Creamy Polenta, Shrimp, and Vegetable Bowls

An easy, richly nutritious bowl that won't run up your cholesterol.

Easy Creamy Polenta Shrimp and Vegetable Bowls
 Courtesy Image

The dietary guidelines just removed the cholesterol guideline and determined that saturated fat, not cholesterol, influences your blood cholesterol. As such, you can safely devour seafood, like shrimp, to help shred muscles.

Nutrition Information (per serving)

416 calories, 17 grams total fat, 6 grams saturated fat, 30 grams protein, 36 grams carbs, 9 grams fiber, 190 milligrams cholesterol, 340 milligrams sodium

Recipe and photo by Elizabeth Ward, MS, RD of Better is the New Perfect.



Prep time

15 min.

Cook time

15 min.

  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup whole-grain cornmeal
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • ¼ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and diced
  • 8 cups raw baby spinach, washed and drained
  • 40 cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • ½ tsp crushed red pepper, if desired
  • 1 pound large raw shrimp, peeled and cleaned, defrosted if using frozen

Bring the water to a boil in a medium saucepan.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté for about 3 minutes or until just tender. Add the spinach, tomatoes, and garlic to the pan and sauté, stirring until the spinach wilts and the tomatoes become tender, about 5 minutes. Add the crushed red pepper and stir. Remove from heat. Cover and set aside.

When the water has boiled, add the cornmeal, using a whisk to prevent clumping. Turn heat to low, cover, and simmer the cornmeal for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the butter and cheese and continue to whisk for another 2 minutes until the cornmeal achieves a creamy consistency. Remove from heat. Cover and set aside.

Add the shrimp to the spinach mixture and cook for about 3 minutes or until the shrimp is pink.

Divide the polenta between four bowls and top each bowl with equal amounts of the shrimp-vegetable mixture. Season with fresh ground black pepper, if desired.