I wish I had an exciting story for you today, but alas, that is not the case. Today is a public holiday, which means that, other than a quick step out-of-doors to celebrate an uncle’s birthday, I’ve been vegging inside in front of the heater watching season 2 Office reruns. That’s ok, sometimes life just plods on, and you can get back into your pajamas during daylight hours and make hot carob drinks and delicious dinners. Continuing with my dinner theme, I decided on some polenta for today! Man-thing has become so thin that his wedding ring is wiggling, so I’ve resolved to do my part to introduce lots of healthy carbs and proteins into his diet and basically force-feed him. He’ll eat a moderate portion of food, claim to be full, then stuff his face with chips five seconds later, so I have to wheedle and bribe to get him to stock up on actual real food. Since he digs polenta, and I dig him, this is what came of it.
Note: I baked this from head to toe, but you are more than welcome to fry everything as well!
Ingredients (serves 2)
- 1 can chopped tomatoes
- 100g chopped mushrooms
- 1 medium carrot, cut into thin coins
- 1 cup broccoli florets, sliced thinly
- 1 cup cooked black beans
- white pepper, tumeric, paprika,
- small handful Italian parsley and chives, chopped finely
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 2 TBSP nutritional yeast
- 1 TBSP balsamic vinegar or lite soy sauce
- Optional: chopped dried apricots
- 1/2 cup polenta
- 1.5 cups boiling water
- 1/2 veggie stock cube
- 1/8 cup sticky marinade (or bbq sauce)
- 1 TBSP tomato paste
- 2 TBSP hot water
- 1 TBSP lemon juice
- smoked paprika
- Optional: thinly sliced gherkins
- Prepare your polenta! If you’re making this for dinner during a weekday, I’d suggest making the polenta in the morning – it really is super quick!
- Prepare a small loaf pan by spraying a baking sheet with “wings” going up the sides.
- In a medium pot, pour in your boiling water and add your veggie stock cube, stirring to break it up. Bring the water to a boil.
- Once the water has boiled add your polenta, lower the heat to simmer, and stir continuously for a minute or so. Place a lid on an angle at let it simmer for 5 minutes, stirring every minute or so if it sticks to the bottom of your pot.
- Spoon the polenta into the loaf pan and set in the fridge for at least an hour (but again, making this earlier in the day is recommended!).
- Preheat the oven to 180C and prepare a baking sheet/tray.
- Bake your carrots and broccoli until crispy, about 20 minutes, turning once. I don’t use oil when roasting my veggies, but if you like first coat them in 1 TBSP oil. (Keep the oven on!)
- If it has been an hour or so remove your polenta from the loaf pan with the wings of the baking paper and set it on a plate and back into the fridge.
- Mix your chopped tomatoes, mushrooms, spices, nutritional yeast, onion powder, herbs + vinegar in the loaf pan and bake for 15 minutes.
- Remove the loaf pan and add your black beans and carrots. I left my broccoli apart for crunch but you can also add it to the sauce if you like.
- Bake for a further 5 minutes and remove. (Keep the oven on!)
- Mix together your glaze in a small cup with a tablespoon.
- Place your polenta (again, with it resting on the same baking paper!) on your baking tray you used for the veggies and spread the glaze evenly on top, using the back of your tablespoon to smooth it out nicely. If you like, place some sliced gherkins on top!
- Bake for 15-20 minutes, then switch off the oven and set your polenta aside to cool slightly. Cut into four equal strips.
- Assemble and serve!
Simple but filling! 😀 As mentioned, you can easily fry the dish, though the polenta might be somewhat slippery. I love the bake-ness, and OH MY SOCKS the smell of the sauce when it pops out of the oven is just sensational – it’s like a ridiculous pizza sauce and made me 100% hungry (a merely half hour of proclaiming myself stuffed off smoothies).