnight.

I really wanted to use coconut milk yogurt to keep with the coconut theme, but I couldn’t find any. Soy yogurt it was. Plain old cow yogurt can be used for the dairy loving types.

Thanks to Beth for letting me stop in. Please come visit me sometime. [/print_this]

14 Responses

  1. […] food off the screen. And if you need any more enticement, I have a guest post over there today for French Toast Baked Polenta Sticks. Go ahead, click over and check them […]

  2. Claire says:

    OMG – they look amaaaaaazing. I love love love polenta, can’t wait to try these!!! xx

  3. Jenn says:

    Ooh, these look amazing. What’s the texture like? Do you think this is something my 1-year-old (and her few teensy teeth) could handle?

    • Kalinda says:

      Hi Jenn,

      I tend to cook them on the longer side because I like my foods crispy. You could maybe throw them in the oven just long enough to heat through, closer to 10-15 minutes tops, instead of per side.

  4. Kathy says:

    Giggity giggity giggity!!!!

    I have googly eyes from those photos. These look gooooooooooooood.

    And Beth, I haven’t seen your blog before, but I’m vegan (and often cook for my GF friends) so I’ll definitely be sticking around!

  5. Kalinda says:

    Thanks Beth. I told Mike he’s supposed to feel like the happiest, most spoiled husband. He mostly agreed.

  6. Ashlae says:

    This is genius. MY MOUTH IS WATERING. I must get my hands on some polenta, ASAP!

  7. Cara says:

    This is SO CREATIVE!!! I love it!

  8. Lorissa says:

    It must make a difference the type of polenta used. I used the soft kind in the tube and the mix never thickened. Ideas?

    • Meredith says:

      cause you want corn grits or corn meal, which is also called polenta, not the prepared stuff already cooked in the tube.

      these were awesome!

  9. Megan says:

    I haven’t worked with polenta before but I gave it a shot for this recipe. I’m assuming that I used the wrong kind, because it did not work out. I had pre-cooked on hand, so that’s what I used. I am guessing that this recipe requires uncooked polenta. Having never cooked with it before, I didn’t realize there was a difference. Anyway, I ended up with a goopy mess of un-cookable, oatmeal-esque polenta batter. I mean… the batter tastes great, but it just didn’t happen. It would be super helpful to specify NOT to use pre-cooked polenta.

  10. Christina says:

    Hi! I’m hoping to make these for a weekend trip with some girlfriends. Did you use light or full-fat coconut milk and do you think it would matter? I buy mine at Trader Joe’s and they have both kinds. Thanks!

  11. Catherine says:

    The dipping sauce would be great using thick cashew cream with a little sweetener too. Looking forward to trying it. Uncooked polenta…got it. 🙂

  12. Charlotte says:

    can you use almond milk instead of coconut milk?

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