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Recipe: Polenta, Sweet Potatoes, Mushrooms, Caramelized Shallots, And Basil Tofu Ricotta In A Balsamic Cream Sauce

Posted Mar 13 2013 6:00am

tofu ricotta

I am on a polenta kick right now.  It serves as a fabulous alternative to pasta or bread in various dishes.  It’s so versatile – it can be used with Mexican, Italian, and even Mediteranean seasoning.  There are a lot of components to this dish but the end result is completely worthwhile.  This is something I often make when I make dinner for our vegan friends.  For this recipe I used ready made polenta (Trader Joe’s has a fabulous gluten-free organic ready made polenta).

IMG_1646

Note:   As a cheeseaholic , here is my take on non dairy cheese alternatives.  Alone, they sort of suck and are nowhere near the real deal.  But in small quantities in dishes with lots of flavors and herbs, they can be delicious.  I tend to stay away from the processed fake cheese and cream cheeses (they often have some not so great ingredients) and make some creamy nut and tofu based “cheeses” myself.  The tofu ricotta texture is bang on – the flavor is not quite cheesy which is masked by the basil and garlic.  A small amount in this dish satisfies my cheese craving.

Ingredients
tofu ricotta:

2 tablespoons raw sunflower seeds
1/4 cup soaked cashews that have been soaked overnight
1 package firm tofu
15 large basil leaves
juice 1.2 lemon
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

sweet potatoes:
2 large or 4 small sweet potatoes,cut into 1/2 inch slices
salt & pepper
extra virgin olive oil

balsamic cream sauce:
4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
3/4 cup cashews that have been soaked overnight
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 cup water plus more if needed
1 clove garlic, grated
salt & pepper to taste

mushrooms:
1 shallot, sliced
32 ounces cremini mushrooms, sliced
1 clove garlic, grated
salt & pepper to taste

polenta:
1 roll pre-made polenta cut into into 1/2 inch slices
salt & pepper to taste
extra virgin olive oil

tofu ricotta:
2 tablespoons raw sunflower seeds
1/4 cup soaked cashews that have been soaked overnight
1 package firm tofu
15 large basil leaves
juice 1.2 lemon
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

garnish:
4 basil leaves cut into strips
2 tablespoons chopped chives

Directions tofu ricotta add the tofu, sunflower seeds, cashews, basil, lemon juice, yeast, olive oil, salt, and pepper to a food processor and pulse until the mixture is thoroughly combined and has a ricotta like consistency.

tofu ricotta

sweet potatoes preheat the oven to 425º.  Place the potato slices on a baking sheet, sprinkle with salt & pepper and drizzle with olive oil.  Bake for 15-20 minutes turning the potatoes over halfway through.

baked sweet potatoes

balsamic cream sauce:
Add the balsamic vinegar, cashews, lemon juice, garlic, salt, pepper and water in the food processor.  Process until the mixture is very smooth (at least 5 minutes), adding water if needed to create a salad dressing like consistency

mushrooms:
Heat up a nonstick skillet with olive oil.  Add the shallot and cook for a few minutes until translucent.  Add the mushrooms and garlic and season with salt & pepper.  Cook for 5-10 minutes until the mushrooms are cooked through.

polenta:
In a nonstick skillet with some olive oil (I used the same one I used to cook the mushrooms). sear each side of the polenta slices until golden.

Time for assembly!  In a bowl, layer the mushrooms, 2 slices of polenta and a few slices of sweet potatoes.  Add a few crumbles of ricotta and top with the balsamic sauce.  Garnish with basil & chives and serve immediately.

tofu ricotta

 

Alternatively, you can make smaller appetizer versions of this bowl by stacking the ingredients:

polenta & sweet potatoes

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