Creamy Polenta with Mushrooms and Spinach
I'm really excited to share this dish for two reasons: 1, because it brings me back to some wonderful childhood memories, when my grandmother would make my sister and I breakfast at her house on the weekends we slept over. I could literally smell the creamy polenta in my memories! And 2, because I think breakfasts can get redundant, especially if you go for the same types of choices like salty breakfasts or sweet breakfasts, or breads, smoothies, etc.. While I'm generally a salt and fat kinda gal, I go through phases. I really like all kinds of breakfasts that I rotate. However, I have a huge roster of sweet breakfasts, and not so many savory, umami and salty ones like this one, that are PLANT- BASED! That's what really excites me; that I have a non- egg or meat- based savory breakfast that I can enjoy when my salt craving hits in the AM!
Another thing I have to tell you about this dish is that it's a lot like Southern grits, but using coarse ground yellow corn instead of the finer, white corn typically used for grits. In Italy, polenta is made in numerous ways from formed little blocks or rounds that are then sautéed with toppings, or it is left creamy, the way I'm making it. The technique I'm using is what my grandmother used to make my breakfasts, but with a twist!
Recipe: serves 4
1 1/2 cup water
1 1/2 cup coconut milk
1/2 teaspoon Himalayan salt
1/4 teaspoon White Pepper
4 Tablespoons Organic, grass- fed butter (or vegan replacement like olive oil)
1/2 Yellow Onion, finely sliced
1 small garlic clove
10 Cremini Mushrooms, stems removed
5 Shiitake Mushrooms, stems removed
2 handfuls of Fresh Spinach
Drizzle of avocado oil
Note: This is a very quick- cooking breakfast that only takes about 6- 7 minutes total, so it's best to have all ingredients totally pepped before you begin cooking.
For the Polenta: In a saucepan, bring water, coconut milk and salt to a boil.
For the Topping: In the meantime, get a small frying pan and add a drizzle of avocado oil to coat the bottom lightly. Sauté the onions and garlic for a few seconds, then add the mushrooms, salt and pepper and continue to sauté on medium heat.
Once the water/ milk has boiled, add the corn polenta grits, stirring well. Lower the heat to simmer the polenta, stirring frequently. Continue to stir the mushrooms as well until they have softened, then add the spinach. Fold the spinach in until it has just wilted, and remove from heat.
Now add your white pepper and grass- fed butter to the polenta, stirring well to combine. Cook the polenta for about 5 minutes total, then turn off the heat and allow it to sit for a few minutes. Spoon the polenta into a bowl and drizzle with a bit of cashew cream to your liking. Personally, I like to thin- out my polenta this way, but it also adds a lovely (dairy- free) creaminess! Then, top with the mushroom and spinach mixture and well, devour!
I hope you enjoy this breakfast, that can also be a lunch btw, or a side dish! :-)
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