Polenta with Black Beans and Spinach
Prepared polenta provides an easy way to add variety to the dinner repertoire. I often use it sliced and sautéed as a side dish, but occasionally, it will become an intrinsic part of a recipe, as it is here, topped with a simple combination of black beans and spinach. Look for this kind of polenta in natural foods stores, as well as in supermarket Italian or gluten-free foods sections. This is also nice as a change-of-pace hot appetizer. Adapted from Vegan Express by Nava Atlas. Photos by Rachael Braun.
Serves: 4 to 6 as an entrée; more as an appetizer.
- Two 18-ounce tubes polenta
- Olive oil cooking spray
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced
- Two 15- to 16-ounce cans black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 roasted red bell pepper (from a jar), drained and cut into strips
- 1 to 2 teaspoon ground cumin, to taste
- 5 to 6 ounces fresh baby spinach
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Cut the puckered ends off each tube of polenta, then cut into 12 slices, each about 1/2 inch thick. Heat a wide nonstick griddle that has been generously sprayed with olive oil cooking spray. Arrange the polenta slices on the griddle. Cook both sides over medium-high heat until golden and crisp, about 8 minutes per side.
Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a wide skillet or steep-sided stir-fry pan. Add the garlic and sauté over low heat for a minute or so, until turning golden.
Add the beans, roasted pepper, and cumin. Stir together and cook over medium heat until well heated through.
Add the spinach, cover, and cook just until it wilts, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir the mixture together, season with pepper, and remove from the heat.
To serve, arrange 3 or 4 polenta slices on each plate and spoon the bean mixture evenly over each serving.
Per Serving: 312.7 calories; 2.6g fat; 743.3mg sodium; 209.5mg potassium; 47.9 carbs; 24.4g fiber; 0.6g sugar; 24.8g protein