Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Vegan MoFo Day 14 - Polenta and Stuff with Cornbread on Top
So here's something I made up a while back. I know the price of quinoa has shot up in recent months, so maybe it's not the most economical thing to make these days, but what the hell, it's VeganMoFo.
Also, you can totally make this without the quinoa and it's almost just as good (I've done it both ways).
Polenta and Stuff with Cornbread on Top
1 log of polenta
1 package firm tofu, drained and squeezed (no need to press, but do so if you want)
2 cups cooked quinoa (I like the red kind better, but regular works too)
2-4 cloves garlic pressed or diced fine
15 oz. can of diced tomatoes, drained not rinsed
15 oz. can (or two) of chili beans
15 oz. can of corn
1/2 a block of your favorite vegan cheddar cheese, shredded
1/4 cup of taco sauce
1/4 cup green enchilada sauce
1/4 cup vegan sour cream
1 tablespoon of cumin
1 tablespoon of chili powder
1 tablespoon of nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon of salt
whatever ingredients you need to make your favorite corn bread
NOTE: As long as you have the tofu, polenta, garlic, tomatoes, beans of some sort, cumin and chili powder, you're good. The rest is just gravy. Sweet, sweet gravy.
And by all means, throw in extra spice or leave some out. You may scoff at a mere tablespoon of nutritional yeast and want to put in a full cup. Well more power to you, I say. I'll probably do the same thing next time I make it.
Or you might want to throw in cyanne powder. Rock on.
Maybe some diced peppers?
You get the drift. Now on to the part where I tell you how to make it.
Preheat oven to 425 (or whatever the cornbread recipe you use says to bake the cornbread at).
Take the log of polenta (the kind you can find at your co-op) - slice it in really thin rounds and lay on bottom of lightly greased caserole dish - overlap the rounds so you can't see the bottom of the dish. 1/4 to 1/3 of the log may be left over. That's fine and actually preferable.
You may want to slice the polenta along the length instead. That's fine. Whatever floats your boat.
Now that the casserole dish has a layer of polenta lining the bottom put it in the oven while you get everything else ready (the oven may not be done preheating and that's fine).
Mash remaining polenta in a large bowl. Add tofu and mash. Trow everything else into the bowl including the spices and mix it all up.
Remove casserole dish from oven and spoon the tofu-tomato-bean-etc. mix over the polenta. Distribute it evenly, but leave some texture on the top (don't flatten it out completely, otherwise the cornbread that you're going to put on top won't grab it like it should).
Put it back in the oven while you get your cornbread batter ready. It should be in the oven for about 15 minutes, so if you can whip up cornbread batter in 5 minutes you may want to take a breather. Go check your email or something.
Mix together your cornbread batter. If you're using a recipe that makes an 8x8 dish of cornbread I'd suggest doubling it. I use the cornbread recipe from Vegan Family Favorites, in case you're wondering. I add a bit more soy milk to the mix so it spreads better.
Remove casserole dish from the oven yet again (I promise, the next time you do this you'll be done). Spread out the cornbread batter evenly on top of the tofu, beans, etc. and make sure it covers it fully. Sprinkle chili powder over the batter and maybe throw some freshly ground pepper on there too.
You may have some batter left over. Throw it in a dish and put it in the oven along with the casserole dish. You can never have too much cornbread.
So then just bake until the cornbread is done.
Cut it into squares and enjoy. Tastes great on a cold day.