I was having a friend over for brunch and wanted to make something a little different. I went for polenta two ways and smoothies. The other polenta didn't turn out like I'd hoped - it was in the pressure cooker and I forgot the salt, so it got clumpy. But it was a sweet polenta and I made a dark cherry sauce to go with it. The smoothies were pretty simple concoctions of frozen pineapple and strawberries, some soymilk and silken tofu, a bit of agave and a splash of lemon juice and vanilla extract. My guest does not typically enjoy tofu, but she said she could not tell it was in the smoothie. :)
I only took pictures of the polenta with mushrooms, but it was definitely the best part of the meal anyway. I was working with mushrooms I had on hand, but I am sure anything would work fine here. You need about 5 cups of mushrooms. For me, it was a bag of frozen Trader Joe's variety mushrooms and an 8 ounce container of fresh baby bellas, but I am sure that any mushrooms you like would be good!
1 cup polenta (the big dry grits, not the prepared or instant cornflour kind)
2 cups vegetable or mushroom broth
1 TBS olive oil
1 TBS margarine (or more olive oil)
3 cloves of garlic
2 cups plain coconut beverage or plain soy milk (don't confuse this with coconut milk! Coconut beverage is much lighter and has no coconut taste. This is what I'm talking about: http://sodeliciousdairyfree.com/products/coconut-milk-beverages/original)
1-2 cups of water, as needed
Mushroom Topping Ingredients:
5 cups of mixed mushrooms (frozen or fresh! If using dried, you need to reconstitute them first)
1 cup of finely diced onion (two small onions yield the right amount)
1 TBS olive oil
3 cloves garlic
1 TBS balsamic vinegar
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp Herbes de Provence
First, you need to start the polenta since it takes some time. Add the polenta and broth to the pan and bring it to a rolling boil, whisking often to keep it clump-free. Add in the oil, margarine, and garlic and cook over low heat while adding the coconut beverage slowly over about five minutes, whisking in each addition. Continue to cook for about 40 more minutes, whisking frequently and adding water as needed (it'll thicken a lot as you go). It should be thick and creamy when you're done.
While that's happening, make your mushroom topping! Since I used a combination of fresh and frozen mushrooms, I added them in phases, but you can put it all together if you're using all fresh or all frozen.
I added the oil to the pan, then added in the onion and diced fresh mushrooms. I cooked that for about 5 minutes, cooking off some of the mushrooms' liquid. Then I added in the garlic and frozen mushrooms and cooked for another 5 minutes. Finally, I added in the vinegar, sugar, and herbs and cooked for another 5 minutes.
Top the polenta with the mushrooms and serve with fresh black pepper and mushroom salt if you have it (or ordinary salt if you don't!)
Nutrition (for 1/6)
Fat: 9.5 g
Carbs: 30 g
Fiber: 4 g
Sugars: 5.2 g
Protein: 4.2 g
Vitamin A: 3%
Vitamin C: 7%