janet @ the taste space

Creamy Cheezy Vegan Polenta + Great Vegan Grains Cookbook GIVEAWAY

In Book Review, Sides on March 5, 2016 at 8:11 AM

Creamy Cheezy Vegan Polenta

Continuing with the easy comfort foods, how about baked grits? Or creamy cheezy baked polenta?  I am no stranger to the elaborate, creamy, stovetop polenta but sometimes, you want to eat something a little less laborious with all the flavour.

This dish uses a creamy concoction including sauerkraut, cashews, nutritional yeast and miso to simmer with the cornmeal for a few minutes. Next, you pop it into the oven to complete the easy side dish. Here, I paired the polenta with the Hemp Crusted Tofu with Garlic Collards in Superfoods 24/7 which I was compelled to make after seeing Cadry’s raving review and Andrea’s spin on it. Neither dish disappointed and both worked well together for a complete meal. I even snuck a few pieces of the baked grits for breakfast, too.

Creamy Cheezy Vegan Polenta

The polenta recipe comes from Celine Steen and Tamasin Noyes’ latest cookbook, Great Vegan GrainsIf you ever scratched your head wondering what to make with the bag of amaranth or millet you just bought – or tracked down einkorn flour after seeing these lovely pancakes – this book is for you. Tips and tricks for each grain is included along with sweet and savoury recipes for any time of the day. Familiar recipes include BBQ Bulgur BurgersPolenta Topped Mexi-Beans and Apple Butter Einkorn Sloppy Joes to appealing Creamy Pesto Asparagus Einkorn and Roasted Radish Freekeh Bowl with Mustard Miso Sauce. I must admit, I am still excited to try the Amaranth-Encrusted Aztec Tofu and the Peruvian Tacu Tacu. 🙂

Creamy Cheezy Vegan Polenta

Recipes from Great Vegan Grains book shared elsewhere:

Blueberry Breakfast Polenta

Breakfast Quinoa Pilaf

Savory Stuffed Apples

Creamy Cheezy Vegan Polenta

Thankfully, the publisher allowed me to giveaway the cookbook to a reader living in the United States or Canada. To be entered in the random draw for the book, please leave a comment below telling me how you like to prepare your favourite grain. The winner will be selected at random on March 20, 2016. Good luck!

PS. I am sharing this with Meat Free Mondays.

Creamy Cheezy Vegan Baked Grits (or Polenta)
Recipe shared from Great Vegan Grains, reproduced with permission

Author’s note: This hearty dish is a big hit for brunch, but it’s savory enough to be a sensational side for dinner. Grits are sometimes thought to be a bit touchy to cook, but our baked version couldn’t be easier.

Nonstick cooking spray
2 cups (470 ml) plain, unsweetened vegan milk
1 1/2 cups (355 ml) vegetable broth
3/4 cup (107 g) sauerkraut, drained but not squeezed
1/2 cup (70 g) raw cashews
1/3 cup (50 g) minced onion
1/3 cup (40 g) nutritional yeast
1 tablespoon (15 ml) apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon (18 g) light miso
1 tablespoon (15 ml) olive oil
2 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
1 cup (140 g) polenta (grits)
Ground black pepper, to taste

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C, or gas mark 4). Lightly spray a 9 x 13-inch (23 x 33 cm) baking dish with cooking spray.

2. Combine the milk, broth, sauerkraut, cashews, onion, nutritional yeast, vinegar, miso, olive oil, garlic, mustard, salt, and white pepper in a high-powered blender. Process until very smooth. Pour into a medium-size saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Gently pour the grits into the liquid, whisking continuously. Reduce to a simmer and cook, whisking, for 5 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasonings, adding the black pepper. Pour into the prepared baking dish. Bake for 25 minutes until set. Let cool 5 minutes before serving.

YIELD: 1 (9-inch, or 23 cm) dish

Recipe Notes

  • For firmer grits, reduce the water by ¼ cup (60 ml).
  • Customize your grits! Add finely minced hot or bell peppers, slivered greens, or grated carrot after whisking in the grits.
  1. I still love making casserole brown rice in my instantpot. It comes out prefect every time.

  2. I really love oats in oatmeal! I have the best luck putting everything together the night before and letting it sit in the fridge overnight to absorb more water before cooking it in the work microwave the next day–the texture can’t be beat.

  3. Wow! This looks so good. My favorite grain is farro. I like to cook a big pot, plain, and the use it as a component in a Buddha bowl. It also makes a lovely breakfast porridge.

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  4. This books sounds great. I enjoy Celine’s & Tamasin’s recipes. Currently, I’m loving cooking steel-cut oats overnight in my little 2qt crockpot–1/2 cup oats with about 2 1/2 cups water on low until morning–easy peasy!

  5. This looks great! I would never have thought to combine miso and sauerkraut in polenta. The grain that I use most often is steel cut oats, just because I eat it for breakfast nearly every day. I just recently bought amaranth for the first time, though, and have enjoyed making amaranth porridge and popped amaranth. This cookbook sounds great – thanks for the giveaway!

  6. I wonder why they have you mince the onion when you’re going to just shove it in a blender?

  7. My favourite grain is oats and I love preparing them the night before to make overnight oats for the morning.

  8. I love making a sweet bread with oats included for texture and flavor.

  9. I found out a year or so ago that you could cook and drain rice the same way as pasta, rather than trying to take it off the heat at the precise moment the water’s all been absorbed but the bottom hasn’t started to burn. I’m inordinately pleased with myself every time I do this.

  10. I don’t know if it is my favorite, but my children love it when I make them veggie burgers with bulgur and corn. I usually coat them with homemade whole wheat bread crumbs and bake them in the oven. It’s their best dinner of the week!

  11. My favorite way to eat grains right now is my overnight steel cut oats. I make a batch on Sunday for the whole week. So delicious…

  12. I love corn in all different ways but lately I’ve been making a really corn and egg soup!

  13. I would love this book! I really need to add grains and variety in general to my meals. As with everyone else, oats are usually my go to 🙂

  14. This looks really delicious, and really hearty. As for my own interest, I have to say, I’m very curious about toasting grains. I tried a chocolate bar yesterday with puffed quinoa in it and it was incredible – it made me really curious about what you could do with that kind of preparation.

  15. You always have such nice photos – I love the little speckles of hemp seed on that tofu! But, hey, this post is about grains, and I love me some polenta! Lately my favorite grain has been the farro I’ve been putting in a cauliflower soup by Zsu Dever. Yum!

  16. Would love a book with recipes for all the grains I want to try. Thanks!

  17. The addition of sauerkraut in this recipe is genius! Janet, what type of polenta did you use here? It looks a fairly coarse one, am I right?
    I am on a rice kick these days. My favorite method to cook brown rice is to bake it in the oven (a method I read in Cooks’ Illustrated years ago) and my new favorite way to cook white basmati rice comes from Plenty More: Bring water to boil, add rice and reduce to lowest heat, cook 15 minutes, rest 10 minutes covered with a tea towel – perfect rice every time!

  18. Currently, my favorite grain is brown Jasmine rice. I just follow the stovetop directions on the package.

  19. Lately, I’m enjoying making cereal with ingredients like puffed quinoa, amaranth, and brown rice.

  20. I like to prepare bulgar in salads!

  21. That twist on polenta sounds delicious! The idea of adding sourkraut is pure genius…

    A favorite of mine when it comes to grains is millet, and I love to make it super creamy, risotto-style. It’s so good!

  22. I love brown rice with sriracha, nooch and tamari!

  23. I am obsessed with polenta! The best use of polenta I’ve ever made was very recently: http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2015/02/vegan-polenta-kale-soup-miso-recipe.html SO good.

  24. A giveaway open for Canadians yay!! I’ve been using spelt flour for baking and I’m loving the results. Spelt pancakes for lazy weekend brunch 🙂

  25. Can’t pick just one grain as a favorite. But am enjoying grinding teff into flour & baking with it right now. Though technically it’s a seed. 🙂

  26. My favorite grain is quinoa…I enjoy using it in main dish salads in summer (as well, of course, as a rice substitute). Your post reminded me that I have freekeh bought a while ago waiting for me!

  27. Polenta is one of my favorite grains! I also love quinoa especially in pilafs and as a chili ingredient!

  28. The grits sound amazing. I’m partial to cooking quinoa with veggie stock and tossing it with noochy, tamari-roasted broccoli & chickpeas for lunch. That cookbook sounds like a terrific resource.

  29. I love to throw my favorite grains, typically quinoa or millet, into a big pot of stew.

  30. I love quinoa! I make a small batch flavored w/ veggie broth to add to my lunch salads every week!

  31. I know it’s not technically a grain, hah but lately I’ve been making a lot of quinoa in the rice cooker! I’ve heard it works for other grains as well! I’m also planning to try making brown rice in the oven. Apparently that’s an easy way to do it too!

  32. Ohhh yeahhh…what a nice giveaway. I’m glad I’ve read your post in time.

    I like all kind of grains. My favorite one is buckwheat but I don’t know if I could include it here since he’s more of a pseudo-grain. However, my favorite way to cook it is in my “vegan creton” recipe. Yummm…!

    I also really enjoy millet. Especially in my “vegan tourtière”.

    I’m alaways looking for new ways to cook them. For exemple, the amaranth, I would me more then happy to find new recipes.

    Thanks for this wonderful giveaway Janet. Thanks also for the recipe. I love the fact that miso and sauherkraut are included. I’ll definitely try it 😊

  33. I like the quick cooking Steel Cut Oats from Bob’s Redmill. I cook a large pot using the instructions so we can add what we’d like throughout the week to our individual bowls.

  34. In general I like to cook all grains in veggie broth to be used as a side dish. =)

  35. Wow – the polenta sounds good! And I have shied away from making polenta as it does sound elaborate and a little scary. This sounds totally manageable.
    I’m very intrigued by the Hemp Crusted Tofu. That sounds amazing!!

  36. […] while to make but you ended up with truly creamy grits. In retrospect, I probably should have used this recipe for baked grits since I already had the oven […]

  37. […] recipe we enjoyed was the Hemp Crusted Tofu with Garlic Collards (pictured here with creamy cheezy polenta) and I must confess to being drawn to her desserts such as Almond tahini truffles, Adzuki bean […]

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