VEGAN PESTO POLENTA BOWL

Serves 4

Cashew Cream

1 1/2 cups raw cashews, cover in water and soak overnight

1 cup water

2tsp lemon juice

1 clove garlic

1/2 tsp sea salt

Polenta

1 1/2 cups of yellow corn grits or polenta

1 1/2 cups of water

1/2 tsp sea salt

Sauce

1 medium onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 15-ounce can organic diced tomatoes

Topping

4 tbsp fresh pesto (you can make your own, but I purchased a tub from Wholefoods). If you want to make your own: Place 2 cups of basil leaves, 1/2 cup olive oil, 1 garlic glove, 1/2 cup pine nuts, and 1/2 tsp salt in a high-speed blender until it reaches the desired consistency.

2 cups baby spinach leaves.

A handful of fresh basil leaves

 

To make the cashew cream. Place the soaked nuts, water, lemon juice, garlic and salt in a high-powered blender. I used my Vitamix. Blend until smooth. It should have the consistency of heavy cream, so add more water if need’s be. Place in a covered bowl and chill.

Place the grits, water and salt in a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Simmer for about five minutes, stirring continuously. Pour into a square, greased baking dish and allow to cool completely, before cutting into triangles.

 

Heat the olive oil in a heavy saucepan and fry the onions and garlic until soft. Add the tomatoes and simmer on a low heat for 15 minutes.

When you are ready to serve. Grease a grill pan with an olive oil spray and grill your polenta triangles until they are slightly browned on both sides.

 

Meanwhile, wilt your spinach.

Place two triangles in each bowl. Cover with a generous helping of the tomato sauce, followed by a spoon of spinach, and 1 tbsp of pesto and 1 tbsp of cashew cream. Top with a couple of fresh basil leaves.

VEGAN PESTO POLENTA BOWL

My husband and I went out to the excellent Cafe Gratitude on the weekend, and my husband ordered a polenta bowl, which was so incredibly delicious. As is our habit, we spent much of the meal trying to deconstruct what we were eating, so I could attempt to duplicate it at home. This is my attempt and I have to say, it is really, really good. It’s hearty-enough for carnivores and a perfect vegan entree.

 

Serves 4

Cashew Cream

1 1/2 cups raw cashews, cover in water and soak overnight

1 cup water

2tsp lemon juice

1 clove garlic

1/2 tsp sea salt

Polenta

1 1/2 cups of yellow corn grits or polenta

1 1/2 cups of water

1/2 tsp sea salt

Sauce

1 medium onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 15-ounce can organic diced tomatoes

Topping

4 tbsp fresh pesto (you can make your own, but I purchased a tub from Wholefoods). If you want to make your own: Place 2 cups of basil leaves, 1/2 cup olive oil, 1 garlic glove, 1/2 cup pine nuts, and 1/2 tsp salt in a high-speed blender until it reaches the desired consistency.

2 cups baby spinach leaves.

A handful of fresh basil leaves

 

To make the cashew cream. Place the soaked nuts, water, lemon juice, garlic and salt in a high-powered blender. I used my Vitamix. Blend until smooth. It should have the consistency of heavy cream, so add more water if need’s be. Place in a covered bowl and chill.

Place the grits, water and salt in a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Simmer for about five minutes, stirring continuously. Pour into a square, greased baking dish and allow to cool completely, before cutting into triangles.

Heat the olive oil in a heavy saucepan and fry the onions and garlic until soft. Add the tomatoes and simmer on a low heat for 15 minutes.

When you are ready to serve. Grease a grill pan with an olive oil spray and grill your polenta triangles until they are slightly browned on both sides.

Meanwhile, wilt your spinach.

Place two triangles in each bowl. Cover with a generous helping of the tomato sauce, followed by a spoon of spinach, and 1 tbsp of pesto and 1 tbsp of cashew cream. Top with a couple of fresh basil leaves.

 

GREEN TEA PANCAKES

In celebration of St. Paddy’s day, I made green tea pancakes for breakfast. Using my favorite Got Matcha Green tea powder, I decided on a gluten-free pancake, however, you can use you favorite pancake mix if you prefer.

1 1/2 cups pancake mix

1/2 tsp baking powder

1tsp ground flax

1tsp powder matcha tea

2 eggs

1tbsp maple syrup

1/4 cup coconut milk (You may want more of less depending on how thick you like your batter.

1tbsp virgin coconut oil

Place all the ingredients in a blender.

Heat coconut oil in a skillet and fry your little green pancakes to perfection!

ROASTED SPROUTS & CARAMELIZED APPLES

I had a ton of apples to use up and have been making apple everything, however, I was also given a bag of sprouts, do decided to create a tasty side dish. It turned out to be so hearty, that if you’re vegan, you may want to eat it as an entree with a side of brown rice or quinoa. Either way, it’s an excellent seasonal dish, which I’ll be making again this week. It’s a perfect accompaniment for grilled chicken or fish too.

Serves 2 as a side, but double if you’re going it eat it as an entree.

2 cups Brussel Sprouts, if they are very large, quarter them and if small to regular, half them).

2 tbsp olive oil

Sea Salt

2 apples, peeled, cored and cut into wedges

1tbsp olive oil

1/2tbsp butter (optional, but gives a better taste)

1/4tsp ground cumin

1/2 cup slivered almonds

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees

Place the sprouts in a bowl and pour on the olive oil. Using your hands, massage the oil into the sprouts and then empty them out on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with sea salt. Place in the oven for 20 minutes or until they are browned and well-roasted.

Meanwhile, melt the oil and butter in a heavy skillet (I love to use my cast iron skillet for caramelizing). Add the apples and turn the heat down really low. Fry gently for about 20 minutes, stirring every now and again, until the apples are soft and slightly brown. You may want to fry them for longer, depending on how much you want to caramelize them – the longer the better. When they are done, sprinkle with the cumin, stir and fry for another few seconds.

Add the sprouts to the pan to warm them up.

Place the roasted sprouts and the apples in a warmed bowl and top with the almonds.