I’m so excited to be taking part in Robin Asbell’s Virtual Breakfast Potluck. The potluck is to celebrate the release of Robin’s new cookbook, which is a gorgeous collection of healthy vegan dessert recipes. If you’ve been looking for dessert recipes that rely on whole grains and natural sweeteners, this is your cookbook. The book is also filled with beautiful photographs by Joseph De Leo.
There are so many recipes that have caught my eye, like Cocoa-Almond Granola Bars, Espresso and Nut Butter Chunks, Cherry Almond Snackers, Coconut Mango Breakfast Cookies, Raspberry Tart with Cashew Pastry Cream, Peanut Butter and Jelly Banana Bread, Spiced Sweet Potato Bake with Coconut Crumble Topping, Cashew Blondies, Carrot Orange Cake with Marmalade Glaze and Mini Fruitcakes with Rum Glaze. There is also a nice handful of recipes in the book that are naturally gluten-free too, or could pretty easily be made gluten-free.
My potluck dish is the Pine Nut Polenta with Cherry Sauce. I tried to photograph the finished dish, but unfortunately the winter lighting in my kitchen is terrible. I think I might need to invest in a light box or something (let me know if you have any suggestions on that front).
Robin and her publishers at Chronicle Books have generously let me share the recipe with you. It’s a fun change of pace from your ordinary breakfast fare (or at least my usual bowl of oatmeal). I love that Robin includes instructions if you don’t have amaranth and want to use all cornmeal too, which I will probably do in the future. Cornmeal is one of those staples that I buy in bulk and always have in my pantry. And, lucky for me, my freezer is stuffed full of cherries from this summer (it was one of those crazy moments where you can’t say no to 40 pounds of cherries for $10, and your husband grumbles every time he opens the freezer and is pelted with giant bags of frozen cherries. But that’s another story for another day). Fortunately I even had a small bag of amaranth that was waiting to be used.
I found that it was super easy to make and chill the polenta the night before, and then cook it up along with the sauce in the morning. The recipe came together really easily.
So for a chance to win a copy of Robin’s gorgeous new book Sweet & Easy Vegan, simply leave your name (and a way to reach you should you win!), and a comment about your favorite breakfast dish or healthy dessert. Good luck everyone!
Pine Nut Polenta with Cherry Sauce
by Robin Asbell from Sweet & Easy Vegan
Serves 4 to 6
This polenta, enhanced with your choice of ancient grains and liberally doused with sweet cherries, makes for a fun and tasty breakfast. This method, in which you prepare the polenta the day before, chill it, and then fry or bake it the next morning, results in a slab with crispy edges, essentially giving your hot cereal some texture and visual appeal!
1 cup/140 g coarse cornmeal
3 cups/720 ml water
1 cup/200 g amaranth or teff, or 1 cup/140 g additional coarse cornmeal
1 cup/240 ml vanilla nondairy milk
1/2 cup/55 g pine nuts, toasted
10 oz/280 g frozen dark cherries
1/2 cup/120 ml maple syrup
1/2 cup/120 ml apple juice
1 tbsp cornstarch
Oil a 9-by-5-in/23-by-12-cm loaf pan.
To make the polenta: Put the cornmeal in a medium saucepan, then add the water gradually while whisking continuously. Whisk in the amaranth. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then cook, whisking continuously and still over medium heat, until thick, about 5 minutes. Whisk in the nondairy milk and cook, stirring frequently, until very thick, 5 to 10 minutes. Stir in half of the pine nuts.
Scrape the polenta into the prepared pan and spread it in an even layer. Sprinkle the remaining pine nuts on the top and press to adhere. Cover tightly and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, until firm.
To make the sauce: In a small saucepan, combine the cherries and maple syrup. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Lower the heat to maintain a simmer. In a cup or small bowl, whisk the juice and cornstarch together until smooth, then stir the mixture into the cherries. Cook until shiny and thickened, about 5 minutes.
To serve, slice the polenta and either fry it in a lightly oiled, well-seasoned cast-iron skillet or bake it on an oiled baking sheet at 400 °F/200°C/gas 6 for 10 to 15 minutes, until heated through and browned. Serve topped with the warm sauce, reheating it if need be. Stored in separate airtight containers, the polenta and cherry sauce will keep for about 1 week.
See more of Robin’s virtual breakfast potluck here:
Mocha Scones with Cacao Nibs
Shaina Olmanson’s Food for my Family Blog
Jumbo Buckwheat Cakes with Strawberry Sauce
Leinana Two Moons Vegan Good Things Blog
Coconut Banana Granola
JL Fields JL Goes Vegan Blog