Beans & Grains of the Week

Being both vegetarian and broke, I rely heavily on beans and grains in my diet. Every week I attempt to make some version of bean + grain + vegetable or two that will portion and reheat nicely, so I can take it in for lunch every day. Thankfully, I’m ok with repetition in my diet, and most of the time I enjoy whatever I packed. This week is white beans and marinara over polenta, which in fact is vegan. Polenta sounds impressive but is super cheap and easy to make, and the flavor is just amazing. All creamy and comforting while being good for you, it’s a great change from pasta.

Basic Polenta

  • 3 cups water
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup coarse ground cornmeal

Bring water, olive oil and salt to a boil, then reduce heat to medium. Slowly pour in cornmeal while whisking. Continue whisking until mixture is thick. Pour into a 9×9 casserole to set. Serves 4 to 6.

While the polenta was setting, I combined 2 cups white beans (if using canned, drain & rinse) with 2 cups of marinara and brought it to a simmer to allow the flavors to meld. I topped the polenta with about a cup of this mixture.

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