Friday, July 9, 2010

thursday - polenta scramble and black beans

In general, I'm not a fan of fake meats--tofurkey, soy-based lunch meats, weird chickenless nuggets, etc. They usually have a strange texture, stranger taste, and are overly processed (soy-based foods that in no way resemble a soy bean). The one exception is soy chorizo, often labeled soyrizo. My husband doesn't eat any ground meats and chorizo is usually too greasy for me, but the vegetarian version is very flavorful, has a good texture, and is much lower in saturated fat than the real thing (In fact, most versions have no saturated fat at all. They are still high in sodium, though.). I modified this recipe from Bon Appétit to be healthier and faster, and it's now one of my husband's favorites. It makes a ton, but can be easily halved--any unused soyrizo can be kept in the freezer.

I also made a polenta scramble, based on this recipe from Again, this is one of my husband's favorites. I love shelf-stable polenta (sold in tubes)--it's so convenient and it's a whole grain food that's gluten-free (and yes, I've made polenta from scratch--pre-made tubes are still tasty and so much easier). Any leftovers are delicious for breakfast topped with a poached egg. As a bonus, the whole meal is easy to transport. We loaded everything up and took it to my aunt's house for dinner, including the leftover grilled slaw from Wednesday night.

Spicy Black Beans with Soyrizo

1 12-ounce package meatless soy chorizo (often labeled “Soyrizo”)
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, plus additional for garnish
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons minced jalapeño
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
2 15-ounce cans black beans, rinsed and drained
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream (or nonfat plain Greek yogurt)
1 1/2 teaspoons chipotle-flavored hot pepper sauce
1 teaspoon lime juice

Coat a large deep skillet with nonstick cooking spray. Remove soyrizo from casing and add to skillet over medium heat. Cook until brown, breaking up with back of spoon, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer soyrizo to a small bowl. Using the same skillet, heat oil, then add onion. Cook until soft and golden brown, about 10 minutes. Add cilantro, garlic, jalapeño, and cumin, stirring for 1 minute. Add beans, water, and soyrizo to onion mixture. Stir to distribute evenly. Simmer over medium-low heat until heated through and flavors are blended, 3 to 4 minutes.

Whisk the sour cream (or yogurt), chipotle hot sauce, and lime juice in a small bowl to blend. Transfer beans to a large bowl. Garnish with chipotle-sour cream mixture and additional chopped cilantro.

Mexican Polenta Scramble

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 4-ounce can diced green chiles, drained
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 16-ounce tube prepared plain polenta, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
4 scallions, trimmed and sliced
1 cup shredded reduced-fat Mexican cheese blend
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 avocado, diced
2 tablespoons pepitas (hulled pumpkin seeds)

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add green chiles, tomatoes, and cumin, stirring until the tomatoes start to break down, 2 to 3 minutes. Add polenta cubes to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until heated through, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in scallions, cheese, cilantro, and lime juice. Serve topped with diced avocado and toasted pepitas.

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