Late summer is an amazing time of year in Michigan. We have beautiful weather, especially this year, and it’s well-deserved given the particularly brutal winter we experienced last year. My husband and I are looking forward to our annual trip to the Traverse City area later this month and being on Lake Michigan. So far, we’ve been enjoying our local communities and the Ypsilanti farmer’s market which is full of incredible produce in August.
I’ve been taking advantage of my weekend vegetable bounty the last couple of weeks with a simple recipe that is super delicious. By simply roasting some summer veggies and baking them in a casserole dish with polenta and tomato sauce you have an easy, mostly hands-off meal for a weeknight.
I’ve been adding more vegetarian and vegan meals to my diet lately for a variety of reasons. While this recipe happens to be vegan it’s also a yummy dish you could serve to meat eaters and they wouldn’t think ‘vegan’ meal, they’d just think, ‘Wow, that was really good!’.
The roasted veggies don’t need any added oil or seasoning here. They’re lovely natural sweetness is amplified through the roasting process and when paired with the creaminess of polenta and the acidity from the tomato sauce the dish achieves a really nice balance of flavors and textures. The nutritional yeast adds a slightly cheesy taste.
I’ve included my favorite veggies in the recipe below, but you can certainly mix and match as your heart desires. This could also be a great fall or winter dish with roasted butternut squash, carrots and parsnips.
What’s your favorite roasted vegetable dish?
Roasted Vegetable and Polenta Casserole
adapted from The Vegan Cheat Sheet
- 1/2 yellow onion, sliced into 1/4 inch strips
- 8 oz. whole baby portobello mushrooms, cleaned
- 1 cup of fresh green beans, washed and trimmed
- 12 oz. of your favorite marinara sauce
- 1/2 tube of prepared polenta, sliced into 3/4-inch rounds
- 1 zucchini, sliced into 1/4-inch rounds
- 1 yellow squash, sliced into 1/4-inch rounds
- 2 Tbsp. nutritional yeast
Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread onion, mushrooms and green beans into a single layer. Roast for 20-25 minutes, stirring halfway through.
Remove the veggies and reduce the oven temperature to 375°F.
Coat the bottom of a 2-quart casserole dish with 1/2 cup of the marinara. Layer half of the roasted veggies and squash over the sauce. Top with half of the remaining marinara and polenta. Repeat the layers with the remaining ingredients, finishing with the marinara. Sprinkle the nutritional yeast on top. Bake covered for 45 minutes.