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Thursday, May 24, 2012

Polenta Casserole With Seitan

Polenta Casserole With Seitan
Vegan; Serves 6

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This dish is elegant, delicious, and satisfying–great for brunch. Because it incorporates a grain, vegetables, and seitan, it’s a complete meal. A nice side of greens would make it absolutely perfect.

1 1/2 cups polenta or cornmeal or 1 cup millet
1 medium-size head cauliflower cut in large pieces
1 cup peas, fresh or frozen and thawed
2 pinches fine sea salt
1 (8-ounce) package seitan, sliced
Kernels from 2 ears corn or 1 cup thawed frozen kernels (organic)
6 asparagus spears, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 1/2 teaspoons roasted sesame tahini
1/3cup soy milk
1 1/2 tablespoons shoyu plus more for sprinkling on top
2 teaspoons umeboshi vinegar
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
Fresh basil leaves for garnish

1. Place the polenta or millet in a large pot. Add the cauliflower, peas (if using fresh), salt, and 5 cups water (add just 3 cups if using the millet). Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, cover, and simmer the polenta for 30 minutes (cook for 25 minutes if using the millet). Polenta must be stirred frequently as it cooks to prevent it from sticking or becoming lumpy, but you don’t need to stir millet.

2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly oil an 8×8 casserole dish.

3. While the cauliflower mixture cooks, arrange the sliced seitan in the casserole dish. Layer the corn kernels on top, and then add the asparagus.

4. Remove the polenta mixture from the heat. Add the tahini, soy milk, shoyu, and umeboshi vinegar, and mash with a potato masher or fork until the mixture resembles mashed potatoes. Add the chopped parsley and peas (if using frozen) and mix well.

5. Spoon the mashed mixture into the casserole dish over the vegetables, and smooth the top. Poke a few small holes in the surface, and sprinkle with a little extra shoyu (this makes the top crispy).

6. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes. Let the casserole cool for 15 minutes before cutting into squares. Garnish with the basil, and serve.

From The Kind Diet by Alicia Silverstone

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