Polenta with Beans and Greens

A comforting dish that comes together in 30 minutes. This recipe is full of flavor and really packs a punch. The creamy polenta pairs perfectly with the soft beans and gets a nice serving of nutrients from the greens.

If you have never made polenta before it is essentially just cornmeal. It can be served warm or cold. Polenta can be enjoyed so many ways in a more soft version like how are we making in this recipe or it can be prepared like fries or grilled. There are two types of polenta you can buy. One type comes in a tube but the kind you need for this recipe is just the cornmeal in a bag. So just be sure to buy the right version, most food stores do usually carry polenta or you can buy it online.

Beans and greens are open to interpretation here. Feel free to use any beans and greens you like. Whenever I think of B&G the first thought into my head is always my moms escarole and beans which is so good but I wanted something a little easier and different here. So I went with these adorable mini white beans, they are tender and delicious. But you can of course use any white bean you like, I think chickpeas would be great here too. For the greens I went with a blend of baby spinach and baby kale but again you can use spinach, collard greens, escarole or kale.

I decided to incorporate coconut milk in this, which I know may seem a little strange but it just made everything super creamy and delicious. I always go for the lite coconut milk, just out of preference but you can use full fat if you prefer. Paired with some lemon and a bit of Trader Joe’s chili onion crunch this is so good. If you don’t have Trader Joe’s near you, you can just add red pepper flakes and a bit of dried onion. So get ready to make a quick and delicious meal.

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INGREDIENTS

Creamy Polenta
1/2 cup (70g) polenta
1 1/2 cups (360ml) water
1/2 cup (120ml) light coconut milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Beans and Greens
2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup (240ml) light coconut milk
1 cup (244g) white beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups baby kale and baby spinach blend (3 ounces [85g])
1/2 lemon, juiced
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon Trader Joe’s chili onion crunch
*or 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes and 1/2 teaspoon dried onion

METHOD

  1. In a medium saucepan combine all ingredients for the polenta. Bring it to the stove and bring to a boil over medium high heat for 5 minutes, whisking continuously. Once it boils drop heat to low, cover with a lid and simmer for 20 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a medium nonstick frypan pour the coconut milk in and add the garlic. Cook for 1 minute over medium heat.
  3. Then add the beans, greens, lemon juice, and seasonings. Cook over medium heat stirring occasionally until greens are wilted and some of the liquid has been absorbed. Add salt and pepper according to your preference. There should be some liquid in the pan but it will be thick.
  4. Once it is done spread the polenta over a plate or in a bowl. Top with the beans and greens. Garnish with lemon and extra Trader Joe’s chili onion crunch or more red pepper flakes.
    Serves 2

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