Posts tagged corn
Thirty Minute Meal: Mushroom and Kale Polenta

Heaven on a plate, that's how I would describe this meatless bowl of comfort! While I am not vegan or vegetarian, I do enjoy a meatless dinner once a week. It's great for the budget and a nice break for my stomach. This dish delivers on all levels, the creamy polenta satisfy's my pasta/carb cravings and the tomatoes, mushrooms and kale add a decadent taste and texture to the whole dish. Thyme and garlic add an herby note to the mushrooms that draws all of the flavors together. You don't have to eat allot of this dish to feel full which is always a bonus!

Polenta is actually the name of a dish from northern Italy, not necessarily the ingredient itself! It refers to a porridge made from coarsely ground cornmeal. In the past this dish was made with farro, chestnuts, millet, spelt or chickpeas but is now made with corn as it was cultivated in Europe in the 16th century. The polenta we eat today is made from ground yellow corn. I like to use Bob's Red Mill Polenta Corn Grits ( not a sponsored post, just my opinion!) as I have always had great success with them and the texture turns out beautifully! However if you use another brand, make sure it is quick-cooking or instant polenta. Otherwise you could be spending forty minutes stirring and cooking your polenta! 

Here is my chef tip for this recipe, when you make your polenta, you will want to make sure you slowly whisk your corn grits into your boiling water or broth so that you don't end up with clumpy corn pockets. Other than that, this meal is a snap to make and takes less than thirty minutes! 

Feel free to add other veggies in with the mushrooms. Zucchini, eggplant or even spinach would be a fantastic addition to this recipe. 

Enjoy! 

Mushroom and Kale Polenta

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Bob's Red Mill Organic Polenta Corn Grits
  • 3 cups water or veggie broth
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan 
  • 1 tablespoon butter 
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped 
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced 
  • 1/2 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 cup kale, stemmed and chopped
  • 1 (15oz) can fire roasted tomatoes 
  • 8 ounces cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced 
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

In a medium pot, bring water or broth to a boil. Slowly pour in corn grits while whisking constantly. Reduce heat and cook for about 5 minutes stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and stir in Parmesan and butter. Cover and let stand. 

In a skillet, add onions and olive oil and cook until soft and translucent. Stir in kale, tomatoes, mushrooms, thyme and garlic. Cook until mushrooms are soft. 

Place a small amount of polenta on each plate and top with some of the mushroom mixture. You can always sprinkle on some extra Parmesan at this point as well! Enjoy!   

Tortilla Soup

Who doesn’t love a bowl of tortilla soup? It’s like eating all of the best flavors of a taco in one bowl! I have made many variations of tortilla soup over the years, with all kinds of different ingredients and cooking methods. However, one method I had not yet tried was making a tortilla soup entirely in my Vitamix Blender (this is not a sponsored post btw!) ! I knew my Vitamix had a soup option where it blends and heats your soup by using friction but had never used it.

I loved the concept, minimal dishes and no need to turn on my stove and heat up the kitchen. I was also intrigued by the idea of blending in lots of extra veggies I wouldn’t typically add to my other versions of this soup. Normally I work with only a veggie or a chicken broth as my base, but with this method I would also be able to add depth and extra nutrients with the mushrooms, zucchini and tomato! Adding in all of those extra veggies resulted in a thicker soup, which I found to be incredibly satisfying. 

If you don’t have a Vitamix, you can still blend the base in a food processor and heat it up in a pot on your stove. I experimented with that method as well and it resulted in an equally delicious soup! 

Enjoy!

Tortilla Soup

Makes 4-6 servings

Ingredients

Base

  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth 
  • 1 roma tomato, halved 
  • 1 carrot, roughly chopped 
  • 2 celery stalks, roughly chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled  
  • 1/2 yellow onion, roughly chopped 
  • 1 zucchini, finely diced and divided in half 
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, roughly chopped 
  • 1/2 cup fresh baby bella mushrooms 
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano 
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin 
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika 
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • salt and pepper to taste 

Other Ingredients

  • 2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken 
  • 1/2 fresh jalapeño, finely chopped 
  • 1 cup canned corn, drained
  • 1/4 cup low fat sour cream 
  • 1 cup crushed tortilla chips 

Instructions

Add all base ingredients to Vitamix or food processor and blend until smooth. If using a Vitamix, use the soup setting to blend base until hot and steamy. Then add chicken, jalapeño, corn and remaining zucchini to blender. Pulse one to two times until mixed. Pour into bowls and serve with a small amount of sour cream and crushed tortilla chips on top.

If you are not using a Vitamix, add blended base to a pot on the stove and heat until simmering. Allow to simmer for five minutes. Stir in chicken, corn, jalapeño and remaining zucchini and return to a simmer. Turn off heat and pour into bowls. Serve with a small amount of sour cream and crushed tortilla chips on top. 

 

 

Spicy Meatless Chili

 

The thought of tofu and chili didn’t really go together in my mind. So when my hubby requested a chili with tofu, I looked at him and laughed! But after my initial objection, I became curious to see if tofu in a chili could actually work and thus a most delightful vegan chili was born. It’s amazing! Spicy, flavorful and definitely hearty. The tofu takes on a deep chili flavor and doesn’t break down at all in the chili. I was initially worried it would disintegrate to messy goop, but by using extra firm tofu it held together beautifully. Feel free to add more veggies or beans to the chili. This is my base recipe but you could add green peppers, pinto beans, even zucchini! Serve it over whole grain elbow pasta and you have a fabulous meatless chili!  

Let me know what changes or improvements you made to the chili, I love suggestions!! 

 

Spicy Meatless Chili

Makes 6 servings

Ingredients: 

  • 1 (14-ounce) package extra-firm tofu, drained and crumbled
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 small jalapeño pepper, chopped with seeds removed
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced 
  • 2 cups vegetable broth 
  • 1 (15oz) can no-salt-added kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (14oz) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 (14oz) can tomato sauce 
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon oregano 
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper to taste 

Procedure

In a large pot, combine pepper, onion, corn and jalapeno. Saute in olive oil until veggies just start to soften. Add remaining ingredients including tofu and simmer on medium heat for thirty minutes. Serve over whole wheat pasta!

Vegan Tacos

Meatless Monday has been making a comeback in my kitchen! It has been great for my grocery budget and my stomach has appreciated the break as well! When I first started swapping out an animal based protein with a plant based source, I found that all I was making was pasta dishes and noodle bowls. It was great for the first month and then snoooooorre! Why I didn’t think about making a meatless taco sooner is beyond me. Vegan tacos are quite possibly the most delicious way to give Meatless Monday a try! Peppers, onions, refried beans, rice and seasoned tofu are topped off with endless combinations of crunchy toppings! Tofu is the perfect protein to pair with tacos as it soaks up all the yummy taco seasoning.

Give this vegan taco a try for Meatless Monday or really any day of the week you want a delish taco!! 

 

Vegan Tacos

Makes 8 tacos

Ingredients

  • 1 box crunchy taco shells
  • 1 can (14.5oz)low fat refried beans 
  • 1 cup basmati rice, rinsed 
  • 2 cups water 
  • 1 green pepper, cut into strips 
  • 1 yellow onion, thinly sliced 
  • 1 package extra firm tofu, cut into strips and blotted dry
  • 1 packet low sodium taco seasoning
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Toppings: Shredded red cabbage, salsa, avocado, cilantro and tomato

Procedure

For the rice: Place rice and water in a pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until the water drops below the surface of the rice. Cover and remove from heat. 

For the tofu, pepper and onion: Heat a large skillet and add tofu strips.Cook until brown and hot. Add in taco seasoning as well as pepper and onion.Stir and cook until pepper is soft. 

To assemble: Heat taco shells according to package directions. Microwave beans in a bowl until hot. Assemble tacos as desired and top with your favorite toppings!