I just love it when we have our Midnight Tokyo Diner nights and my partner chooses something that stomps me…at first. Yeah, I’m not ashamed to admit that his request for sweet potato polenta threw me for a moment but after a few minutes of research, my confidence rose and I was like, “I got this.”
If you’ve never had sweet potato polenta before, I hope this recipe inspires you to add more than vegan butter and nutritional yeast to your next batch of polenta.
Before we begin, I’ll tell you right off the bat that this is a pretty cumbersome ingredient list, but that doesn’t mean that it is a complicated or difficult recipe. It just has several different components that are put together separately before they find their way to the same plate.
Okay, let’s start with the soy. I used TVP which means you should start rehydrating it in vegan broth before you do anything else. I like to strain the liquid and let it get as dry as possible before adding more seasoning. For this recipe the soy is going into the air fryer until it is nice and crispy so you can do it ahead of time but I like to do it at the end so it’s perfect hot and crispy when it’s served.
Next, we have the mushrooms & cauliflower. I had two very beautiful portabella mushrooms and I got them started on the stove, in a skillet set on high until the edges started to crisp a little. But, I didn’t want them too watery so I transferred them to the oven on 400c until they were crispy on the edges but still moist. After about 15 minutes, I added the seasoned cauliflower to the oven with the mushrooms because I love them a little crispy and soft.
As usual, I didn’t use any oil to crisp the mushrooms and I’d say that meant I needed an extra 5 minutes or so, but don’t take my word for it. Check out the close up of the mushrooms!
Now with all the prep work out of the way, you can cook your onion and garlic in the same pot you used to get the portabella mushrooms started, cook until the onion is transparent and a little crispy and dark on the edges. When it’s done, toss with the mushrooms and cauliflower and cover, leaving on low heat or warming in the oven.
All that’s left is the polenta and the oil free chimichurri sauce.
Note: if you haven’t boiled your sweet potato, do it now, or even better do it way ahead of time to make sure the sweet potato is cool enough to peel by hand.
I used frozen spinach because I have a love-hate relationship with this particular dark leafy green, but I try to add some to my dishes a few nights each week. I decided on a spinach chimichurri because it was impossible to find basil or parsley at the market last week, because that’s the world in which we live, at least for now. So, I used: spinach, red bell pepper, cooked garlic, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, salt, pepper and smoky paprika. Toss it all into a food processor and let it rip until you’re happy with the consistency.
And finally, the sweet potato polenta. Grab a small to medium sweet potato, cooked and peeled, and about 150 grams of cornmeal. Use half water and half plant milk, salt it and bring to a gentle boil.
Slowly stir in the polenta and reduce the heat, whisking regularly until it starts to thicken. Feel free to add vegan butter or veggiegurt if you’d like, but the sweet potato should be enough even though I did add 10 grams of Becel, vegan. Whisk the potato and polenta together until it is smooth and creamy, seasoning as needed.
Now that every element is complete, plate it up and then eat it up!
This may seem like a time-consuming recipe, but it really isn’t. The key is to put in the prep work, which is pretty easy for me since I weigh everything as I chop it. Do the same, and you’ll come up a delicious and fancy vegan dinner that everyone will envy!