Cheesy Polenta with Sauteed Spinach and Chanterelles

January 24, 2010 By: Megabeth Category: Main Dishes

Polenta with Spinach and ChanterellesLooking for a little something different to make for dinner tonight that’s easy to make, warm and filling?  Then make this polenta with spinach and chanterelle mushroom dish. This is definitely going to be on normal rotation in my kitchen especially during this seemingly never-ending winter.

I had three pans going at the same time on the stove – mushrooms were simmering, polenta was cooking and the spinach was sauteing. Never fear, though, you won’t get that “spinning plates” feeling. Everything cooks in it’s own time and there is no fear of burning or overcooking.

Cheesy Polenta with Sauteed Spinach and Chanterelles
adapted by Megabeth from What the Hell Does a Vegan Eat Anyway?

1 cup fine cornmeal
1 Tablespoon salt
2 Tablespoons margarine
1/2 cup Gouda cheese, shredded
freshly ground pepper
1 oz package dried chanterelle mushrooms
1 cup vegetable broth
olive oil
tamari
1 garlic clove, minced
3-4 tightly packed cups fresh baby spinach

Add mushrooms and stock to a small pot, bring stock to a boil.  Turn heat to low and let them simmer for about 20 minutes.Polenta with Spinach and Chanterelles

In large pot, bring three cups of water to a boil with 1 Tablespoon of salt. Whisk the cornmeal into the boiling water and turn heat to low. Let cornmeal absorb the water, then add an additional 3 cups of water 1/2 cup at a time. Let each 1/2 cup of water absorb before adding the next. Stir occasionally to ensure that the polenta does not stick to the bottom of the pan.Polenta with Spinach and Chanterelles

When the polenta is near the end of cooking, remove mushrooms from cooking broth and then saute in a small pan with 2 teaspoons olive oil. Add a splash of tamari to the mushrooms. Heat through and remove from pan into a small bowl. (If there are large pieces of mushrooms, feel free to cut some smaller.)

Add another 3 teaspoons of olive oil and garlic to the saute pan. Let garlic saute a bit. Add spinach to pan and wilt. Remove from heat.Polenta with Spinach and Chanterelles

Once the polenta is cooked, stir in gouda and margarine into the pan. Add freshly ground pepper to taste. Stir to combine. Cook for another 3-4 minutes until cheese and butter is melted.Polenta with Spinach and Chanterelles

Add polenta to serving bowl, top with sauteed spinach and mushrooms. Shred some additional gouda on the top to taste.Polenta with Spinach and Chanterelles

 Polenta with Spinach and Chanterelles

Spinach Salad with Pears and Dried Cranberries

December 03, 2009 By: Megabeth Category: Salads

Spinach Salad with Pears and Dried Cranberries

I have mentioned before that I’m a fan of the Vegetarian Journal.  It’s the quarterly publication for the Vegetarian Resource Group (VRG) that’s filled with fact and not flash. They do not accept advertising, but rather fill their pages with in-depth articles, information and vegan recipes. For $20, you can join VRG and receive this publication. I like the Vegetarian Journal because they consistently have quick, easy and delicious recipes. This spinach salad with pears and dried cranberries is a perfect example of how good these recipes can be.

This spinach salad is going to become a regular feature in this house. In fact, after his first forkful, my in-house taste tester refused to return the serving bowl to me until he ate about half of this salad. Honestly, I was slightly worried he’d down the whole thing without giving me any.

This salad, as presented, is vegan. If you are vegetarian, you can throw some crumbled goat cheese on top for a variance of texture and you’ll add a complementary flavor. Either way, the sweetness, tartness and nuttiness of this salad is great as a quick at-home dinner treat or served to dinner guests. Next time I’ll double the recipe so I have a chance at more…

Spinach Salad with Pears and Dried Cranberries
Vegetarian Journal, Issue 3 2008

1/4 cup red wine vinegar (rice vinegar or white balsamic vinegar also work well)
2-3 Tablespoons olive oil (I used two for a lighter taste)
2 cloves garlic, pressed
1 teaspoon apple juice concentrate
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne or black pepper (Note: I used a dash of cayenne then added some freshly ground pepper)
8 cups baby spinach
1 Bosc pear, seeded and diced
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup lightly toasted, chopped pecans (I substituted pecans for walnuts)
1/4 cup dried cranberries

Spinach Salad with Pears and Dried Cranberries

Combine vinegar, olive oil, garlic, concentrate, salt, and cayenne in a glass jar. (Note: or a small container with a lid.) Cover with lid and shake until blended.

Spinach Salad with Pears and Dried Cranberries

Place spinach in a large salad bowl. Pour dressing over spinach and toss. Divide into salad bowls and layer with pears, onions, pecans, and cranberries.

Spinach Salad with Pears and Dried Cranberries


Vegetarians Have Good Hearts!

A Vegetarian Tour de France: Spinach Parmesan Croquettes

July 04, 2009 By: Megabeth Category: Culinary Tour de France, Main Dishes

The 2009 Tour de France has officially begun and so shall the vegetarian culinary tour! To start the tour, we are going to get crunchy, zesty and fried with these Spinach Parmesan Croquettes. (I wouldn’t, however, recommend eating these prior to attempting your individual time trial.)

If you have some precooked rice on hand, this recipe takes no time at all to make. And, as a bonus, you get to get your hands all goopy forming the croquettes into little cylinders. I was able to form 14 croquettes using this recipe below. We almost ate all of them in one sitting.

Spinach Parmesan Croquettes
Adapted from: The Best Vegetarian Recipes

  • 1/4 cup onions, diced
  • 1 teaspoon oil
  • 1 cup/8 oz frozen spinach, cooks and drained (or fresh, cooked and drained)
  • 1 1/2 cups rice, cooked
  • 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese and/or Asiago cheese, shredded
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, ground
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups bread crumbs
  • 2 eggs
  • canola oil for frying

Add oil to a pan and set to medium high heat. Add onions in oil until light golden and translucent. Add cooked rice, spinach, spices, and lemon juice. Stir to combine.

A Vegetarian Tour de France: Spinach Parmesan Croquettes

Add cheese.

A Vegetarian Tour de France: Spinach Parmesan Croquettes

Turn heat to low and add egg making sure that it doesn’t cook too quickly. Remove pan from heat and allow mixture to cool.

A Vegetarian Tour de France: Spinach Parmesan Croquettes

Once mixture is cool enough to handle with your hands. Crack two eggs in a small bowl and beat lightly with a fork. Add bread crumbs to another bowl. Form spinach mixture into small, cylindrical rolls.

A Vegetarian Tour de France: Spinach Parmesan Croquettes

Dip into egg mixture…

A Vegetarian Tour de France: Spinach Parmesan Croquettes

and then into breadcrumbs.

A Vegetarian Tour de France: Spinach Parmesan Croquettes

Place uncooked croquettes on a plate until all are breaded. (I placed mine on a sheet of parchment paper.)

A Vegetarian Tour de France: Spinach Parmesan Croquettes

Coat the bottom of a cast iron skillet with oil and turn heat to on medium high. Add croquettes into oil and fry until all sides become golden brown.

A Vegetarian Tour de France: Spinach Parmesan Croquettes

Place on plate lined with paper towels to absorb extra oil.

A Vegetarian Tour de France: Spinach Parmesan Croquettes

Serve with a tomato sauce for dipping.

Chickpea and Spinach Stew

June 18, 2009 By: Megabeth Category: Main Dishes

This is definitely a recipe that I will double the next time that I make it. It’s not because it didn’t make enough for a meal, in fact, we both went back for seconds and thirds. I just wish there was more of this stew leftover for more than just one lunch the next day. But, I was kind and let my in-house taste tester get the leftovers. He owes me now.

I served this really satisfying stew with some fresh and warm naan. It was fantastically warm, flavorful and uniquely spiced.

Chickpea and Spinach Stew
Food & Wine Magazine

  • 1 cup water
  • 10 ounces baby spinach
  • 2 large garlic cloves, crushed
  • Kosher salt
  • Pinch of saffron threads
  • 2 teaspoons sweet paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Pinch of ground cloves
  • Pinch of freshly ground pepper
  • Two 15-ounce cans chickpeas with their liquid
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large tomato—peeled, seeded and coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins (I omitted the raisins.)
  • Crusty bread, for serving (I served mine with naan.)

Pour the water into a large deep skillet and bring to a boil. Add the spinach leaves and cook over high heat, tossing frequently, until wilted, about 2 minutes.

Chickpea and Spinach Stew

Chickpea and Spinach Stew

Drain the spinach in a colander, pressing hard on the leaves to extract the liquid. Coarsely chop the spinach.

Using the flat side of a large knife, mash the garlic to a paste with 1/2 teaspoon of salt and the saffron. Transfer the garlic paste to a small bowl.

Chickpea and Spinach Stew Garlic Salt and Saffron

Chickpea and Spinach Stew

Add the paprika, cumin, cloves and black pepper and mash until combined. Stir in 1/4 cup of the chickpea liquid.

Chickpea and Spinach Stew Spices

Chickpea and Spinach Stew

Wipe out the skillet. Add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil to the skillet and heat until shimmering. Add the onion and tomato and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until they are softened, about 3 minutes.

Chickpea and Spinach Stew

Add the spiced garlic sauce to the onion and tomato in the skillet and cook for 1 minute.

Chickpea and Spinach Stew

Add the chickpeas and the remaining liquid to the skillet. If using, add the raisins and bring to a boil over moderately high heat.

Chickpea and Spinach Stew

Add the spinach, reduce the heat to moderate, and simmer for 15 minutes.

Chickpea and Spinach Stew

Chickpea and Spinach Stew

Transfer the chickpea stew to 4 deep bowls, drizzle the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil on top, and serve.



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