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Saturday, April 11, 2009

Herbed Polenta with beans and bok choy from fatfreevegan

This was a flavor filled recipe from . Who in turn got it from someone else!! I loved the flavor of the polenta because it had tons of fresh herbs.

I used the hodgson mill yellow corn meal to make the polenta. One mistake I made is that I put it into hot water---if you do that it lumps up. So make sure you put it in cold water BEFORE HEATING. The picture below is the polenta before broiling or frying it. IT IS GOOD TO MAKE THE POLENTA AHEAD OF TIME, REFRIGERATE IT AND THEN BROIL IT.


Herbed Polenta with Beans and Bok Choy

Since the polenta is so flavorful, I kept the seasoning in this vegetable and bean sauté very light, allowing the freshness of the ingredients to shine.

1 recipe Herbed Polenta, below
1 small onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 red, yellow, or orange bell pepper, chopped (or a combination of colors)
8 ounces baby portobello mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup vegetable broth (I DIDN'T HAVE ANY--I USED WATER AND STILL GREAT!)
6 ounces baby bok choy, sliced
1 14-ounce can kidney or cannelloni beans, drained (or beans of choice) (USED NORTHERN BEANS)
1 teaspoon dried basil
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon white balsamic vinegar
Optional: Vegan Parmesan

Make the polenta according to the directions below. After polenta is firm, cut into cubes and either broil them on an oiled baking sheet or brown them in a non-stick pan, turning after one side is brown. Keep warm until ready to serve.

In a large non-stick skillet, sauté the onion for 3-4 minutes, until it softens. Add the garlic, bell pepper, and mushrooms and add a sprinkle of salt. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring, until mushrooms soften. Add the broth, bok choi, beans, and basil, stir well, and cover. Cook for about 5 minutes, until bok choy is wilted but still bright green. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and stir in vinegar. Serve atop polenta cubes, sprinkled with vegan Parmesan, if desired.

Herbed Polenta (from Pressure Cooking: A Fresh Look by Jill Nussinow)

Jill reserves half the basil and parsley to sprinkle on top of the polenta after cooking, but I stirred it all in at the beginning.(I ALSO STIRRED THEM ALL IN) She also includes 1 to 2 tablespoons of olive oil but notes that it is optional; I left it out. (I JUST COOKED IT ON TOP OF THE STOVE USING FRESH HERBS FROM MY GARDEN....NOT THE DRIED)

4 1/4 cups water
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon salt
1 bay leaf
3 tablespoons chopped basil (I used 2 teaspoons dried)
2 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley
2 teaspoons chopped oregano
1 teaspoon chopped rosemary

Bring the water to a boil in the cooker. Stirring, sprinkle the polenta into the water. Add the garlic, salt, bay leaf, half of the basil and parsley, the oregano and rosemary. (I JUST COOKED ON TOP OF THE STOVE FOR ABOUT 20 MINUTES )Lock the lid in place and over high heat bring to high pressure. Immediately lower the heat to maintain pressure for 5 minutes. Let the pressure come down and release any remaining pressure after 10 minutes. Remove the bay leaf and stir the polenta well. If the polenta seems too thin, simmer while stirring for a few minutes.

Sprinkle with remaining herbs and serve as is or pour into pie pans to cool. When cool, cut into slices or brush with oil and pan sauté or grill.

Makes about 5 servings.

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