Polenta is a healthful alternative to potato, pasta or rice!
Are you bored of eating the same old pantry staples at home? Well, polenta is a great vegan and gluten-free alternative! Creamy Polenta with Roasted Mushrooms and Chickpeas provides the “comfort” feeling we all enjoy from traditional meals that use potato, pasta or rice. The best is, polenta is extremely versatile. Try it – baked, seared, layered, fried, cubed – get creative!
Why should I eat polenta?
- a good source of fiber and protein, and is very filling
- rich in complex carbohydrates
- a source of carotenoids, vitamin A, essential minerals
- low in fat
- low in calories
What is the difference between grits and polenta?
Both polenta and grits are made from stone-ground cornmeal, dried corn that’s ground down into smaller, coarse bits. So how do they differ? Based on geography: the Italian version is known as polenta whereas the Southern version is known as grits. Polenta is made with “flint” yellow corn and grits are made with “dent” white corn.
But in the end, what does it matter in a recipe? If you are in the market and you can’t find something that says “polenta” or “grits”, buy a coarsely ground cornmeal and call it a day!
Creamy Polenta with Roasted Mushrooms & Chickpeas is a delicious easy to make meal with just a few simple ingredients. A vegan “comfort” meal that will satisfy everyone!
3 cups water
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup polenta (coarse ground cornmeal)
1 tablespoon vegan butter
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast (optional)
1 1 /2 pounds wild mushrooms, chopped
14 ounce chickpeas, drained
3 garlic cloves, smashed
4 sprigs thyme, remove from stem
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
small bunch of spinach or kale, cleaned & stems removed
salt & pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- In a medium size pot, heat 3 cups water and salt to a boiling. Whisk in corn grits to prevent from clumping together. Simmer for approximately 30 minutes, add in more water if necessary to keep it creamy. When done, stir in vegan butter and nutritional yeast. Add more salt if desired.
- While the polenta is cooking, mix mushrooms, chickpeas, garlic, thyme and oil in a large bowl and spread on a parchment lined baking sheet.
- Roast for 25-30 minutes. Toss halfway thru so the mushrooms & chickpeas crisp all around. Stir in the greens within the last 5 minutes until they wilt. Add salt & pepper to taste.
- Divide polenta into bowls and top with the mushroom & chickpea mixture.
* Substitute water with vegetable broth for cooking polenta – adds a little extra flavor
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