Traditional polenta recipes require a lot of stirring, but making polenta in a rice cooker is a breeze! Polenta is made from coarsely ground cornmeal and can be served creamy or cooled and cut into squares and then baked or fried. A nice alternative to pasta or rice – it can be seasoned to compliment different kinds of cuisine.
The perfect comfort food
This creamy polenta recipe favors its Italian origins with a simple mix of zucchini, tomatoes, onions, navy beans, garlic, oregano, basil, marjoram, parsley and a lovely vegan Parmesan cheese. The blend of textures and flavors creates the perfect comfort food!
Creamy Polenta with Zucchini
- 1 cup coarsely ground corn meal
- 4 cups water
- 2 cloves garlic crushed and divided
- 1 cup plant milk I use organic fortified rice milk
- 1 tsp. dried parsley
- 1/2 cup vegan Parmesan cheese plus additional for topping
- 2 medium zucchini diced ½ inch cubes
- 14.5 oz canned diced tomatoes with zesty mild green chilies – with juice
- 1 cup onion chopped
- 15.5 oz canned low sodium navy beans rinsed and drained
- 1 tsp. dried oregano
- 1 tsp. dried basil
- 1/2 tsp. dried marjoram
- sea salt and ground black pepper (to taste)
- Add 4 cups of water to rice cooker.
- Add cornmeal and 1 clove of crushed garlic and stir lightly.
- Close rice cooker and cook polenta on white rice setting (will take about 20-30 minutes).
- While the polenta is cooking, add zucchini, onions, tomatoes, oregano, basil, marjoram and remaining clove of crushed garlic to a 5-quart sauté pan, cover and cook on medium high for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. (Reduce heat to medium if necessary.)
- Add navy beans to mixture in sauté pan and continue cooking for another 10 minutes on medium, stirring occasionally. Leave uncovered to reduce some of the liquid.
- When rice cooker beeps carefully open lid and stir polenta. It should be thick and creamy. Add plant milk, ½ cup vegan Parmesan cheese and dried parsley and stir to mix thoroughly.
- Cover and leave rice cooker on keep warm setting until zucchini mixture is done.
- Place 3-4 ladles full of polenta into 4-5 pasta bowls.
- Use a large slotted spoon to top each serving with 3-4 spoonsful of zucchini mixture.
- Sprinkle with additional vegan Parmesan cheese and sea salt and ground black pepper to taste.
Note: I do not include nutrition information with my recipes because I subscribe to the theories presented in the book Whole and believe we should focus on eating a variety of whole foods instead of counting calories or keeping track of individual nutrients.