Marfigs' Munchies

Adventures in vegan eats and feats

WIAW + creamy gingerbeer polenta with smoky lentils

17 Comments

I know how much bloggers love their “secret ingredient” recipes, so this is one of mine :p The most fun I have is when I go research flavour profiles and combine ingredients accordingly, which is why this is a seemingly random hodge podge recipe that actually makes total sense when you eat it. Oh, and WIAW! 😀WHAT-I-ATE-WEDNESDAY-NEW-BUTTON-PEAS-AND-CRAYONSpolentahalfBefore I get carried away, don’t forget to enter the worldwide giveaway and read my review of Ricki Heller’s fantastic new book, Living Candida-Free.

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Breakfast/06h30: Banana, pumpkin + zucchini water-based smoothie bowl with 1/2 cup all-bran hiding at the bottom.bananasmoothieFreyja, our newest baby cat, had to go in for her booster shots, and no matter how early you leave there’s always a line at the vet. Freyja isn’t at all like Gatsby who meows and then gives up after a while – she will fight and rip through her plastic carrier and make such a scene that you would think she was the most abused kitty ever. I foresee us having to invest in a sturdier carry case as she gets older to withstand the claws and paws of doom.

Post-workout/10h30: sassy espresso + 1 cup soy milk + 2 TBSP protein powder + NuNaturals NuStevia Pure Liquid Vanilla drops AKA best warm drink ever, 2 medium carrots, steamed + hummusworkoutsnackOf late I’ve staretd to do blogilates workouts at home, since the long hours have prevented me from making my gym classes (and my people phobia is a bit too intense to hit the weights section yet). Let’s just say that sitting down and lifting mugs of soy milk is a lot more difficult now than it ever was, but slowly and surely I’m getting to grips with squats and even planking! My favourite plank is still lying flat on my back, but I manage a proper one with Cassey Ho shouting at me. :p

Tea-time/12h00: peppermint tea + a bit of black licorice, 1/2 cup broccoli soup from Ricki Heller’s book + alfalfa sprouts, flat green beans. I LOVE licorice with a burning passion (something I picked up in Finland, where they show the appropriate level of adoration for it), and since Man-thing hates it it’s alllll mine 😀 soupsnacklicoricePre-lunch nibbles (I had some HECTIC munchies): 1/2 cup frozen blueberries, 1 tsp almond butter, 1 tsp NuNaturals Cocoa Syrup.dessertLunch/14h00: 1/2 cup creamy gingerbeer polenta with smoky curry lentils (+ salad, unpictured)

polentatopGingerbeer polenta (serves 4 – 5)

  • 125ml/1/2 cup carrot purée (I hit the baby food aisle for this, but you can also steam and purée your own)
  • 250ml sparkling lite gingerbeer (or just use normal sparkling water and add 1 tsp blackstrap molasses to the boiling mixture and another tsp ginger to the final seasoning stage.
  • 2 cups lite vegetable broth (low sodium please!)
  • 1/4 cup + 2 TBSP non-dairy milk
  • 1 cup dry polenta
  • 2 tsp ginger powder
  • 1 tsp anise
  • 1 TBSP nutritional yeast (be generous here – your tastebuds will thank you)

lentilsmix1smoky curry lentil mix (serves 4 – 5, depending on sides)

If you’re hosting a big shindig make a big salad with nuts, avos or crunchy elements. If you don’t have sides but are still hosting a shindig, add another cup of cooked lentils, another grated zucchini, and two more chopped tomatoes. If you drink wine splash some of that in the pot to give it a bit of moisture instead of water.

  • 2 cups cooked brown lentils
  • 1 TBSP chili flakes
  • 2 heaped tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp tumeric
  • 1 tsp fennel
  • 1 TBSP dried thyme
  • 1 medium red pepper, deseeded and chopped finely
  • 2 medium/small tomatoes, chopped roughly
  • 1 medium onion, chopped finely OR 1 heaped tsp onion powder
  • 1 medium zucchini, grated thickly
  • 1 TBSP peppadews/piquanté peppers
  • 1/3 cup artichokes, chopped
  • 1/2 cup carrot purée
  • 2 TBSP lemon juice
  • 2 TBSP apple cider vinegar
  • water as needed
  • Optional: 1/4 cup pitted black olives
  • Optional: 2 celery stalks, chopped finely

currylentilmixHow-to:

  1. Bring the broth and gingerbeer to the boil, then add your polenta and stir over low heat.
  2. Add the carrot purée, non-dairy milk, nutritional yeast, ginger and anise powder, and stir every five or so minutes for 15 minutes until super creamy and cooked. Add more non-dairy milk, 1/4 cup at a time, if you really need to. Take off the hot plate and keep the lid on to retain heat.
  3. Meanwhile, heat up a large pot and water sautée your chopped onion, mushrooms, tomatoes, red pepper and optional celery for 8 or so minutes.
  4. Add your lentils, carrot purée, along with the spices, lemon juice and apple cider vinegar and let it simmer over low heat for 5 or so minutes. Add more water as needed to keep it moist.
  5. Stir your polenta before serving with the lentil mixture on top.
  6. Optional: if you’d like a baked dish add 2 TBSP flax powder to your lentil dish and stir, then layer in a sprayed casserole dish. Pour and smooth out your polenta on top and bake in a pre-heated oven for 35-40 minutes until golden brown on top.

mixedpolenta2 mixedpolenta1Yuuummm. Seriously, super duper creamy, flavourful polenta! This is the best polenta I’ve eaten, ever, hands down. I could just as easily eat this for breakfast with some soy milk and fruit compote, because the carrot purée just takes it to another level of deliciousness.

mixedpolenta3 mixedpolenta6Man-thing also made approving sounds and even gave me a thumbs up and everything, saying that I could feed this to his family (a definitely sign of goodwill, since he leaves my wackier creations at home). mixedpolenta5You could serve the polenta with pretty much anything, but this lovely, spicy lentil mix with shredded and chopped veggies added some awesome texture to the dish to counter the creaminess.  mixedpolenta4Pre-walk nibbles: some popcorn, a Nairns biscuit (not pictured). We went for a 45 minute brisk walk with weights on our wrists and woah, after a morning session of awesomesauce arms, cha-cha ab dances and a three minute inner thigh song challenge plus something else, I was pretty knackered! Tomorrow I finally get to go back to my gym classes, but I am definitely not going to leave this fabulous combo behind!popcornDinner: Zucchini soup and green beans soupdinnerEvening snack: warm soy milk (not pictured), some vegan jelly + NuNaturals Cocoa Mint Syrup (stuff is SO good)

jellyAnd there you have it, blurry pictures and all! 😀

What’s your favourite polenta dish?

Author: Marfigs

Ahoy, I’m Margaux! History teacher and freelance editor; wench to my Man-thing; volunteer at a cat shelter; and handmaiden to our kitsy cats, Gatsby, Freyja and Atlas. This blog is dedicated to vegan food, occasionally overthrown by pictures of foster kittens and other fluffy creatures. I love sharing ideas and recipes, so don't be shy: stop by and say hi!

17 thoughts on “WIAW + creamy gingerbeer polenta with smoky lentils

  1. What an interesting twist for polenta. Sounds delicious! I wonder if I could do something similar to the grits in my cupboard. 🙂

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    • Hi Janet – I finally got back to the land of internet! I looked up grits and it sounds delicious – definitely think you could make it work! Let me know if it works out 😀

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  2. That ginger beer polenta looks & sounds awesomely delicious! Yummm!

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  3. After years of giving polenta the stank eye – though I’d liked it before – I’m pretty fond of it these days. Shameless plugin but this is still one of my favourite ways to eat it: https://letsgetupandlive.wordpress.com/2014/04/25/playing-with-recipes-polenta-mushroom-chili-bake/
    Creamy polenta alongside hearty chili is such a classic. I’ve found the key is adding fat to the polenta – coconut oil being my current favourite.
    I’m also on a major lentil kick right now so your recipe sounds fantastic. If I didn’t miss at least half of the ingredients I’d consider trying it for tomorrow’s lunch.

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    • 😀 We’re going on holiday next week and your chili polenta bake is on my to-bake list to take with (I like to prep one or two big dishes and keep it simple otherwise)! I don’t have the tube polenta but I figure a homemade layer will work just as well. I see now the chili has a bit of cocoa in it – I tried that once and it made *such* an awesome but subtle difference to the yum factor!

      The good thing about recipes like the smoky lentil business is that you don’t need all the ingredients as long as you have a selection of delicious spices. 😀

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  4. I love Licorice also! Family dislikes it so I never buy it. But now seeing that piece in your hand I think I’ll just get some soon. Not sure about the Polenta, is ginger beer the same as “root beer” here in the States? If so its dark and sweet. Not sure I would like sweet Polenta with the added NuNaturals drops. the Lentils sound so good, will try them.

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    • Hi! 😀 It’s always good to have something in the house that is especially yours so that you never fear that it’s been munched when you weren’t looking.

      I’ve looked up root beer and it doesn’t seem to be the same, but I think it would make an awesome substitute because the ingredients make it seem very flavourful. The drops are totally optional, I’m just slightly obsessed 😉

      Thanks for stopping by! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  5. My husband loves gingerbeer and we both love polenta, and I would never have thought to put them together. Very interesting, I’ll need to try this soon. Thanks for the cool idea!

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    • Hallo! I must say gingerbeer is such a random ingredient but it was fun to go buy something so different and mess around with it. Let me know how it turns out if you try it out! 😀

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  6. This gingerbeer polenta sounds too fascinating not to try! I do enjoy chunky baked polenta “chips” but it isn’t an ingredient I have cooked with that often.

    I love the NuNaturals drops too – I have a few flavours in my cupboard and they go so well with so many things 🙂

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    • Hi Natalie – yay! Let me know how it turns out if you give it a shot 😀 I’m also trying to be more adventurous with polenta – it’s such a delicious ingredient and versatile. 😀

      I LOVE those drops – I use them in savoury and sweet dishes, and even adding a few drops to soy milk suddenly makes it all decadent and stuff.

      Thanks for the comment!

      Liked by 1 person

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