Day 2: Vegetables with Breakfast Challenge and Polenta with Broccoli and Cauliflower

I am going to share something really sweet. My sister, mom of six(!), is jumping in to do the challenge with us. I didn’t even ask her to. Here are her words Sunday night when we talked:  “I just figure I’ll get up in the morning and eat a few raw carrots with my breakfast.” She is one busy woman. I’m excited to hear about how she gets those vegetables on the table each morning. I know carrots aren’t going to cut it for the whole challenge! Maybe she will try this recipe.

As we progress through these 10 days together I want to hear your stories about what is working for you. I know what works (mostly) for me. But, I want to hear about your strategies. Your comment or insight might be the one that helps someone else.

I got the idea for this polenta dish from one my friend Elizabeth contributes to our macrobiotic potlucks. She learned her version from a cooking class by macrobiotic teacher Kaare Bursell.


Soft cooked polenta makes a wonderful breakfast grain. This one is full of big chunks of broccoli and cauliflower and cooks in about 20 minutes. You can cook polenta in the morning in a double boiler. Then you can leave the kitchen and take a shower or get kids ready. See the method here. The double boiler might work with this recipe. I didn’t think to try it until just now, sitting here writing this post, so it hasn’t been tested.


Polenta with Broccoli and Cauliflower

4 cups water
a few pinches sea salt
1 cup coarse polenta (not cornmeal)
1 1/2 cups chopped broccoli (medium size florets and peeled stems)
1 1/2 cups chopped cauliflower (medium size florets and tender stems)

1.  In a large heavy bottom pot, bring the water and sea salt to a boil. Slowly pour the polenta in whisking briskly so it doesn’t clump. Add the broccoli and cauliflower and stir. As soon as the polenta comes to a boil, reduce the heat to a gentle simmer. Whisk gently every minute or so, especially in the beginning, to keep the polenta from sticking to the bottom of the pot.

2.  Let cook for 12-15 minutes and check the vegetables. If they are still pretty firm, you can place a lid on the pot to help the vegetables cook. Continue to cook until the polenta is thick and the vegetables are tender, but the broccoli is still bright.

Things you can do the night before:

  1. Measure 4 cups of water into your pot. Add the sea salt. Cover and leave on the stove.
  2. Prepare the broccoli and cauliflower.
  3. Measure the polenta and leave in a covered bowl or measuring cup on the counter.



If you are just joining us you can start here or head on over to Day 1.