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Let's talk polenta!



Have you ever had polenta? What is it anyways? It's a simple dish made with boiled cornmeal. It's also quick, easy, and very versatile. Herbs and spices can be added to make a nice gluten-free side dish.



Nutritionally, it's a whole grain that contains complex carbohydrates, a little protein, and a little fiber. It can be used as an alternative to rice or pasta to make a creamier base to any dish.


Although polenta originates from northern Italy, it give me all the southern feels due to it's similarity to grits. Basically, it just feels like fancy grits!


My quick weeknight polenta was served under stewed kale, tomatoes, and mushrooms. I topped the plate with bakes salmon for a little extra protein kick.



Check out the below recipe to give polenta a try!


Ingredients:


Polenta

  • 1 cup polenta

  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk

  • 3 1/2 cups water

  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast

  • 3 tablespoons vegan butter

  • Salt and fresh black pepper, to taste

Mushrooms & Tomatoes

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 yellow onion, diced

  • 12 ounces mixed mushrooms, sliced

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh thyme

  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes

  • ½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt

  • 1/2 cup marinara or tomato sauce

  • ½ cup dry white wine

  • 1 tablespoon vegan butter

Salmon

  • 1/4 cup vegan butter, melted

  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary

  • Salt and fresh black pepper, to taste

  • 2 pounds salmon

  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley leaves


Directions

  1. In a medium sauce pan, add the almond milk and water. Bring to a gentle boil then whisk in polenta gradually while stirring.

  2. Bring the mixture to a boil and stir frequently. Allow to boil then lower the heat. Continue to cook, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon until desired thickness. The longer you cook, the thicker it gets.

  3. Add the nutritional yeast and vegan butter then stir. Season with salt and pepper to taste. If the polenta starts to clump, add a few tablespoons of water and stir.

Mushrooms & tomatoes

  1. Once the polenta is on the stove, prepare the veggies. Heat the 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 5-6 minutes, or until lightly browned.

  2. Add the mushrooms, fresh thyme, and cook. Stir occasionally until the mushrooms are golden, about 5-6 minutes.

  3. Add tomatoes, pepper, and salt. Cook until the tomatoes burst, about 6-7 minutes. If the tomatoes or mushrooms start to burn, lower the heat. Pour in the marinara sauce and stir to coat the vegetables.

  4. Pour in the white wine and bring the mixture to a simmer. Cook until the wine is mostly reduced, about 5 to 6 minutes. Turn in the vegan butter and stir in until melted.

Salmon

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil.

  2. In a small bowl, whisk together butter, brown sugar, lemon juice, garlic, oregano, thyme, rosemary, salt and pepper, to taste.

  3. Place salmon on prepared baking sheet and fold up all 4 sides of the foil. Spoon the butter mixture over the salmon. Fold the sides of the foil over the salmon, covering completely and sealing the packet closed.

  4. Place into oven and bake until cooked through, about 15-20 minutes.

To plate, place polenta in bowl, top with mushrooms and tomatoes then place salmon on top. Serve warm and enjoy!

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