Showing posts with label polenta. Show all posts
Showing posts with label polenta. Show all posts

Oct 29, 2015

stuffed peppers with polenta + adobo pepitas

I have been looking to come up with an awesome stuffed pepper recipe for years now and short of using a ton of cheese, it hasn't occurred to me what to stuff it with. I'm not a fan of dry stuffed peppers and I didn't want it to be mediocre. After a long time, I've come up with something really great!

Stuffed Peppers with Creamy Polenta and Adobo-laced Pepitas. Yeah.

Ingredients? 12 total, plus salt, sugar, black pepper and water.

The polenta in these peppers is creamy and luscious. I used coarse cornmeal, so my polenta took about 45 minutes to cook until tender, but it was so worth it! It goes to show, when your cornmeal is coarse, don't be afraid to cook it longer than you would cook a finer version of cornmeal.

I cooked the onions until caramelized, cooked the polenta and added raw zucchini at the end. After cutting the tops off the peppers, leaving just enough room to add the polenta, I baked them in a very simple tomato sauce.

Speaking of the tomato sauce, once baked, it is crazy good! If you love sauce as much as I do, go forth and double its recipe.

Then there are the pepitas! Did you know that pepitas are super high in protein and they are so tasty. Pepitas can be roasted in hundreds of different ways and here I add an adobo seasoning to them.

Adobo seasoning is a Latin American mixture of spices, sometimes including cumin, coriander, garlic, oregano, turmeric and/or bay leaves (just watch out for meat ingredients). There are organic versions or traditional ones available at any grocery store and you will find yourself using it often. If you have a few spices, HERE is a recipe (sub the fresh garlic with 1 teaspoon garlic granules).

That's it! Enjoy!

Stuffed Pepper with Creamy Polenta
Prep time:30 minutes Cook time: 45 minutes
Serves 4 

1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 small onion, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup cornmeal or polenta
1/4 to 1/2 cup non-dairy plain, unsweetened milk
Sea salt and black pepper
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 small zucchini, cut into 1/2 -inch dice
4 small peppers (bell, poblano or 6 medium Anaheim) 

1 tablespoon olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 cup tomato paste (not concentrate)
1 cup vegetable broth
1 teaspoon sweetener
1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 cup raw pepitas
1 teaspoon adobo seasoning

1. Polenta: Heat the oil in a medium pot over medium heat. Add the onion, cover and cook until caramelized, about 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add a splash of broth if the onions are sticking. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Season with 1/4 teaspoon salt, add the water and bring to boil. Add the cornmeal slowly, using a whisk to stir while you add the cornmeal. Bring back to boil and reduce to medium-low. Cover partially and cook until tender, about 20 to 45 minutes, depending on grind, stirring occasionally. When tender, add the milk, season with salt and black pepper, add the lemon juice and zucchini. Add more milk if needed.
2. Cut off the sides of the peppers just large enough to add the polenta. Fill the peppers.
3. Sauce: While the polenta cooks, heat the oil in a small pot over medium heat. Add the garlic and oregano. Cook until golden, about 1 to 3 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook until the paste darkens a bit, about 2 minutes. Add the broth, sweetener and salt. Whisk well to combine, bring to boil and transfer the sauce to a 9X9 baking dish. Add the stuffed peppers on top of the sauce. Heat the oven to 400-degrees F (no need to preheat), and bake the peppers until they are tender, about 45 minutes. 
4. Pepitas. Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the pepitas and cook until lightly golden, about 3 minutes. Add the adobo and salt, to taste. Cook for another 30 seconds. Serve the pepitas garnishing the baked peppers.

 © 2015 Copyright Zsu Dever. All rights reserved.

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Sep 11, 2015

veganmofo - nutrient + carb load

Day 11 at #vgnmf15 is brought to you by the Nutrients of Veganland.

This is another mofo prompt that was a collaboration among the womenfolk of the family. My son is away at Berkeley and hubby wasn't able to be part of the plan; he just reaped the rewards.

The girls and I have been thinking that carbohydrates have been getting a bad reputation. It's low-card this, Atkins that, paleo here and there and everywhere. And, of course, bacon.

Most people are not aware that carbs are an essential nutrient for brain function and it is your main source of energy for your cells and organs.

Therefore, we devised a beautifully Carb Load supper for last night: corn/quinoa pasta with homemade spaghetti sauce, my Carb Load Balls made with polenta and white beans, breaded in panko and baked, served with garlic bread. It was carby-licious!

"The roles of carbohydrate in the body includes providing energy for working muscles, providing fuel for the central nervous system, enabling fat metabolism, and preventing protein from being used as energy. Carbohydrate is the preferred source of energy or fuel for muscle contraction and biologic work.

Foods containing carbohydrate are in the grains, fruit, and legume groups. Vegetables have a small amount of carbohydrate.

After carbohydrate is eaten, it is broken down into smaller units of sugar (including glucose, fructose and galactose) in the stomach and small intestine. These small units of sugar are absorbed in the small intestine and then enter the bloodstream where they travel to the liver. Fructose and galactose are converted to glucose by the liver. Glucose is the carbohydrate transported by the bloodstream to the various tissues and organs, including the muscles and the brain, where it will be used as energy."

Chew on that!

If you haven't entered the contest to win Vegan Bowls (AmazonB&N) yet, head over to Tuesday's post HERE. Good luck!

Carb Load Balls
Makes 13 to 15 portions

2 cups vegetable broth
1 teaspoon olive oil
½ teaspoon sea salt
1 cup medium-ground cornmeal

1 tablespoon olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
½ teaspoon dried oregano
1 ¾ cups cannellini beans 

¼ cup unsweetened plain vegan milk
3 tablespoons arrowroot or cornstarch
1 ½ cups panko crumbs
½ teaspoon garlic granules
½ teaspoon sea salt
Oil spray

1. Polenta: Combine the broth, oil, and salt in a medium pot. Bring to boil and whisk in the cornmeal. Bring to simmer, stir and reduce the heat to low. Cook, covered, until the cornmeal is tender and thickened, about 10 to 15 minutes. 
2. Beans: Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic, fennel and oregano. Cook until golden, about 1 to 3 minutes. Add the beans and cook until heated through. Mash the beans and remove from heat. Mix the polenta mixture with the beans mixture and transfer to a shallow pan. Spread the mixture out to about 1 ½-inches thick. Set aside to cool until firm but not completely hardened.   
3. Breading: Preheat oven to 375-degrees F. Oil a baking sheet. Combine the milk and starch in a shallow pan. Combine the panko, garlic and salt in a separate shallow pan. Cut the stiffened polenta mixture into about 1 ½-inch cubes. Form each cube into a ball. Do not piece the mixture together from separate parts as the balls may fall apart; form each square into a sphere. First, dredge each ball in the milk mixture and then in the panko mixture. Press the panko lightly to adhere. Transfer the balls to the prepared baking sheet, spray with oil and bake until golden, about 30 minutes, turning the balls as needed. Serve.

 © 2015 Copyright Zsu Dever. All rights reserved.

Jun 18, 2014

bok choy and chickpeas over ginger polenta bowl

Lunch at our house these days leaves little time for cooking, but the meals continue to be needed. Couple the demand for food, about thirty minutes to cook and seasonal produce and you have the making of bowl meals.

This time I wanted to use beautiful baby bok choy that had been delivered a few days before and when I think of bok choy, I immediately think of Asian food.

I decided to saute my bok choy and serve it with chickpeas that had been sauteed with a little sesame seed oil. As soon as the chickpeas hit the pan, I knew that these beans were the bridge to making creamy polenta, studded with slices of ginger and chili flakes.

I made a simple sauce using tamari and vegetable broth and lunch was ready quickly.

While creamy polenta might not be the first thing someone thinks of as a foil for Asian food, it was really delicious. Since my hubby is away this week, I was secretly a little glad that I got to eat more than my fair share. It was a little surprising how wonderful spicy, garlic and ginger creamy polenta can be!

Bok Choy over Spicy Ginger-Scented Polenta and Chickpeas Bowl   
Serves 4

2 tablespoons neutral oil, divided
10 garlic cloves, minced, divided
1 to 2 teaspoons red chili flakes
3 ½ to 4 cups unsweetened plain vegan milk
1 (1-inch) piece ginger, (half sliced thin and the other half finely grated), divided
½ teaspoon sea salt
1 cup polenta or medium-grind cornmeal
1 (15.5-ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed, drained and patted dry
3 teaspoons toasted sesame seed oil, divided
10 ounces baby bok choy, halved through the stem
6 tablespoons vegetable broth
2 tablespoons reduced-sodium tamari

1. Heat 1 tablespoon neutral oil over medium heat in a medium saucepan. Stir in 6 minced garlic cloves and the chili flakes and cook until the garlic is golden, about 1 minute. Stir in 3 ½ cups milk, the sliced ginger and salt. Bring the milk to a simmer and using a whisk, slowly add the polenta while whisking the milk. Bring the milk back to a simmer, lower the heat until the polenta barely bubbles. Cook until the polenta is tender, stirring frequently, about 25 minutes. When the polenta is cooked, stir in additional milk, up to ½ cup, to achieve a creamy consistency. Remove and discard the garlic slices, if desired.
2. While the polenta is cooking, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 teaspoon sesame seed oil and the chickpeas. Season the chickpeas with a little salt and cook until the chickpeas are golden brown, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Remove from the skillet and set aside.
3. Add 1 tablespoon neutral oil and 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil to the still hot skillet. Add the halved boy choy, cut side down, and cook until lightly charred and crisp-tender, about 5 to 8 minutes. Remove from the skillet and set aside.
4. Heat the remaining teaspoon of sesame seed oil in the still hot skillet. Reduce the skillet heat to medium and stir in the grated ginger and the remaining garlic. Cook until the garlic is golden. Carefully add the vegetable broth and tamari. Stir and cook until the sauce reduces by one-quarter.
5. To serve, divide the polenta into 4 bowls, top each bowl with an equal amount of bok choy, chickpeas and sauce. Serve immediately.

© 2014 Copyright Zsu Dever. All rights reserved.

I'd like to give a shout-out to GiGi over at Veganville. She was one of my irreplaceable testers for Everyday Vegan Eats. GiGi is right this very minute running a contest to giveaway a copy of EVE to one lucky US or Canada resident. If you don't have it, yet, here is an opportunity to win it. 


She is sharing the recipe for the Seafood variation of Marinated Tofu from Everyday Vegan Eats. With the marinated tofu you can make such recipes as this No-Fish Filet Sandwich:

Some of you may not know that GiGi runs the very divine vegan bakery on etsy: Veganville Bakery

My son just celebrated his 19th birthday last month and I ordered a few boxes of GiGi's voopee pies for his special day. I asked GiGi not to have it delivered until his birthday because, well, they might not last long enough to make it to his birthday! 

Let me tell you that we are not short on sweets at our house, so it wasn't that my kids were hankering for sugar, but they inhaled these beauties! Veganville was nominated by VegNews for the best online bakery, and it is no surprise. 

We procured two boxes: Assorted Gift Box and Assorted Chocolate Love Box. And not a single voopee pie was left. 

Thank you, GiGi! We all LOVED the voopee pies!

I am linking to these recipe parties: Healthy Vegan Fridaysand What I Ate Wednesday. 
 Healthy Vegan Fridays at Rock My Vegan Socks

Nov 19, 2012

creamy italian polenta pie

This Creamy Italian Polenta Pie is easy to make and really delicious. I made mine very creamy - to the point that it had a little difficulty setting up when cold; if you make this with the intention of having firm polenta, you can use less liquid, about 2/3 c less milk. The added liquid from the diced tomatoes gives the polenta the decidedly un-traditional hue of pink and adds the extra liquid which makes it so creamy. 

In addition to the polenta (cornmeal) and tomatoes, this 'pie' has kidney beans, baby spinach, baby kale, cauliflower, onions and a healthy dose of garlic layered on top.

You can make this, let it sit up and add add cheese and bake it until warmed through and the cheese melts. This is a wholly unnecessary, but delicious, alternative. Otherwise, just serve this as soon as it is assembled. 

Cost Breakdown

polenta, oil, seasonings: $1
milk, tomatoes, beans: $5
cauliflower, onions, baby greens, garlic: $3

Total to make 6 servings:


Jun 29, 2011

trio of appetizers

Tester Teaser

Let's take a mini-tour of Tami's Grills Gone Vegan appetizers. This should give you a great idea of the variety of grilling recipes in this upcoming book based solely on the appetizer section. As much of a teaser as appetizers are supposed to be, these next three previews should provide the same experience.

I just made this first recipe tonight, Lettuce Wraps, not more than a few hours ago. Don't let the simplicity of the name detract from the complex flavors those beautiful lettuce cups hold. Asian Style Cutlets are grilled, tossed with a special glaze and then gently packed into the crisp leaves with just the right amount of vegetables. As I told Tami when reviewing them, people will be fighting over the last one! Oh, and those Asian Cutlets - so much more than just for this recipe.

This next one I tested last week and is another favorite of mine: Polenta Stacks.
Not a polenta fan? After this recipe you will be. Tofu is marinated in Tami's Habanero Marinade, grilled and stacked on top of grilled polenta and tomato. A dollop of her sauce on top and you are all set to wow some guests. Habanero love.

This recipe, Stuffed Poblanos, I made a while ago, but the flavors still dance on my palate. 
The stuffing is amazing and that Avocado Sauce is worth its weight in gold. The combination is like taking a vegan vacation to Mexico. 

You won't need to pack your bags to eat this well - it'll all be available soon.
 I promise.

Feb 23, 2011

polenta with braised squash and porcini

I was intensely craving creamy polenta and porcini mushrooms. I came up with this dish, Polenta with Braised Squash and Porcini, which incorporated both and butternut squash.

Polenta can be cooked so it has a crispy surface (after it has been cooked and cooled), or it can have a very creamy consistency, which is what I was going for here. This is intensely creamy and not at all thick - I used 5 cups of almond milk to 1 cup of polenta.

The squash is braised with porcini mushrooms and a little truffle oil. Truffle oil has a very distinct flavor so use it according to your taste, although using it is totally optional. What is not optional is to make sure your porcini is completely clean of grit after rehydration. There is not much less appealing than having a mouth full of dirt.

This turned out to be a surprisingly delicious meal. 

Cost Breakdown

butternut squash: $2
polenta: $.75
porcini: $2
onion, garlic, spices: $1
truffle oil: $.50
vegan milk: $2
Total to make 5 servings:

Nov 30, 2010

millennium (MoFo 20) + book winner

This is the last post of MoFo! Wow! I am done, stick a fork in me!
Over the month we've covered:

And for the last MoFo, I am visiting Millennium in San Franciso.

This is a five-star restaurant in my book and we had the pleasure of dining there a few times while living in San Fran. A bit more on the pricey side, the tasting menu with the wine is the best deal and the best meal to have there. You get the chef's specials paired with delicious wines. The meal runs several courses and leaves nothing to want - even dessert is included.

For my tasting menu I first made the Sesame-Crusted Oyster Mushroom Calamari. These are served with Wasabi Cream and a seaweed salad at the restaurant. I just served it with the wasabi and a little chili oil.

My final course for MoFo is White Bean-Filled Phyllo Purses. These are phyllo purses stuffed with cannellini beans, mushrooms and Italian Tofurkey sausage. They are served over creamy polenta and with Porcini Mushroom Sauce.

My hubby said it was very Millennium-like and he would pay $32 for it.
I told him to fork up the dough.

That's all she wrote - for a few days, anyway. I need to go clean my kitchen and retire the fryer. The kids will mourn ;)

As for the final cookbook winner ...drum roll, please..."American Vegan Kitchen," being sent by the author herself...goes to...
Comment #3
Find me or I'll find you. Congrats!

Thanks to everyone who joined me for this Month of Vegan Food and thanks to all the other hundreds of bloggers who came along for the ride. And thanks to Tami Noyes for the cookbook you gave me to give away! I know the lucky-someone will enjoy it!

(Elvis has left the building...)

Cost Breakdown:

oyster mushrooms: $9
breading: $1
sesame seeds, chili, wasabi: $1
carrots, parsnips, spices: $1
Total to make apps for 6:

phyllo: $3
beans, mushrooms, Tofurkey: $7
porcini, onion, garlic, veg, broth: $6
polenta, nondairy milk, garlic: $2
Total to make 4 servings:

Sesame-Crusted Oyster Mushroom Calamari

White Bean-Filled Phyllo Purses

Oct 2, 2010

soft polenta with lentil ragu

Italian Night

We haven't had polenta for a little while, so we did tonight. It was a quick, simple meal to make.

The polenta I cooked in almond milk to give it richness. The ragu is made with tomatoes, lentils, carrots, onions, garlic and parsley. Lentils cook very fast, in about 30 minutes, and are very tasty and healthy. No brainer there.

I served this meal with a broccoli 'salad' with garlic and red chili flakes. Salad because I cooled it to room temp after I steamed them and added a clove of minced garlic. The garlic 'cooks' while the broccoli is still hot and the color is still vibrant because I cooked the broccoli just until tender crisp and removed them from the heat promptly.

Cost Breakdown:
lentils: $1
tomatoes: $2
onions, garlic, carrots: $1.50
parsley, broccoli: $3
polenta, almond milk: $2
Total to feed a family of 6:

Jul 28, 2010

caramelized chickpea and chard over polenta

This dish started out so well!
I caramelized onions with chickpeas and garlic. The onions became sweet and the chickpeas were beautifully crispy. Then I put chard in it. Well that ruined it for the kids. I put it over a creamy polenta and sprinkled it with lemon zest.

When I tasted the chickpeas and onions, they were lovely. Delicious, sweet and a bit salty. The chard I'm afraid is too earthy. Kale or spinach would be much better in this dish. I've now tried over and over to make chard but the flavor is too deep for my family. I thrown in the towel and given up! There are some things that are not sanctioned by my family; chard is one.
 Sniff. Sniff.

Cost Breakdown:
polenta with almond milk: $2
chickpea: $2
chard: $3
onion, garlic, spices: $1
Total to disappoint a family of 5:

Jul 3, 2010

polenta rancheros

It seems fitting to make our brunch from a brunch cookbook: 
Vegan Brunch by Isa Chandra Moskowitz.
Based on her description - replacing soft eggs with soft polenta - had my attention. I simply love any recipe that replaces eggs in traditional dishes - chickens being one of the worst treated animals on factory farms.  

When Kate tasted it, she practically swooned! It is a truly delicious meal! The soft, creamy polenta, with the spicy beans and the cooling guacamole is superb. Nicely thought out recipe. Next time we make this - and we will - I will grind the spices before adding the onions and garlic; broken pieces of coriander seeds are a little distracting in the rancheros.

Cost Breakdown:
tomato, can: $2
2 beans: $4
polenta: $.50
avocado: $3
onions, garlic, fresh tomato: $2
vegetable broth, homemade: $.50
sour cream: $.50
Total tofeed a family of 5:

Jun 13, 2010

persian polenta, parsnip and kale

Whenever I have lots of vegetables in the fridge, or whenever the CSA box looks too inviting to resist, I make '2 veg and a grain.' I try to find a common theme and run with it. Today's was Persian.
I sauteed carrots and parsnips with Turkish apricots - typical of this region is dried fruit in savory dishes. I made creamed kale, not exactly Persian, but I have been craving it. I also made salad with black fig vinagrette, cranberries and shredded carrots. And finlly, I made polenta with fenugreek leaves and seeds and a few strands of saffron. After cooling the polenta I sliced it into rectangles and broiled it. 

There you have a Persian-inspired meal. 

Cost breakdown:
bunch kale: $2.50
3 parsnips and a carrot: $2
apricots and cranberries: $1
polenta: $ .50
3 c rice milk: $1.50
1/2 head romaine lettuce: $1
spices, onion, garlic: $1
Total to feed a family of 5: