Sometimes, I think I should have called this blog, “The Hearty Vegan Kitchen”. It’s probably taken already, but I want to think it rings true for nearly all the recipes that can be found here. And this recipe is no exception. Plus, the vegetables smell absolutely exquisite roasting in the oven. Is it the roasting glaze? Is it the rosemary sprigs? Is it the garlic? It’s all three and then, some.
Want creamy vegan grits or polenta? Cut down the amount of water needed to make the grits or polenta, and add a package of blended silken tofu. It stays totally creamy, even the next day. Of course, it needs some flavor enhancers, but incorporating blended silken tofu helps nail the creamy texture.
You can use whatever vegetables that you want for this recipe. Just keep an eye on it while they are roasting, and adjust the time, as needed. I used sliced mushrooms, zucchini, grape tomatoes and whole garlic, because they work well together. I also thought they would probably all get done around the same time, but be experimental and figure out what combinations you like best and what the timing needs to be for you.
Some of the vegan cheese is optional in this recipe, but I would urge you not to forego using almond ricotta. Whether you make your own almond ricotta or buy store bought, it tastes great layered under the vegetables, and adds a nice counter to the other flavors. It doesn’t absolutely have to be there, but it really is very good.
Vegan Creamy Polenta with Roasted Vegetables
¼ cup olive oil
1 ½ Tbsp balsamic vinegar
¼ tsp dijon mustard
¼ tsp garlic powder
Salt and black pepper, to taste
1 8 ounce package of sliced white mushrooms
2 small zucchini, thick sliced on a bias
1 cup whole grape tomatoes
8 garlic cloves, peeled
3 sprigs of fresh rosemary + 1 Tbsp fresh chopped rosemary
4 cups broth (fake chicken or vegetable)
2 cups coarse cornmeal for polenta or grits
1 12 ounce package of silken tofu, blended until completely smooth
2 Tbsp vegan butter
2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
¼ cup vegan parmesan (I used Follow Your Heart), optional
1. Preheat the oven to 400º F. Line a large shallow pan with parchment paper. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together olive oil, balsamic vinegar, dijon mustard, garlic powder, salt and black pepper. Add vegetables to the mixing bowl and toss to completely coat.
2. Spread the vegetables in a single layer across large shallow pan. Lay the 3 fresh rosemary sprigs across the vegetables. Roast in the oven at 400º F for 30-40 minutes or until they are browned, slightly shriveled and look delicious to you.
3. While the vegetables are roasting, add 4 cups of broth to a large heavy pot or dutch oven over high heat. Bring it to a boil, and then, stir in the coarse cornmeal over low heat. Keep stirring it, and fold in the blended silken tofu. Continue stirring it until it is very creamy (this may take 5 minutes or may take longer, it all depends on your coarse cornmeal). Remove from heat, and stir in 1 Tbsp fresh chopped rosemary, vegan butter, nutritional yeast, and vegan parmesan (if using). Continue stirring until very smooth.
4. Spoon polenta onto a plate, add a smear of almond ricotta next to it, and top with roasted vegetables. Top with vegan parmesan (optional) and a very very small drizzle of balsamic vinegar. Serve.