Creamy Polenta with Sautéed Mushrooms and Onions

I’ve been transitioning to a plant-based diet for about three months now. I was feeling pretty good about switching to vegetarian after the guilt I experienced while eating my favorite burger, but after some coaxing from friends, I decided to give up all animal products. Giving up meat wasn’t the hardest part considering the list of animal products I didn’t eat was way longer than the list of ones I did eat. The hardest part that I could not use butter anymore, and to quote Andy Dwyer, “butter is my favorite food.”

No, but really, it hasn’t been that difficult at all! For most of my favorite dishes, there is an easy way to make it plant-based. It’s also a fun game for me since I love recipes and problem-solving. But back to my obsession with butter, I feared that I would have to use the dreaded buttery spread (dun dun dun) and that I would never experience the beautiful taste of butter again. But buttery spread has come a long way since Country Crock and I’ve realized that I can get the same taste with Earth Balance. My omnivore boyfriend also approves. Speaking of my boyfriend, he is very supportive of my dietary change and loves all my fun recipes I make up. He actually likes seitan more than chicken these days.

Besides butter, and sometimes forgetting to check the labels on food, I was having a hard time getting a creamy consistency without the use of any milk alternatives. I’m not a fan of their sweetness, so I used my problem-solving skills to try and get a creamy texture that would not taste like almonds and I did it!

This recipe has gotten the stamp of approval from three different meat eaters and they even went back for seconds, including my amazing photographer friend who continually helps me take pictures and then eat the meals. I think it’s safe to say this is a recipe to make for everyone.

Ingredients:

Polenta

  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup polenta
  • ½ cup blended silken tofu
  • ½ cup warm water
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • 1 tablespoon fresh Italian parsley
  • ½ tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon vegan butter (I use Earth Balance)
  • ½ cup vegan parmesan cheese (I use Follow Your Heart)

Directions

  1. Bring 3 cups vegetable broth and to a boil
  2. Microwave ½ cup silken tofu for 30 seconds, then blend with  ½ cups water, add to vegetable broth
  3. Very slowly whisk in polenta
  4. Whisk until polenta starts to thicken (3-5 minutes)
  5. Reduce to simmer and cover pot with lid for 45 minutes, stirring every 8-10 minutes
  6. Mix in butter and parmesan cheese

Mushroom and Onion Mixture

  • 2 ½ cups sliced baby Bella mushrooms
  • ½ tablespoon vegan butter
  • 2 cloves crushed garlic
  • ½ tablespoon black pepper
  • ½ cup vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • ½ tablespoon paprika
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup sliced yellow onion

Directions

  1. Over medium heat, add butter, oil, and sliced mushrooms
  2. Sautée mushrooms for 10 minutes, add in onions and cook for another 5 minutes
  3. After mushrooms and onions are tender, add in garlic, stirring frequently for 2 minutes
  4. Add vegetable broth, paprika, and black pepper.
  5. Stir for 3-5 minutes until broth is reduced
  6. Serve over polenta

One Comment Add yours

  1. Dawn says:

    Looks delicious – can’t wait to try it! Great inspirational article – love your recipes!

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