Thursday, May 30, 2013

Polenta with Black Beans and Mango Salsa

From:  The Starch Solution
By: John McDougall, MD

I'll admit...I was a little afraid of polenta.  I had never made it before and was worried that my family wouldn't like it.  Well, no need to worry....this meal is fabulous!!  I will be making this again very soon.  My kids liked it as well.  Polenta reminds me of corn bread.  In my picture, the polenta cakes are underneath the bean and mango salsa mixture.  I bought my polenta at Trader Joe's.  It was inexpensive and organic (which I always prefer).  I made my mango salsa, but if time is of an issue, Trader joe's sells a great mango salsa.  I will also double the amount of polenta I make next time.  We are a family of five with 3 teenagers.  The recipe made enough of the bean/mango mixture.  Enjoy!

1 package (24 ounces) cooked polenta, cut into 1/2 thick slices (It is sold in a tube)
1/2 cup vegetable broth
1 onion, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
1 orange or yellow pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cans (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (15 ounces) crushed tomatoes
1 can (4 ounces) green chiles
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
Dash or two of Tabasco (I used many dashes!)
Fresh ground pepper to taste
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 cups mango salsa (recipe below) or store bought mango salsa

Preheat oven to 375.  Place the polenta slices on a nonstick baking sheet and bake 15 minutes. My polenta stuck so I would recommend spraying the baking sheet first.  Also, I flipped my polenta over after 15 minutes and baked another 5 minutes.

While the polenta bakes, put the broth, onion, bell peppers, and garlic in a large saucepan.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables soften, about 5 minutes.  Add the black beans, tomatoes, chiles, chili powder, cumin, hot sauce, and black pepper to taste.  Cook 10 minutes.  Taste and add more hot sauce if you wish.  Stir in the cilantro and remove the saucepan from the heat.

To serve...arrange a few slices of polenta and top with bean mixture.  Top with the mango salsa.

Mango Salsa:
2 cups peeled and chopped ripe mango (I buy the frozen mango chunks at Trader Joe's and let them thaw....much easier!)
1/2 cup chopped onion, fine chopped
1/2 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
1 fresh jalapeƱo pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
fresh ground black pepper

Put above ingredients in a bowl.  Add 1 tbsp of warm tap water and stir to combine.  Add more salt/pepper to taste.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to a week.

Not-Tuna Spread

From:  The Starch Solution
By: John McDougall, MD

Ok...I'm so bummed that I forgot to take a picture of this!!  It is DELICIOUS!  Don't let the name scare you.  I will post a picture when I make it again in several days.  This is so good that my teen daughter requested I make it again.  I tripled the batch and ate it for lunch all week.  I topped it with avocado slices to add extra protein and it was great.  It tastes delicious inside a whole wheat pita.  Also, I added more than the 1/4 cup of tofu mayo.  Just put enough in for your liking.  Enjoy!


1/4 cup Tofu mayonnaise
     *1 package (12.3 ounces) silken tofu, drained in a fine mesh strainer
     * 1 1/2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
     *1 tsp granulated sugar
     *1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp mustard powder, 1/8 tsp white pepper
     *Combine all of the above in a food processor and process until mixture is completely smooth.
       Transfer to an airtight container, cover, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to a week

1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1/4 cup finely chopped celery
1/4 cup finely chopped scallions
1 tbsp lemon juice

Place chickpeas in a food processor and process until COARSELY chopped, or mash with a bean masher.  You do NOT want this smooth so go easy on processing.  Place in a bowl, add the remaining ingredients, and mix well.  Chill for at least 1 hour or up to 4 days.