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Spring Veggies over Polenta!

You might recall my excitement over the Mother’s Day dinner I got to prepare for my mother-in-law last weekend.  She is such an amazing woman!  Brilliantly smart, patient and sweet, SO wise, and did I mention she adores my baby?  I am so thankful to have her in my life!  (And since she’s the only mama I’ve got, I definitely wanted to treat her right this Mother’s Day.)

I served some extra-special dishes I’d been saving up for just such an occasion.  Sweet Balsamic Salmon, Herb Roasted Purple Potatoes & Corn, and today’s fabulous feature dish, Spring Veggies over Polenta!  (Oh, and Sea Salt & Caramel Shortbread for dessert… to DIE for.)

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Spring Veggies over Polenta - A fabulous plant-based side dish or meal for Springtime!

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I can’t neglect to give a HUGE shout-out to the blogger who inspired me to try this recipe, Sarah from My New Roots.  Reading her gorgeous blog has motivated me in a major way to start incorporating more plant-based foods into our family’s meals.  She just makes it look so dang appealing!  Maybe it’s her photos, maybe it’s the food itself, or maybe it’s the fact that her skin absolutely glows.  Whatever the allure may be, I have a major woman crush on Sarah and her blog.

My version of this dish is a bit modified from Sarah’s original “Spring Spirit Polenta” (mainly because I have a hard time finding things like “wild leeks” in my neck of the woods.)  But even with store-bought leeks, it’s still impossibly scrumptious.  Definitely one of those dishes you feel amazing eating because not only does it taste fabulous, it is so healthy!  I think you will really like it.  And it’s pretty too, isn’t it?  I love those snap peas!

I served it as a side-dish on Mother’s Day weekend, but I’ve eaten it as a “main meal” many times since.  Wonderfully filling!

You can scroll down for the printable.  Hope you enjoy!

Also, two pieces of housekeeping news:

1) I’m about to leave for an amazing vacation in Cancun this weekend!!  Chris and I (and my siblings) have long awaited this trip and we are so thankful for the blessing of being able to go.  It’s been a rough year for our family and this getaway is just going to be paradise. :)  (And I won’t have to cook a single thing for myself the whole week… Talk about luxury!)  Anyway, I won’t have internet access while I am gone, so please forgive me for not responding to your comments and e-mails during that time.  Speaking of no internet, I’m totally bummed that I won’t be able to keep my Instagram updated with ocean photos the entire week… but I guess we all need to take time to “unplug” now and then, don’t we?  I’m sure the internet hiatus will be good for me. :)

and…

2) This summer I’ll be speaking at a seminar here in Little Rock!  The topic is “Stretching Your Dollar” (particularly when it comes to household/grocery expenses.)  If you live in/near the Little Rock area, I would love to see you there and get the opportunity to meet you!  The event is free to attend and will be held on Tuesday, July 22nd at Little Rock Church (10701 West Baseline Road  Little Rock, AR 72209.)  Speaking of which, if you haven’t yet read my e-book about all the wonderful benefits of reducing your grocery budget, here is how you can get it for free! :)

 

Happy Wednesday all!

-Carissa

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Spring Veggies over Polenta!
 
Cook Time:
Total Time:
 
Lightly sauteed leeks, asparagus, & snap peas spooned over creamy corn grits. Perfect as an accompaniment to any meal, or as a meatless main dish.
Author:
Serves:: 4
Ingredients:
  • 1 cup polenta (not instant)
  • 4 – 6 cups light vegetable broth or water
  • ½ large leek (white and light green parts only), well washed and chopped
  • 12 oz. fresh asparagus, washed and cut on the diagonal into 1" pieces
  • 1 cup snap peas, washed and sliced into matchsticks
  • small handful chopped fresh herbs (basil, thyme, rosemary, and green onion are wonderful!)
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil, butter, or coconut oil
  • ½ cup grated Pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese
  • olive oil for garnishing
  • 1 lemon
  • salt & pepper
Directions:
  1. Heat the vegetable broth or water (starting with 4 C.) along with a good pinch of salt in a large saucepan until simmering.
  2. Slowly pour in the polenta in a steady stream, whisking all the while to prevent clumping. Stir constantly for a couple minutes, then reduce heat to a low simmer. Cover pan with a lid and stir every five minutes or so. If the polenta becomes too thick or dry, add more hot water and whisk in. (Warning, bubbling polenta can spatter, so keep covered as much as possible when not stirring.)
  3. While the polenta is cooking, prepare the vegetables and herbs. Roughly chop the leeks, and wash, trim and cut the asparagus and snap peas. Clean and chop the fresh herbs as well.
  4. About 10 minutes before serving, heat olive oil, butter, or coconut oil in a large skillet and add the chopped leeks with a few pinches of salt and pepper. Fry over medium heat until soft (about 5 minutes).
  5. Next add the snap peas and asparagus. Cook for 3-4 minutes, just until their raw edge has disappeared but veggies are still bright green. (Add a little water if the pan is very dry, which will help to steam the veggies).
  6. Squeeze half a lemon over the top. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove pan from the heat and finish with fresh herbs
  7. You can tell the polenta is cooked when you rub a small amount of it between your fingers and it is no longer gritty, approximately 30-45 minutes (read the label on your own box for cooking time approximations). The final consistency should be creamy and smooth. Add the grated cheese to the polenta if desired, and give it a final stir. Add a little milk or water to thin if necessary. Season to taste with salt and pepper before serving.
  8. To serve, scoop a portion of polenta onto a plate then add the cooked vegetables. Garnish with shaved Pecorino Romano if desired, a drizzle of olive oil, and another squeeze of lemon.

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One Response so far.

  1. […] Or possibly some creamy polenta with spring vegetables? […]