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Polenta with Lentils and Veggies

What you need: 

3/4 to 1 cup dried lentils
4 large cloves garlic, chopped
3/4 large onion, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
10'ish mushrooms, chopped small pieces
1 red pepper, chopped small pieces
chickpeas (1/2 can'ish)
oil
3 cups veggie stock or flavor cube
Italian seasoning

What you do: 

This is a great tasting recipe I made up while we are moving house to get rid of some odds and ends. So the amounts are really just the amount of each food I had in my cabinets. I used the kind of polenta you buy in a tube and not the meal in a box.
Heat oil in large soup pot. Add garlic and onion. Cook 3-4 minutes.
Add lentils. **Be careful not to burn off all your oil** After about 3 minutes with lentils in pot, add stock OR water for stock cube. (You could put the flavor cube in earlier and season with that, or add it after the water is hot enough to dissolve it.)
Cook this mixture for about 10 minutes, then add carrots. After another 3'ish add mushrooms and pepper. Cook another 2, add chickpeas. Use the italian seasonings to your own likings. I just gave a generous few shakes. (You can add these ingredients closer together, that really has more to do with how soft or crunchy you still want your veggies/beans.)
Simmer this down UNCOVERED. The point here is to reduce the stock to more of a sauce. I just cooked it down and kept stirring every once and a while. Keep some liquid in there so there's some juice to pour over the polenta. Cook until all veggies and lentils are tender.
While it's cooking down, and with about 7-10 minutes left, start heating your oil in a frying pan to pan fry the polenta cakes about 4-5'ish minutes each side.
Serve polenta cakes on a plate and pour the veggie mixture over the top.

Preparation Time: 
Cooking Time: 
Servings: 
6-8
Recipe Category: 

SO HOW'D IT GO?

I've just decided to become a "mostly" vegetarian in the last two months and have been experimenting with different recipes trying to find something I like. This was delicious! I could not believe just how wonderful this was.

I sprinkled some garlic salt and pepper on my polenta before I fried it & it added just a hint of wonderfulness. :-) I also sprinkled the top with mozarella and added a dollop of sour cream. So yummy! I will definitely make this again (and soon), but next time I think I will try Great Northern Beans instead of Chickpeas as they're just a little creamier and take on the flavor profiles of whatever they're cooked with.

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This is definitely going to become a staple in my house! The flavors were really meld-y and savory, and the polenta worked like a hearty piece of bread with a great sauce-y lentil smorgasbord on top!

Alterations: sprinkled garlic salt on the polenta before serving (so it was like garlic toast), and I was out of mushrooms, so I used a summer squash.

Comments: the serving size is right. I halved the recipe and it fed four. I also made my own polenta, rolled it into a tube in wax paper, and put it in the fridge while doing the sauce. When I went to pan fry, they initially just soaked up all the oil and got warm, but really oily. With the second batch, I used less oil and kept the heat on high and sliced the polenta a little thinner (about 3/4". Then I still needed to pat each one off on a paper towel, but the crispy texture was worth it - matched the al dente lentils - thanks!

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What is polenta?

It's bolied cornmeal and  really yummy and versatile.

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What is polenta?

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ok ok- i was moving and tired and forgot to add a fairly major ingredient!  ;D
The polenta comes in a tube- slice into rounds and pan fry it. It takes about 5 minutes or so each side.  It adds a base to the meal - a tasty filler.

Enjoy. And thanks for keeping me on my toes!!

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There's no polenta in the list of ingredients??  ::)

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