Polenta Cakes with Apples and Cheddar

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Polenta Cakes with Apples and Cheddar | www.diethood.com | Slices of apples and shredded cheddar cheese over crispy polenta cakes makes a perfect, light appetizer or dinner | #recipe #hearthealthy #appetizers #cheese #apples

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.

From Our Hearts to Yours

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 Cakes with Apples and Cheddar | www.diethood.com | Slices of apples and shredded cheddar cheese over crispy polenta cakes makes a perfect, light appetizer or dinner | #recipe #hearthealthy #appetizers #cheese #apples

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.


Polenta Cakes with Apples and Cheddar

4 4 4
WW Freestyle: 4
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time50 mins
Slices of apples and shredded cheddar cheese over crispy polenta cakes makes a perfect, light appetizer or dinner.
Servings: 8
Calories: 125


  • 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


  • 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.
Nutrition Facts
Polenta Cakes with Apples and Cheddar
Amount Per Serving
Calories 125 Calories from Fat 27
% Daily Value*
Fat 3g5%
Cholesterol 2mg1%
Sodium 377mg16%
Potassium 60mg2%
Carbohydrates 19g6%
Sugar 2g2%
Protein 5g10%
Vitamin A 85IU2%
Vitamin C 1.1mg1%
Calcium 60mg6%
Iron 0.3mg2%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.

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Polenta Cakes with Apples and Cheddar by Diethood

24 Responses
  1. JanetFCTC

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

  2. Jean (Lemons & Anchovies)

    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. 🙂

  3. Terra

    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

  4. Isabelle @ Crumb

    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!)

  5. Laura Dembowski (@piesandplots)

    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!

  6. Tara

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

  7. Valerie

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

  8. Nancy P.@thebittersideofsweet

    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!

  9. Nami | Just One Cookbook

    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!

  10. Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and Desserts

    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!

  11. Kim Beaulieu

    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

  12. Laura (Tutti Dolci)

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

  13. Jen @JuanitasCocina

    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!

  14. Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious

    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.

  15. Renee

    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.

  16. Jenni

    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. 🙂

  17. foodwanderings

    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!

  18. Ramona

    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. 🙂

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Katerina of Diethood
Hey There!
I'm Katerina, a cookie-maker & picture-taker! For me, eating is a moment to share, an enjoyment, a passion. I hope you enjoy my recipes!

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