It’s no secret among my friends that I love entertaining. I enjoy getting together with friends and family, and I like being a host. The problem is that I also love baking, but feel like I need to serve healthier options, especially when kids are involved. When Country Crock reached out to me with some absolutely adorable recipes via the Clare Crespo Cookbook, I knew it was an opportunity to make something with vegetables that still allowed me to have some fun.
We were doing a Pixar-themed party, so I immediately decided on the polenta traffic lights as an homage to Cars. They’re easy and cute and seemed like something my family would eat.
The ingredients are very simple: Country Crock spread, red/green/yellow bell peppers, a roll of polenta (I found it in the case with the refrigerated pasta and sauces near the deli), and some fresh rosemary. The Country Crock spread has fewer calories and less saturated fat than butter, so it’s an easy way to keep the recipe on the lighter side. The polenta itself is fat free (it’s made from corn meal). You slice the polenta the long way into four pieces. Shave a bit off each of the end pieces so they lie flat. Wash the peppers and remove the sides/rib. You want to cut small circles (1 1/2"-2") in each of them. I used a medicine cup (well washed, of course) to cut the circles.
The recipe has you mixed salt/pepper/herbs in with the Country Crock and then spread them on the polenta. I had selected an herbed polenta to start with, so I just put Country Crock on it and on the back of the peppers. Arrange the peppers in traffic light fashion (red, yellow, green). If you haven’t mixed in the herbs, sprinkle with rosemary at this point. Bake for about 30 minutes in a 400 degree oven. The polenta will start to turn golden brown around the edges.
We served the dish with some warm marinara sauce which was pretty good. I sampled some of the polenta without and liked how crispy it was around the edges. It was a cute way to integrate a healthier snack into the theme of the party. The cookbook has all kinds of adorable recipes. My favorite was a mushroom gnome, but I was pretty sure no one was going to eat a mushroom, no matter how cute he looked. There’s also a wagon made out of an eggplant. I have one in the fridge, because I’m dying to try it out.
Are you looking for quick and simple tips and recipes to make serving veggies more fun? Download the free Clare Crespo Cookbook here for fun and whimsical recipes your family is sure to love!