Polenta Bake with Beans and Kale

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I love polenta. I like it in mush form, when you just make it and its all warm and not shapely. I like it once baked and molded, like in the photo above. Its a perfect vessel for nearly any ingredient since its rather flavorless on its own. This recipe includes beans, mushrooms, and kale. It requires cooking polenta (from cornmeal), cooking some kale with onions, garlic, and mushrooms, and then combining them into a baking dish to pop in the oven. Its good when eaten out of the oven and warm, but today I ate it cold for lunch and it was just as tasty.

Ingredients:

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic (or more!), minced
  • 1 bunch kale, chopped or torn into bite sized pieces. I used purple kale.
  • dehydrated mushroom, soaked in water, then chopped. save the water! I used about 1/2 oz
  • 1 can of beans (black)
  • 1 cup of polenta (cornmeal)
  • 1 cube of veggie buoillon
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast, plus more for sprinkling

Method:

  • In a skillet (I used my cast iron), brown some garlic. Add the onion and saute until translucent. 
  • Once the onions are done (you can also brown them if you wish, but I was to impatient) add the kale and cook until its wilted down to about half its size, if not a little more. Also add your re-hydrated mushrooms at some point, once the kale is close to being finished. Add salt to taste. Set these veggies aside
  • In a separate pot cook the polenta. 1 cup of polenta needs about 5 cups of water. I used my mushroom liquid+water+veggie bouillon to cook my polenta. Click here for your basic polenta how to, butter being optional
  • Around the 15 minute mark, add the beans and nutritional yeast and cook for 5 more minutes. Add more water if it gets very thick, since nutritional yeast has a tendency to thicken it. Add salt to taste.
  • Once your bean/polenta is done, pour a little less than half into a lightly greased 9×9 inch ovenproof dish. A little bigger or smaller is OK too.
  • Add the kale concoction to the other half and mix it well
  • Pour the kale/polenta on top of the bean/polenta in the dish, and flatten it with the back of a spoon. You can also press it down slightly into the bean/polenta. Sprinkle some nutritional yeast on top.
  • Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes at 350 degrees. Let cool slightly and solidify before slicing and serving.

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