Sunday, July 09, 2006

beans and polenta

so in my attempt to save money, i am trying to eat 3 meatless
dinners a week (breakfast and lunch i eat leftovers). so i revived my old vegetarian cookbook i owned in college, called "1001 low-fat vegetarian recipes" by sue spitler.

the book is a favourite of mine, and was immediately sold on it after trying the "brown sugar banana bread", so i browsed through all 1001 recipes and came across a quite peculiar one: "bean and corn bread loaf". i thought, beans, veggies, and corn meal? well, it's got cheese on it, and everything tastes better with cheese, so why not? so i tried it.
with recipes, i really only use them as guidelines, as i don't like to measure things, and i usually don't have all the ingredients on hand. and in my adapted recipe, it's not so much corn bread loaf, but a polenta casserole. some different veggies, different assembly, different seasoning ingredients, and chicken stock instead of vegetable stock. but it turned out great, pretty, and delicious. here is my adapted recipe, and my post for WEEKEND HERB BLOGGING#41. so here's how i did it.

adapted by me
inspired from the bean and corn bread loaf recipe via 1001 low fat vegetarian recipes by sue spitler

3 C chicken stock
1 C corn meal (i used yellow)
2 T olive oil
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 red bell pepper
1 hot chili pepper (i used finger peppers from the farmer's market)
1/4 of a large zucchini, julienned
4 cloves garlic, minced (i used 1 garlic scape, 1 clove green garlic, and 2 cloves garlic)
1 can beans, drained and rinsed (i used kidney beans)
splash of soy sauce
2 tomatoes, chopped
chili powder to taste
cayenne pepper to taste
ground cumin to taste
salt and pepper to taste
large handful of fresh cilantro, chopped
1 C cheddar cheese, shredded

heat stock to boiling, SLOWLY add corn meal and reduce heat to a simmer while stirring constantly to avoid clumps and lumps. stir until thickened, about 5 minutes. remove from heat and add salt, pepper, and chili powder to taste. leave to cool a bit, then spoon into a nonstick or a greased baking pan.

put olive oil in skillet, heat on med heat. add celery, peppers, and garlic until tender, about 5 minutes. add a splash of soy sauce. add beans, zucchini, tomatoes, and herbs (except cilantro) cook until tomatos just start to wilt. continue to cook until liquid is almost absorbed. remove from heat and cool. stir in cilantro, season to taste with salt, pepper, cayenne. spoon on top of polenta mixture. sprinkle with cheese and pop into oven for 30 minutes. cut into squares and enjoy.


Kalyn said...

Sounds quite delicious. Of course, I like everything that has cilantro, the other ingredients are just a plus.

rachelle said...

cilantro and cheese. yum.

Tanna said...

Polenta, cheese, cilantro, garlic - how could you go wrong. Looks excellent.