This is one main dish for the books! Meaty roasted mushrooms topped with creamy polenta, tangy sauce and savory pesto is the hearty, easy, vegan dinner of your dreams! It satisfied a BIG pizza craving of mine but delivered it in a whole-foods, plant based package... I might so as far as to say this was more satisfying than a pizza because of how filling it was.
I often hear people say they struggle with what to serve as a main dish when eating less meat and would highly recommend this dish to anyone struggling with that question (in addition to this stuffed portobello dish, which features rice and lentils). Serve this up with mashed potatoes and some veggies on the side and you #meatlessmonday is in the bag!
Theres something about the texture of these large mushrooms that makes it feel like you're almost eating meat and when you pair that with a few delicious flavorings - you are bound to be totally satisfied. Thats the thing - it isn't really the meat that we crave its what is used to flavor meat that we love and those flavors (think herbs, spices, seasonings) are usually vegan..but here I go preaching again.
Anyway, this meal comes together so quickly, especially when you employ the use of instant polenta (my favorite brand linked below). You can use any vegan pesto you like but I included a link to my cashew, basil & pea pesto that may sound weird but is better than any conventional mixture - it is heartier, creamier and oh-so fragrant - when it hits the hot polenta, forget out it!
In leu of pesto, you could also top this dish with a vegan cheese product or some sautéed greens. It's a very flexible, simple dish - I could even imagine serving it for breakfast with home fries to kick those savory brunch-y cravings.
Give this one a try and let me know how you like it!
Serves: 4 • Prep Time: 15 min • Cook Time: 20 min
- 4 large portobello mushrooms, stems removed
- 4 tsp. balsamic vinegar (optional but DELICIOUS)
- 2 tsp. chopped rosemary
Creamy 'Cheesy' Vegan Polenta
- 1 cup quick-cooking polenta
- 2 cups low sodium veggie broth
- 3 tbsp. nutritional yeast
- Fresh cracked black pepper
- Your favorite pasta sauce
- Cashew Pea & Basil Pesto
1. To start this dish, preheat your oven to 400*F.
2. Place your mushroom caps, top side down on a parchment lined backing sheet. Sprinkle with chopped rosemary, salt, pepper and balsamic vinegar (apx. 1 tbsp. vinegar per cap).
3. Roast the mushrooms in the oven for 20 minutes or until tender and slighly browned. Turn the caps over to allow any excess liquid that collected the gills to drain out.
NOTE: I do not remove the gills of my mushrooms - some people do - it's your preference.
4. While the mushrooms are roasting, prepare your polenta according to the packaged instructions. Replace water/milk with veggie broth and throw the nooch in at the end along with a generous amount of black pepper. Herbs might also be nice folded in here.
NOTE: You want a thick yet still scoop-able texture here so add a bit more broth if the polenta begins to cool and firm up too much before you get it in the caps.
5. I like to pre-prepare my pesto as I feel the flavor only develops better over time but it comes together quickly so feel free to make it as the mushrooms are roasting. The recipe link above makes a little more than we need here so feel free to cut it in half.
6. Once the mushrooms cooked are drained, scoop a 1/4 of the polenta into each cap. Then top with your favorite warmed tomato sauce (or make your own) and a generous drizzle of the pesto.
NOTE: You could partially make this meal ahead. Roast the mushrooms, scoop in the polenta and then chill in the fridge until youre ready to serve- heat them in the oven for 10 minutes and add your toppings!
LIGHT & LOVE, LIVECLEAN KITCHEN