All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2016
To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.
What you see pictured here are actually grits. Grits are the same as polenta but more coarsely ground. And – if you are interested, yellow grits have fewer calories than white. I used Red Mill grits (seen below in a photo I took from Google).
They cooked up nice & creamy in less than ten minutes. The polenta I used for my Vegan Creamy Polenta Bowl with Roasted Beets, Toasted Walnuts, Thyme & Balsamic Glaze – seen above – took longer but I cooked that in a slow cooker, so you could argue it was easier.
I really like grits (polenta) in pretty much any form (the soupier cream of wheat style being my favorite) and leftovers bake up will into delicious & guiltless fries (below).
But – polenta can be served soft & creamy or in harder patties & it can be topped with just about anything. If you eat seafood – Shrimp & Grits are pretty amazing. But this dish here is very simple & straight-forward & delicious. It comes together in the time it takes to cook your grits – and that depends on what brand you buy.
Vegan Seared Garlic-Balsamic Mushrooms with Fresh Thyme & Creamy Polenta (Grits)
Polenta for 2 (this amount is your call- based on your appetite but know packaging usually defines a serving as smaller than is realistic – so err on the side of making too much & make baked fries out of the leftovers)
Mushrooms – I’d go with 8oz per person because mushrooms really shrink – sliced
1 or more garlic cloves (depending entirely on your taste for garlic) – minced
1-2 TBS fresh thyme removed from stems
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
Fresh parsley – chopped
NOTE: If you want more flavorful grits – use vegetable stock rather than water when you make them.
Cook the grits/polenta according to instructions. If it gets too thick – just add more water.
Meanwhile – heat 2 TBS olive oil in a pan over high heat & add the mushrooms. Leave them in a pan a few minutes at a time without stirring to sear them. When they are tender & browning, add the garlic & thyme. Cook for 1-2 minutes (do not burn the garlic or it gets bitter) then add the balsamic. It will cook off fast. Add S&P.
Serve over polenta. Garnish with parsley.