Very Veggie Polenta Stir-Fry

>> Monday, March 22, 2010

I know I've mentioned it before, but I've been vegetarian for just over 14 years now (over half my life!), and I was vegan for several years during college. Then, after graduation, two things happened to get me off track.

1.) I moved back home for several months while I searched for a job. Few, if any, people in my hometown even know what vegetarians eat -- let alone what vegan even means! Many grocery stores didn't carry essential staples, etc. In fact my own dad this weekend asked me (because we were out to eat), "Ash, you can eat chicken, right?" Uh. No. Sorry, dad. But he means well :)

But this also works into the second thing that happened.

2.) I got lazy.

I've always been into cooking and baking on some level. Usually into baking much more. However, taking time to create healthy, unique, VEGAN dinners has proven to be an incredibly satisfying experience. And Stephen and I are definitely benefiting from it.

For now -- one of my favorite and fast vegan dishes is this polenta stir-fry. It's low in fat, combines simple flavors, and, at least in my experience, is a crowd-pleaser. Even non-vegetarians like it . . . so that's always a good thing! This recipe serves up two generous helpings of the stuff. Feel free to double it, triple it, etc.

What you'll need . . .
  • 1/2 to 3/4 log of pre-made polenta (cut into 1/4 inch thick slices -- and use how much you want to use)
  • 1 large tomato
  • 1 large zucchini
  • 1 large red onion
  • Olive oil
For sauce . . .
  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • Raspberry jam
  • Honey (if you don't eat honey, use a bit of your favorite sweetner)
  • Ground black pepper

Method . . .
  1. Chop the onion, zucchini, and tomato into large chunks.
  2. Cut polenta into slices.
  3. Heat oil in a wok or large fry pan until hot.
  4. Throw in the rounds of polenta into the pan and carefully cook (they get soft -- so flip them gently) until lightly browned on each side.
  5. In another, smaller pan, throw in the onion and zucchini. Cook until just soft, but not mushy. You want a slight bit of crispness.
  6. Once veggies are soft, turn off heat and throw in tomato. Mix together until warmed.
  7. Divide veggies onto two plates and top with equal rounds of polenta.
  8. Mix the balsamic vinegar, raspberry jam, and a bit of honey to taste to create a thin, sweet sauce.
  9. Drizzle sauce over each dish. Top with pepper to taste.
  10. Enjoy!
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