polenta titlewp Polenta Cakes with Apples and Cheddar

By now, I think you all know how much I love to make desserts! The more decadent, the better.

I also have a knack for creating delicious and, sometimes, healthy appetizers, side dishes, or dinners. Yep, I do. Can I interest you in some Quinoa with Sundried Tomatoes and Feta? See, I can do it!

These Polenta Cakes with Apples and Cheddar will further prove that I can make yummy, healthy hors d’oeuvres.

But, today’s appetizer comes from a special place; it’s from the heart. Today we are joining together to help raise awareness for Heart Disease.

Kim of Cravings of a Lunatic lost her Mom to heart disease when her mother was 47, and Kim was only 15. Each year, on the day her Mom passed, she shares stories and photos of her Mom. This year she joined forces with Jen of Juanita’s Cocina, whose life was also touched by heart disease when her Stepfather had a heart attack. Jen’s Stepfather is alive and well more than a decade later, and for that, Jen is thankful every day.

For this reason, these two beautiful ladies got in touch with other bloggers to ask them to share their own stories about how heart disease has touched their lives.

circleheart Polenta Cakes with Apples and Cheddar

So today we share stories and recipes from our hearts to yours, in memory and honour of Momzie, Kim’s Mom. We hope you will share your stories with us today as well.

I am fortunate to say that heart disease has not been an issue in my family. However, I have had one too many of those 2 a.m. phone calls where a close family-friend is rushing to the hospital with chest pains. The nightmare then continues and most of the time they don’t make it.

What scares me is the thought of that phone call coming from someone real close – my parents. That thought, alone, has kept me up many, many nights. My parents are not overweight. They eat homemade food, only, and their exercise consists of soccer for my Dad and coffee-talk for my Mom. So far there is no indication of heart issues for them, but what happens if they ignore the recommended healthy heart habits? After all, Heart Disease is the leading cause of death in the United States.

However, even if you have a family history, heart disease does not have to be the inevitable death sentence. Many cases are preventable, and there are important steps you can take to lower your risk.

A healthy diet and regular exercise can reduce your risk of having, or dying from, a heart attack.  According to the American Heart Association, ” a healthy diet and lifestyle are your best weapons in the fight against heart disease”.

polenta cakeswp Polenta Cakes with Apples and Cheddar

Therefore, today I share a healthy alternative that is good for those who have given up on carbohydrates and fats, and also for those that have said goodbye to wheat and pasta.

Also, instead of topping them with my usual duo, bacon and feta, I opted for a healthier combination; apples and cheddar cheese.

ENJOY!

Polenta Cakes with Apples and Cheddar

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Yield: Serves 6 to 8

polenta cakes 2wp Polenta Cakes with Apples and Cheddar

Slices of apples and shredded cheddar cheese over crispy polenta cakes makes a perfect, light appetizer or dinner.

Ingredients

  • 5 cups of water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup Corn Grits or Polenta
  • 1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Granny Smith Apple, sliced
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • freshly ground peppercorns
  • crushed red pepper

Instructions

  • Pour water into a large saucepan and add salt; bring to a rolling boil.
  • Gradually add in the Corn Grits and stir with a wooden spoon until combined.
  • Reduce heat to low and continue to cook until mixture thickens, about 30 minutes; stirring often. Spray a casserole dish with cooking spray and line with saran wrap.
  • Pour the cooked polenta into the saran wrap lined dish.
  • Add another layer of saran wrap on top and smooth it down directly on top of the polenta.
  • Place into the refrigerator to set up; about 2 hours.
  • Lift the polenta out of the dish and place it on top of a cutting board.
  • Remove the saran wrap and, using a round cookie cutter, cut out 6 to 8 polenta circles.
  • Place a saute pan over medium heat and add 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil.
  • When oil is hot, place the polenta circles into the pan.
  • Cook until a golden crust has formed on both sides.
  • Remove cakes from pan and top with slices of apples and shredded cheddar cheese.
  • Season with freshly ground peppercorns and crushed red pepper.
  • Serve.
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 Polenta Cakes with Apples and Cheddar

The Participants:

Spicy Oven Fries by Cravings of a Lunatic

Healthy Snacking with Radish Dip by Juanita’s Cocina

Arugula, Walnut Pesto by Dinners, Dishes and Desserts

Farro, Apple & Pecan Salad by It’s Yummilicious

Chicken-Quinoa Burgers with an Avocado Yogurt Sauce by The Spiffy Cookie

Pasta House Wilted Salad by Frugal Antics of a Harried Homemaker

Gooey Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk Bars by The Cooking Actress

Dark Chocolate Covered Walnuts by All Day I Dream About Food

Mini Pear Walnut Crisps with Blood Orange Caramel Sauce by Chocolate Moosey

Kung Pao Chicken Tacos by The Dutch Baker’s Daughter

Honey Soy Glazed Salmon by Curry and Comfort

Apple Walnut Spinach Salad by Magnolia Days

Broiled Salmon Gyros with Cucumber Feta Yogurt Dip by Damn Delicious

Maple Mustard Glazed Salmon by That Skinny Chick Can Bake

Make-Ahead Chocolate Oatmeal by Crumb

Hoisin Flounder by Taking on Magazines

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus by The Girl in the Little Red Kitchen

Veggie Nachos by Dine & Dish

Cheesy Quinoa and Asparagus Bake by Hungry Couple

Ahi Tuna Salad by Noshing with the Nolands

Canapes of Apricot, Goat Cheese, Almonds and Rosemary by Crumb

Thai Chicken Soup by From Cupcakes to Caviar

Italian Turkey Quinoa Meatloaf by Rachel Cooks

Black Bean Quesadillas by Pastry Chef Online

Sautéed Rataouille with Quinoa by Whipped

Polenta Cakes with Apples and Cheddar by Diethood

pixel Polenta Cakes with Apples and Cheddar
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43 Comments on this article. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Ellen March 9, 2013 at 4:14 PM - Reply

    Looks simple, but exquisite! And as a vegetarian, I appreciate the lack of bacon;)

  2. JanetFCTC March 8, 2013 at 4:51 PM - Reply

    These look totally delicious, Kate! And no one who has read your blog would ever doubt that you can make amazing foods!

  3. Jean (Lemons & Anchovies) March 8, 2013 at 12:42 PM - Reply

    I dread the thought of getting those middle-of-the-night calls, too. Thankfully, it hasn’t happened.

    We love polenta cakes around here and I especially like the apple and cheddar topping on this one. :)

  4. Terra March 7, 2013 at 10:51 PM - Reply

    What a unique, fun appetizer!!! I love the idea of apples and polenta together, what a fun combo:-) It is lovely you joined forces with sweet Kim, and for such an important cause! Many of my family members have or had serious heart problems, so I love that you all are sharing healthy recipes!!! Beautiful, Hugs, Terra

  5. Isabelle @ Crumb March 7, 2013 at 2:51 PM - Reply

    I dread those middle of the night phone calls. Thankfully, we’ve had very few of those so far, but I still go into panic mode if the phone rings after 11pm.

    As for this recipe, these little cakes sound delicious. I’m always a big fan of apple and cheddar together, and the crispy polenta base sounds like the perfect way to round them out into a more substantial sort of dish.

    (And, while it’s totally not a heart-healthy ingredient, I bet a little bacon would be pretty awesome in there too!)

  6. Laura Dembowski (@piesandplots) March 6, 2013 at 9:01 PM - Reply

    I saw this event on Kayle, the Cooking Actress’ blog. My heart so goes out to Kim. Heart disease is so scary and I have no idea what I would do without my mom now let alone at 15. It’s great you and so many other bloggers participated in this!

  7. Tara March 6, 2013 at 6:30 PM - Reply

    Great recipe!! I have just recently started to use polenta and would love to try some new recipes. Your photos are fabulous too!!

  8. Valerie March 6, 2013 at 11:14 AM - Reply

    These polenta cakes look scrumptious! It’s important to balance out those lavish desserts with something healthy and nourishing.

  9. Nancy P.@thebittersideofsweet March 6, 2013 at 9:00 AM - Reply

    I have been fortunate not to have lost anyone to heart disease. Very touching post, thank you. I could eat Polenta any way, every day. This looks amazing and so good!

  10. Nami | Just One Cookbook March 6, 2013 at 12:09 AM - Reply

    Of course you can make delicious AND beautiful non-dessert recipes! I love apple and cheddar together but with polenta, now that’s very creative! What a great contribution, Kate!

  11. Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and Desserts March 5, 2013 at 8:57 PM - Reply

    So glad that you don’t have a history of heart disease in your family. These polenta rounds sound like a great healthy appetizer. I love polenta in just about any form!

  12. Liz March 5, 2013 at 7:02 PM - Reply

    Yum, what wonderful nibbles! A couple of these beauties could easily be my lunch!

  13. PolaM March 5, 2013 at 1:48 PM - Reply

    What an interesting flavor combination! Love apples and cheddar!

  14. Kim Beaulieu March 5, 2013 at 1:09 PM - Reply

    We’ve gotten that phone call, my brother in law who had just passed the big 4-0 had a heart attack. He was running on a treadmill training for a race. We were all shocked and just stunned. It was just a horrible time, 3 young kids and a wife. I cannot even put it into words. It’s been just a couple of years for him. Breaks my heart.

    I am so thrilled you joined us and also relieved you haven’t had any of those calls. It’s a good thing. I like your approach to food. Balance and all good things in moderation. It really is the key to sticking with anything really.

    Thank you so much for doing this. I am honoured and touched you joined us for this. xx

    • Katerina Petrovska March 5, 2013 at 2:14 PM - Reply

      Thank you for having me, Kim! Thinking about you today… ((((HUGS)))) ♥

  15. Laura (Tutti Dolci) March 5, 2013 at 11:12 AM - Reply

    I was just thinking about Polenta! These little cakes look so tasty…love the savory/sweet combo!

  16. Jen @JuanitasCocina March 5, 2013 at 10:15 AM - Reply

    I love apples and cheese together, and I am just droooooling at the thought of serving them up with polenta!

    Such gorgeous photos!

    Thank you so much for joining us today!

  17. Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious March 5, 2013 at 9:44 AM - Reply

    I’ve been fortunate enough to not have heart disease affect my family as well. But that doesn’t mean I won’t be devouring these polenta cakes! They look amazing. And the apple-cheddar combo is awesome.

  18. Renee March 5, 2013 at 9:02 AM - Reply

    I have to admit I’ve never made polenta. Grits, well, lots of times. Your sauteed version sounds wonderful. A crispy outside to those cakes would go very with with the apple and cheddar.

  19. Jenni March 5, 2013 at 8:56 AM - Reply

    Oh, the middle-of-the-night phone call. Awful.

    And thank you for the excellent advice, and the excellent recipe! I do love polenta. Creamy goodness. :)

  20. foodwanderings March 5, 2013 at 8:22 AM - Reply

    OMGoodness Kate, how did I miss this?! I have been on a polenta kick in recent years and can definitely see this polenta cake in my repertoire! Mouthwatering!

  21. Ramona March 5, 2013 at 7:42 AM - Reply

    What a lovely combination of flavors. I also hate to hear the phone ring in the middle of the night… it’s never good news. We as the cooks have a lot of pull in feeding our family… 80/20 is my moto.. If you eat good 80 percent of the time… 20 percent can be a little naughty. :)

    • Katerina Petrovska March 5, 2013 at 7:44 AM - Reply

      I agree with your motto! My 20 percent is all day Sunday! My fun-day! :-D

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