Vegan Polenta with Kidney Beans, Peppers and Tomatoes
Makes 4 servings
- 1 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 1 cup plain unsweetened almond or other non-dairy milk
- 1/4 cup Earth Balance or other non-hydrogenated non-dairy butter
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 1-1 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 3/4 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 green bell pepper, sliced into thin strips
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tomato, diced
- 1 15 oz / 425 g can / 1 1/2 cups cooked pinto beans, rinsed and drained
- 1/3 cup kalamata olives, chopped small
- 1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped small (I used the kind packed in oil)
- 1 tablespoon fresh or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 2 packed cups arugula
- 1 tablespoon olive oil plus extra for drizzling
- 1/4-1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2. While the polenta is cooking, cook the toppings. In a large pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the bell peppers and cook until slightly softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until it's fragrant and starting to brown, about another 5 minutes. Deglaze the pan by adding the fresh tomato, sun dried tomatoes, olives, red pepper, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper and thyme. Cook for about 7 minutes or until the tomato starts to break down. Add the beans and cook for about 5 minutes or until they're heated through. Taste and gradually add as much salt as you think the dish needs (be careful though; the olives will provide quite a bit of salt).
3. Ladle the polenta onto a plate, top with about 1/2 cup of the arugula (which will wilt beautifully from the heat of the rest of the ingredients) and about 1/4 of the pepper, bean and tomato mixture. Finish with a drizzle of olive oil and serve immediately.
*For those of you who don't watch Food Network religiously or don't have access to it, Chopped is a TV show in which contestants have to create dishes using all the crazy ingredients they're given in the mystery basket.