- Olive oil-flavored cooking spray
- 2 minced garlic cloves
- 3 cups chopped fresh spinach
- 2 cups water
- 1 and 3/4 cups vegan chicken broth (prepared from Not Chick'n bouillon)
- 1 cup polenta
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 cup shredded vegan cheese
2. Combine the water and chicken broth in a large saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Gradually add the polenta, stirring constantly with a whisk. Reduce the heat and cook for 20 minutes, stirring frequently - it will be quite thick by the end. Remove from heat and stir in the wilted spinach mixture, salt, and black pepper.
3. Spoon the polenta mixture into a 9-inch springform pan coated with the olive oil cooking spray. Press plastic wrap on the surface of the polenta and chill for 2 hours - it should be firm by the end.
4. Release the polenta from the springform pan and discard the plastic wrap; place on a baking sheet coated with the olive oil cooking spray. Sprinkle the cheese evenly over the top of the polenta and bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. For the cheese, I highly recommend the shredded mozzarella from Daiya - it has a creaminess that mimics the flavor of Fontina, and works great for this recipe.
5. Remove from the oven and let stand for 5 minutes, then divide into 8 equal portions with a sharp knife. This dish is best served immediately.
I served the polenta as a side dish, although it certainly could take center stage as your main course as well. Because the dish has a rustic, simple feel to it, try it with similarly homey foods - for me tonight that meant grilled Match pork patties, and simple balsamic grilled asparagus: in a bowl, combine 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar, 1 teaspoon vegan sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, and 2 minced garlic cloves. Add 2 pounds trimmed asparagus and toss to combine. Grill for 5 minutes, turning over about halfway through.
8 servings (1 wedge), Calories 126
So savory and almost creamy - in fact, I would have thought this dish had butter in it, if I hadn't made it myself, between the soft creamy polenta and gooey melted cheese on top. The spinach gave it just the right unexpected touch.