If you’ve never had polenta, don’t worry. I lived nearly 25 years of my life without ever tasting a spoonful of this delicious side dish. Maybe it was the texture or the fact I only ate Little Debbie’s as a kid, I grew up in a world where this dish didn’t exist. Now, as I further my culinary expertise and expand my palate, I decided to brave the unknown and whip up a vegan version of spicy polenta, with the addition of one very peculiar key ingredient.
No, that isn’t regular sausage friends. It’s Tofurky! Tofurky is a completely vegan sausage made entirely of tofu and spices! While on a black out Whole Foods shopping trip, I picked it up with no idea how I was going to use it. Then, as I scoured my pantry and refrigerator for something to make for dinner, it called out to me along with the two boxes of gluten-free corn muffin mix I had, leftover canned pumpkin, a basket of apples and a batch of sassy jalapeños. After a few minutes, I had a eureka moment. I’ll make a spicy polenta! The result was an incredibly moist, succulent and flavorful meal with the perfect kick. Plus, it’s completely dairy free, so your friends and family members with dietary restrictions can enjoy this as well! The addition of the pumpkin and apples make this an ideal dinner for a chilly autumn night. I’m now on team Polenta (and Tofurky) and I don’t think I’m ever going back.
Spicy fall polenta (Vegan)
Yield: Eight 1 cup servings
- 3 links Tofurky Italian sausage (you can also sub in real sausage)
- 2 jalapeños, minced (with seeds)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 12 Gluten-free corn muffins, prepared [I just used box mix]
- 1 (15 ounce) can canned pumpkin
- 1 (14 ounce) can vegetable broth
- 1 cup freshly chopped apples
- 1/4 teaspoon sage (dried or fresh)
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced?
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Prepare corn muffins as instructed by box (or make fresh). Once cooled, place muffins in a bowl and crumble them with a spoon or your fingers.
- In a large skillet (or wok), heat olive oil. Add onions, jalapeños and garlic and cook until just softened. Add sliced up Tofurky and cook until sausage is browned. Put temperature down to low.
- Add corn muffins, apples and broth to sausage mixture. Once mixed in, fold in pumpkin. Add salt, pepper and sage, heat for an additional five to 10 minutes or until mixture is warm and fully combined.
- Serve with garnish of fresh apples and sage. Enjoy!