There are several non-vegan versions of fried polenta available. In creating my version, I carefully chose alternatives that bring out the very best possible flavor and allow this recipe to shine as one ridiculously amazing bit of culinary perfection.
My vegan version uses coconut oil, vegan butter as well as nutritional yeast as a topping. Many traditional versions of this recipe use parmesan cheese as topping instead. I believe that nutritional yeast is not merely a substitute, but an improvement on the traditional version.
It has a savory, buttery, creamy flavor that is simply addicting. Not only is it utterly delicious, but great for you as well.
Nutritional Yeast– is a complete protein containing 18 amino acids, including the 9 that your body itself cannot create. Use it to help reduce cholesterol levels, and boost immunity. Excellent source of B vitamins as well. Especially import because it contains B12, which usually found in animals products, and so especially important for vegans.
Cayenne Pepper– Is great to use if you have a cold, as it helps to remove congestion. It helps reduce the intense pain associated with migraine headaches. It also contains anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties, and helps to detoxify the body.
Polenta– is made from cornmeal, so it’s excellent for those of us who either choose not to or can’t consume gluten. It also contains dietary fiber that helps our bodies function normally, and protein which helps to maintain the proper running order of our bodies. It helps the muscles and bones to function properly, helps the blood clot and to keep our immune systems in well-functioning.
Basil Pepper Polenta Fries
- 6 cups Water
- 2 cups Instant Polenta
- 2 teaspoons Vegan butter
- 1/2 teaspoon Finely Shredded Basil
- 1 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
- 1 teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper
- 1 teaspoon Nutritional Yeast
- to taste Salt
- to taste Ground Pepper
- 1-2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon Coconut Oil
- 1 cup Marinara Sauce
1. Pour water into a saucepan and add the polenta while constantly stirring. Cook the polenta over a medium heat, whisking constantly, for 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat, add 2 teaspoons of vegan butter, ½ teaspoon of finely shredded basil, ½ teaspoon of crushed red pepper, and ½ teaspoon of cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper to taste. Mix well.
2. Spread out the polenta on a baking sheet lightly greased with coconut oil, approximately 1 teaspoon. The ideal measurement for the spread out polenta is about ¾” to 1” inch thick. Allow it to cool at room temperature. Wait at least an hour, making sure the polenta is completely cooled before proceeding. Cut polenta into 1” X 3” strips, using a sharp kitchen knife.
3. Place a frying pan over a medium heat, grease with the tablespoon of coconut oil, and place polenta strips into pan. Watch the polenta vigilantly and turn over as needed. If it starts to stick at all, add another tablespoon of oil.
4. After the polenta turns a golden brown remove from heat. Top with one teaspoon of
nutritional yeast, ½ teaspoon of cayenne pepper, and ½ teaspoon of crushed red pepper. Adding the toppings adds a splash of color and additional flavor to the polenta strips.
5. Serve with a cup of your favorite marinara sauce for dipping. Happy snacking 🙂
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