Jar Lunch: Polenta with Cream Cheese & Chives

The Jar Lunch: It’s like a bag lunch or a bento lunch, but the next big thing is lunch packed in a good ol’ mason jar. I have to microwave my lunch at work, so metal containers won’t work and heating up plastic has me worried. We often simply fill mason jars with leftovers, but sometimes it is fun to come up with a clever jar lunch and make a big batch. Lunch for the whole family is already packed.

Oh my gosh, it’s Friday! I went to bed last night convinced it was Wednesday. This post was already a week late thanks to a trip to urgent care last week. Everyone is okay, except possibly my gallbladder. We have been absentee bloggers as we’ve moved from one project to the next in our house and yard. Sadly, the blog and garden have been neglected. I do have a new Jar Lunch for you, however!

Sometimes new ideas come about from leftovers. Instead of trying to make a creamy polenta packed with milk and heavy cream, I decided to try stirring in a little cream cheese and fresh chives. It was a hit, and stores perfectly in a pint-sized jar. You can make them ahead, store in the fridge and add your favorite toppings later.

Polenta with Cream Cheese & Chives
Makes six small servings

4 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup yellow corn meal
6 tablespoons cream cheese
2 tablespoons chopped chives

Directions:
In a medium sauce pan, bring water and salt to a boil. Add the corn meal slowly while whisking. Reduce to low heat and simmer about 10 minutes, stirring frequenly, until thickened.

Turn off heat and stir in cream cheese and chives until fully incorporated. Using a jar funnel, divide the mixture between six pint-sized mason jars. Allow to cool, then refrigerate until set.

You can put just about anything on top of polenta. This week we opted for vodka sauce, sauteed mushrooms, Trader Joe’s Meatless Meatballs, and a little parmesan.

Next time, I’m taking a cue from the store bought tubes of polenta and adding some cooked quinoa for a healthier grain. And perhaps a poached egg on top!

xo Krista

See our other Jar Lunches here.

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16 Comments

Filed under food, recipes

16 responses to “Jar Lunch: Polenta with Cream Cheese & Chives

  1. Ooh, cream cheese in polenta is an excellent plan! I like to put cream cheese in marinara or other pasta sauce to instantly transform it into cream (or cream-ish anyway) sauce.–so good.

  2. Yum! I was thinking about your lasagna in jars and realized I might have an adaptation that would work for you–I sometimes make “polenta lasagna” with polenta layers in place of the noodles. I wonder if round slices of polenta would layer well in a jar? You may not still be thinking about that lasagna post, but I am! :)

  3. Yummers – thanks for sharing! Happy Saturday:)

  4. I’m a big fan of your jar lunches, and a huge fan of polenta. Great idea.

  5. Somer

    Holy crap those look good!!! I was jonesing for more jar lunch posts! Yay!

  6. Cynthia in Denver

    More posts please!! I love your jar lunch series!!

  7. Good morning!

    I’ve nominated you for the One Lovely Blog Award! Here’s the link: http://readcooklive.wordpress.com/2012/09/24/1005/

    ;)

  8. I miss you guys. The lack of posts has been making me weepy.

  9. liza jane

    I hope you all are OK. We miss your great blog!!

  10. Big fan of lunches in jars. These are some really great ones, thanks!

  11. I never liked polenta because I found it really bland. I wish I’d topped it with mushrooms, meatballs and parmesan! This looks great. One thing I love about storing my lunch jars is there is no chance of spillage. Plastic containers never seal quite as they should.

  12. Yeah, where did you guys go?

  13. so lovely. we need to see more posts!

  14. Jar lunches! Awesome!! Polenta with Cream Cheese and Chives sounds sooooo good!! Love your blog and I’m your newest follower.

    daisy

  15. leila

    I really loved reading your blog. Your homesteading stories are so inspiring and they have always felt like a little window to the west coast that I miss dearly. I hope you all are well.

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