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Healthy Dinner: Vegan Polenta with Eggplant Stew

"Plenty" is a cookbook that blows me away time and time again. Chef Yotem Ottolenghi is a master of spice and flavor, who divulges his genius in cookbooks, for those of us who are too far from England to eat his food for ourselves. His cookbook "Plenty" and "Plenty More" are vegetarian recipes, proving any meal sans meat can satisfy the belly beyond expectation. Since many recipes call for dairy, I often tweak them. The following recipe is a favorite of mine. It calls for butter and feta cheese, so I substitute a vegan fat and nutritional yeast, respectively.

Healthy Dinner: Vegan Polenta with Eggplant Stew


YIELDS4 servings
PREP TIME
COOK TIME
TOTAL TIME
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  • 4 tablespoons safflower oil
  • 1 eggplant, cubed
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1-1 1/2 cups stewed tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • 3-4 cups corn
  • 2 1/2 cups vegetable stock
  • 3 tablespoons vegan butter or coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • to taste salt and pepper
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Directions

1. Over medium heat, pour half of the oil in to a deep pan. Sauté the eggplant until brown. Add the tomato paste, then the stewed tomatoes, stirring as you combine. Add the water, salt, sugar, and finish with oregano. Mix together over the heat until a hearty stew is formed. 2. In another pan, heat the rest of the oil. Sauté the corn. Place 3/4 of the corn in a high-speed blender with the stock. Blend until the corn is a fine consistency. Place the puree back in to the pan with the rest of the corn. Continue to stir over medium heat until a heavy polenta is formed. Remove from the heat, and add the butter or oil, along with the nutritional yeast and season with the salt and pepper to taste. 3. Plate the polenta, leaving an indention to our the eggplant stew on top. Enjoy taking layered bites of the two on these cold nights!
Also by Jess: Sweet and Savory Vegan Corn Pudding
Vegan Massaman Curry
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__ Photo: Jessica Riley-Norton

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