Organic No-Chicken Broth
Fat-free, organic vegetables, freshest herbs and delicious seasonings makes the Imagine Soups the best for those who don't want to start from scratch. This soup tastes like Grandma cooked it lovingly just for you. I found mine at Trader Joe's... ask you supermarket to carry it for you if they don't. This company is now park of the Hain-Celestial Group.
When my mom was in the hospital,I had no access to a kitchen since I lived out of town. The hospital foods were not the best, so I ventured out to a health food market and purchased several of Imagine Foods Organic Soups. I found a kitchenette in the hospital and was able to heat the Organic Butternut Squash Soup, Organic No-Chicken Broth and Organic Creamy Tomato Basil Soup. Mom said they were tasty, nutritious and delicious. Give them a try!
HINT:Good to have several boxes of these soups on hand for that emergency food kit. They're easy to heat on a small gas burner and it's better than dehydrated foods.
The Vegan Basics How to Cook Vegan Polenta
For a hearty Italian side dish with pasta sauce or just vegetables, try vegan style polenta. This is so easy and everyone loves it. You can make it firm to cut into shapes or soft like mashed potatoes or grits.
2 1/2 cups Bob's Red Mill Organic Corn Grits/Polenta 1 quart Imagine Organic No-Chicken Broth
1 cup Plain Soy Creamer or Plain Soymilk
1 teaspoon Hawaiian Sea Salt
1 whole garlic minced (yes, I mean one entire head of garlic)
4 tablespoons Soyco Vegan Parmesan Cheese
3 teaspoons dried herbs... basil/rosemary/thyme/chives or try Mrs. Dash
1/2 cup unbleached organic white flour
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
medium & small sized wire whisks
long handled stir spoon... wooden or metal
medium sauce pan with curved sides to make stirring easier
large rectangle baking dish, 9 x 13 x 2 inch
spray olive or canola oil
Preparation Prepare the Baking Dish
Spray the baking dish with olive or canola oil spray and set aside.
Cook the Polenta
In the sauce pan, combine everything, except the Silk Creamer and the flour.
Bring contents to a boil, whisking constantly for 2 minutes.
Lower heat to medium and change your whisk to a long handled wooden or metal spoon... you'll want to do this because the polenta will bubble up and if it lands on your hands or feet, it will BURN!
HINT: If the polenta is boiling bubbles up like lava, turn the temperature down a little more and keep stirring for about 20 minutes. I've left this to do a quick clean-up or go to the refrigerator, but remember, it will get sticky and thick on the bottom of the pan if left alone.
Now is the time to taste a cooled bite to see if more salt, herbs or crushed red chili peppers might make it taste even better. Even a little Soyco Vegan Parmesan could be added when served hot... very Italian. This warm polenta mixture can be eaten at his point... serve like a side dish of mashed potatoes or grits and top with Soyco's Vegan Parmesan Cheese.
If the polenta is to be eaten soft, you may add a bit of Plain Silk Soymilk Creamer to give the polenta a creamier and richer consistency... add it till the polenta is the consistency that you desire to serve.
If you want to create shapes for pan-frying, pour the hot cooked polenta mixture into the non-stick oil sprayed rectangular serving dish and spread it out evenly using an offset spatula. Let the polenta cool completely then cover the container with a sheet of plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator.
Once cooled, the polenta can be cut into shapes or slices... triangles look really great on a platter for a dinner party.
Simply spray the slices with olive oil and toss in unbleached organic flour to lightly coat the outside of each shape.
Pan fry in an olive oil coated pan over medium heat on each side for 3 to 4 minutes... until crunchy brown on each side and serve immediately!!
HINT: If doing the polenta shapes for a dinner party, preheat the oven to 275 degrees. Use a cookie sheet with a cake rack on top of it. As you finish pan frying each piece, place it on the rack and keep in the oven for up to 1 hour. This will keep each slice crunchy till served.
I serve my firm polenta shapes with my favorite homemade marinara sauce and fresh grilled veggies... anything you put on pasta can be put on or with polenta! A crunchy pan-fried wedge is even great with a crispy lunch or dinner salad.
De La Estancia Organic Polenta
De La Estancia Organic Polenta is now my favorite polenta product. A minute after I have my Imagine No-Chicken Broth boiling, I know that I'll have a perfect pot of creamy tasty polenta. The speed of creating gourmet meals is important with most vegan cooks and this polenta takes the time and stress out of basic polenta creations.
De La Estancia is 100% Organic, GMO free, and Chemical free. This is not an instant polenta product. The De La Estancia Organic Polenta is produced by the four families that own Buenaventura Farms, an Argentine farming company. The variety of corn that used to make their polenta is very different from the corn grown in other parts of the world. The growing season is longer than in the northern hemisphere and the sub-tropical corn is specially suited for polenta. Argentine corn is higher in protein content and much lower in starch content than common corn and can be milled to a finer consistency. Any recipe you make using De La Estancia Polenta will be smooth and creamy. The words de la Estancia is Spanish and means: from the farm. De La Estancia organic polenta is truly from the farmer to the final consumer. There are no middlemen. All the polenta in each bag originates on one single farm. Every bag can be traced back to the moment when the corn seeds were planted.
De La Estancia Polenta is not pre-cooked and is not processed but because of its low starch content and fine grind it cooks naturally in just 1 minute! I was amazed at the consistency and flavor of this product. It made me look like a pro polenta professional! At first I thought it was going to be like cream of wheat, but the consistency and flavor changed my mind.
What is Polenta?
What is polenta? Polenta is a word used in Italy and Latin America to mean a form of ground corn as well as a cooked dish made from the ground corn. Traditional polenta is made by adding dry polenta to simmering liquid, usually in the ratio of 3 parts liquid to 1 part polenta and stirring on the heat until the polenta reaches a consistency like thick porridge. The recipe above is a perfect example.
A variety of liquids work equally well as a base, including filtered water, Imagine No-Chicken Broth, plain soymilk creamer, Imagine Vegetable Broth, etc.
De La Estancia Polenta Cooked to Perfection Every Time
I cook De La Estancia Polenta by bringing two cups of Imagine No-Chicken Broth to a boil and then add one cup of the polenta. This creates a firmer polenta layer that cuts into shapes better and holds it shape when pan fried. For creamier versions, simply add the additional liquid or try two cups no-chicken broth and one cup Trader Joe's Soymilk Creamer and a half cup Daiya Mozzarella Cheese... yum!
Look like a pro-polenta maker, give De La Estancia a test drive. Highly Recommended.