Superpower Polenta w Chimichurri Bean Salad

Posted by: on Apr 6, 2013 | 18 Comments

vegomexican.

I’m multitasking and trying to fit all kinds of good stuff into my days, therefore it so happens that I’m having a date all while writing to you today. Or to be quite honest, three dates, satisfying, delicious and life changing. But, I’m not here to ramble about my snack, am I? Nope. At the moment it’s all about our new home, funny names like chimichurri and the sparkle of spring, not dates. I’m riding on a little high, soaking up sunshine, wearing a pink (!?) dress and making this new house ours. The ultrasound pictures are on the fridge, the stevia plant seem to be having a growing competition with itself. Cook books, tea pots, piles of clothes and kitchen props are trying to find new nooks to rest in and in the middle of this beautiful mess my belly really started to grow. I feel like maybe I’m not the one multitasking here, it’s more like life itself is doing all the work and I am sitting in a old beautiful theater chair, watching with dreamy eyes and feet tired from all the moving. Happy.

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Fun & Fabulous Facts

Holy moly, the powerpuff Polenta has reentered my life. After roughly 10 years of feeling quite neglected, this golden business is up and running yet again. Polenta is basically corn, coarsely ground into something that looks like beautiful yellow sand. Corn is as you might know often hybridized and genetically modified so why am I falling for Polenta? Have I gone mad? No (not yet). We are voting with our wallets, forks and knives and by going to the farmers market or not. Therefore agribussines will know if we all choose to exclusively buy organic, heirloom, non GMO corn varieties. We (!) have not only the opportunity but also the duty to choose wisely for ourselves, for our health and for this grand organism that we call home. Get this? Mother Earth needs us to take a stand and while we eat some organic polenta she will cheer us on in the background, getting nourished and rising stronger. But how will you know ifyou are looking at GMO corn or not? Look for ”Bt corn” in the label as that is the gene Bacillus thuringiensis inserted into genetically modified corn seeds. Those Bt corn products are party poopers to say the very least and should not be welcomed into your body.

There is another pretty great reason to get some of that polenta into your system – apart from saving the world – and that reason spells c-a-r-o-t-e-n-o-i-d-s. Carotenoids are naturally occuring pigments i.e Phytonutrients found in red, yellow and orange foods but also in some leafy greens such as kale and collard. These carotenoids work (among other things) as amazing antioxidants protecting and stabilizing our cells, thus quite possibly providing humans with important anti-cancer and anti-aging compounds. While down on cell level, carotenoids also enhance the healthy communication between cells, which means that this pigment could reduce the risk for cell overgrowth. Just make a habit of adding some fat to your plate when eating foods that contain carotenoids as they are fat-souluble and your body will need for example a drizzle of olive oil or some sprouted nuts to absorb all that golden good stuff. No worries with this recipe where the chimichurri salad has got you covered.

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Superpower Polenta w Chimichurri bean salad

Polenta may taste like heaven all on its own (or in flatbreads, a breakfast bowl or a stew) but baked or fried polenta is something rather exquisite, especially with this chimichurri. The spicy and flavorful greens add a serious vitamin and mineral boost and the black beans come to the party with good protein. The lime adds that little extra spark too… If sliced avocado would be a tasty addition? You just read my mind.

Serves 4

Baked polenta
1 cup organic polenta
3 1/5 cup pure water or light vegetable stock
1/2 tsp salt

1. Bring water to a boil in a large saucepan, reduce to a simmer and add polenta and salt while whisking to prevent clumping.
2. Let the polenta simmer for about 35 minutes (read the instructions on your box of polenta), stir occasionally.
3. When cooked, spread eavenly onto a baking tray by using a spoon dipped in cold water to prevent from sticking and let cool while preparing the salad.
4. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius / 392 degrees Fahrenheit and bake the polenta for 15 minutes or until a bit golden.

Chimichurri bean salad
1 1/5 cup – a mix of finely chopped Parsley, Basil and Cilantro
2 fresh red chillies, finely chopped (1 if they are really hot)
1 small red onion, finely diced
1 glove of garlic, finely minced
1/4 tsp chipotle chili powder
0.5 cup quality oilve oil
1 lime,  juice
1 1/2 cup cooked black beans
2 large handfuls of mixed baby leafy greens

1. Add olive oil and lime juice to a mid sized bowl.
2. Add the rest of the ingredients to the bowl and stir until well combined.

To Assemble
Cut the baked polenta in 4 pieces, add the chimichurri salad along with some extra lime wedges and maybe slices of avocado. Fabian also wishes to add that a little grated parmesan on top of the polenta while baking is dangerously delicious.

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It is a good life and even if it’s a multitasking one, we have all the space we need. Feel the truth and trust of simply knowing that.

…and hey! Tell me your fave way of preparing the superpower polenta in the comments below! Or add your thoughts to the corn discussion.

 

 

Now I’m thinking a fresh green pile of nettles and leek on top of a creamy golden serving. Ah, getting hungry again. Life tastes so good!

Oceans of sunshine
°°Elenore°°

 

 

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18 Comments

  1. Rebecca Jane
    6 april, 2013

    Oh i LOVE Polenta, i’ve gotten quite obsessed recently. I use it to coat my falafel, my roasted roots, as a replacement for pasta sheets in my vegan lasagnes…etc, etc,

    Thank you so much for your precious knowledge, now i’m even happier indulging in our golden friend. Enjoy Spring and all the activity it encourages.

    Much love to you
    xxxx

    Reply
    • ElenoreEarth
      12 april, 2013

      Hi! Wow, I have to say that polenta covered falafels sounds outstanding! Gorgeous ideas!

      Thanks you for visiting this earthsprouty world <3

      Reply
  2. Anna
    6 april, 2013

    Oh I LOVE polenta, too! For me, it’s a childhood memory. My mother used to make Polenta (although with a lot of cheese for creamyness and tase) and topped with some mushrooms she fried with onions and italian herbs. Perfect autumn recipe :) So I am really curious about your recipe (how funny is that name?!)

    Glad to hear you seem to be happy in your new house, despite its lack of a surrounding forrest ;)

    Love and sunshine!

    Anna

    Reply
    • ElenoreEarth
      12 april, 2013

      Oh dear.. Polenta and freah mushrooms <3 Gosh that sounds almost too delish!

      Have a beautiful weekend!

      Reply
  3. Kristin from mamacino
    7 april, 2013

    My children love polenta chips, which is really just baked polenta brushed with a little olive oil and grilled for a few minutes, dipped in home made tomato sauce. Ok, maybe I love it too!

    Reply
    • ElenoreEarth
      12 april, 2013

      Haha, I bet you do and I bet I would too if I would be around your house to try them;)

      Reply
  4. Giulia
    7 april, 2013

    I’m eating this right now and it’s soooo delicious (!!) even though I didn’t have any chipotle chili powder (i used a tiny bit of smoked paprika powder instead) and I didn’t have any basil and cilantro right now, so instead I just used more parsley.. still, lovely lunch for today!

    Reply
    • ElenoreEarth
      12 april, 2013

      The smoked paprika worked it’s magic I’m sure.. Glad you liked it! You ought to cosider trying it w cilantro and basil – it’s really outstanding!

      Love

      Reply
  5. Thess
    7 april, 2013

    Wow, what a transition! It sounds like you are going through some pretty exciting changes, I am sure your home will be filled with love and lots of new memories. I totally agree with the view of ”voting with the wallet”. It is something not many people actually think of, and a lot of people I talk to reject the idea at first. Many are blinded by how normal it is to eat meat and other products that are making Mother Earth miserable, and don´t really think about the greater consequences. Great post!

    Reply
    • ElenoreEarth
      12 april, 2013

      –and great thoughts Tess, thank you for sharing! I totally agree with you and also thank you for being brave and putting the information out into the world!

      Reply
  6. dalina
    9 april, 2013

    OH, I grew up on eating polenta (prepared in all possible ways), all kind of beans and homemade sauerkraut – in winter. Thank you for reminding me to make polenta more often.
    Love and hugs from the mountains

    Reply
  7. Amy Jo - Pure and Simple
    11 april, 2013

    A perfectly delicious and satisfying meal. The cilantro is so refreshing…I’ve been craving it here in Texas with all the heat.

    Reply
  8. Filippa
    15 april, 2013

    Sounds DELICIOUS! What brand polenta do you use? I have found organic polenta (Saltå kvarn) but I think it’s instant cause it cooks in just 5 minutes.. Any suggestions where I can find the real deal? xxx

    Reply
    • ElenoreEarth
      16 april, 2013

      Hi Filippa!

      Yes, unfortunately Saltå kvarns polenta is instant. I bought mine in a small healthfood store somewhere and I just cannot seem to find which brand it was.
      I’ll keep searching but let me know if you find anything great!

      Reply
  9. gwen soto
    16 april, 2013

    I have nettles galore on my property, and really don’t prepare them often enough… do you have any special tips to pass along to me?

    Love your website!

    Reply
  10. Maaike
    20 november, 2013

    My comment is a little late but after reading this post but I couldn’t resist sharing my tip for polenta. After cooking the polenta I add a handfull cooked corn kernels. This give a different texture to the polenta. When you eat it you have little pops in your mouth! Delicious!

    Reply
    • ElenoreEarth
      24 november, 2013

      Oh wow! What a great idea! I’ll try that next time for sure!

      Reply

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