Polenta, Smokey Tofu Bacon & Papaya

Sometimes you need a new twist to your usual breakfast. This is quick to serve on a busy morning and is gluten free. The polenta and the smokey tofu bacon were prepared a day or two in advance. Double the recipes and freeze some for later. Even the papaya can be cut up ahead and held in the refrigerator until mealtime.

20150528_082841 Polenta Breakfast_edited-1

Breakfast as shown in the photo, consists of:

  • Papaya with sprinkled lime juice and chili powder
  • Polenta fried without oil, drizzled with pure maple syrup
  • Smokey Tofu Bacon

Smokey Tofu Bacon 

12 oz pkg of extra firm tofu
2 Tbs tomato paste
2 Tbs maple syrup
1/2 cup tamari or soy sauce
1 Tbs liquid smoke (hickory)
3/4 cup water

Drain and press tofu for about an hour. Then, slice the tofu thin and set aside. Combine all the other ingredients well and place in a leak-proof plastic bag or covered bowl. Add the tofu slices to the marinade and put it in the refrigerator overnight or for about 8 hours.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prepare a 9″ x 13″ baking pan by lining it with either parchment paper or a silpat baking sheet. Arrange the tofu slices in a single layer and bake for about 20 minutes, flipping them over half-way through baking time. Refrigerate or freeze in an air-tight container until ready to use. Can be warmed in the microwave just before serving.


  • 2 cups cornmeal
  • 6¬†cups water

Pour the water into a large pan and bring to a boil. Add the polenta slowly to the boiling water while stirring continuously to prevent it from clumping. Turn the heat down to low and cook, stirring frequently, for about 20 minutes. Polenta should be thick in consistency. Spoon the polenta into small or loaf size pans and refrigerate until firm.

20150528_081401 Polenta

Polenta can be used in many different ways. Whole Foods Market posted 24 additional ways to use polenta…not all of which are completely plant-based or oil free, but a few tweaks can make them more healthy. In the photo above, I pan-fried them without oil until browned on both sides before serving with drizzled maple syrup. You could also add spices and finely chopped vegetables to serve as a side dish.

Enjoy and share!


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