Spicy, Cheesy, Vegan Polenta Strips

I made a big batch of Lentil Bolognese last week and I always try and find interesting things to serve with it. Pasta, as everyone knows, is a fine food, but too much of it is definitely not a good thing. So I usually make sloppy Joes, have it on a baked potato or a serving of polenta. I wanted to take it a step further though and inspired by a recipe I saw on the TV series “River Cottage Veg”, I wanted to make some spicy, crispy, cheesy, polenta strips. The results is really nice. This will definitely be a regular dish for me.

It is actually really easy to make, just a little time consuming. So worth it though. You can use any type of dairy free cheese (or real cheese if you are a crazy) but I really recommend Daiya. Daiya cheese melts really well and tastes great in my opinion.

Serve these with a Lentil Bolognese or a Tomato Sauce and salad.

Polenta lengthways

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup polenta
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 tablespoon vegan butter
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1 red chilli, deseeded and chopped
  • a few sprigs rosemary, finely chopped
  • handful Daiya Cheddar Cheese
  • salt and pepper

Polenta other

Cook it:

  1. Bring the stock to boil in a saucepan, over a high heat
  2. Whisk in the polenta
  3. Lower the heat to low, cover and cook for 30 minutes. Stir every 5 minutes with a wooden spoon
  4. Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a frying pan over a low heat
  5. Fry the garlic for a couple of minutes. Make sure the heat is low. Add the rosemary at the end and take the pan off the heat
  6. As the 30 minutes comes to an end, add the cheese and butter to the polenta. Stir everything and turn the heat off. Cover and leave for another 5 minutes
  7. Add the rosemary, garlic and chilli and season with salt and pepper
  8. Pour everything into a low sided baking paper lined baking tray (about 20cm). Push everything down flat or use a spatula to make even
  9. Stick in the fridge to cool. This will take about 10 – 15 minutes
  10. Remove from the pan and cut into strips.
  11. Heat the most non sticking of non sticking pans on a high heat and add remaining oil. Fry for about 6-7 minutes, turning halfway. I had to use a wok here as the frying pan wasn’t non stick enough…..
  12. Serve and have mind blown

Recommended Tunes:

The Stone Roses - The Stone Roses
The Stone Roses “The Stone Roses”

The greatest debut album of all time. The band that started everything for me. Well to be precise, the band that influenced all my favourite bands and who I found later in life. But when I say they are everything. They are everything! Indie would not exist without these guys and The Smiths. Oasis would not have been inspired to form and get things back no track without them. I wouldn’t have had the haircut I have had for the past 20 years with out them! They are everything!!!

I got to see them in 2013, finally. Yeah the singing was off, yeah Fools gold sounded a bit poo, yeah they all look old, yeah the crowd definitely did but it was still one of the highlights of my life. You know why? Because they are EVERYTHING.

Listen – but do yourself a favour and buy it on vinyl!!
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