Creamy Polenta and Sauteed Mushrooms from Everything Plant-Based Meal Prep

Creamy Polenta and Sauteed Mushrooms from the Everything Plant-Based Meal Prep by Diane K. Smith is delicious, creamy, quick, and easy to make!

Scroll down and leave a comment on this post to enter a giveaway for a copy of Diane’s book! Of course, you can also order your own copy HERE!

The Everything Plant-Based Meal Prep Cookbook: 200 Easy, Make-Ahead Recipes Featuring Plant-Based Ingredients is Diane K. Smith’s brand new cookbook. It is what the title says, chock-full of delicious plant-based recipes that are healthy but also easy to make. She’s also got a 2-week meal plan in there to make organizing meals a snap.

Diane’s book is beautifully done and all the recipes are delicious but also healthy! I’m so happy to add this to my collection and know I’ll be using many of these recipes more than once.

I really appreciate the way this book is organized. And it has just about everything. Condiments, mains, sides, breakfasts, lunches, appetizers … there are a LOT of recipes here and loads of helpful information. Loaded Tahini-Spiced Potato Skins, Oil-Free Basil Pesto, Beet Hummus, Raspberry scone Muffins are just a few of the recipes. These are pretty representative of the recipes in this informative book. They are super hearty, delicious with loads of flavor, but totally healthy at the same time.

Plant-based is the way to go when it comes to personal health and the health of the planet. This cookbook makes that easy and delicious. I highly recommend The Everything Plant-Based Meal Prep Cookbook to anyone who is living a plant-based lifestyle, whether they’re a beginner or experienced, or for anyone who may be curious about what this lifestyle can look like.

Here’s a great recipe from the book!

mushrooms and polenta

mushrooms and polenta
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Creamy Polenta with Sauteed Mushrooms

A delicious cornmeal and mushrooms dish from Diane K. Smith's book, Plant-Based Meal Prep Book

Course Lunch
Cuisine Vegan
Keyword mushrooms, polenta
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Calories 264 kcal

Ingredients

Polenta

  • 3 cups vegetable broth your favorite or use Diane's broth recipe in the book
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 cup polenta also called corn grits
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper

Mushrooms

  • 1 1/2 lbs cremini mushrooms, cut into 1" pieces
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 4 medium cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1/4 cup red wine
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme, divided
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth your favorite or use Diane's broth recipe in the book
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Instructions

Polenta

  1. To make polenta, in a large saucepan over medium heat, combine broth and almond milk. Bring to a simmer.

  2. Slowly add the polenta in a stream, whisking the whole time. This helps prevent lumps. Cook, Stirring occasionally with a heavy spoon to avoid burning, until it starts to thicken but is still loose and creamy, at least 20-30 minutes.

  3. Add the nutritional yeast, salt, and pepper.

Mushrooms

  1. To prepare mushrooms, heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add mushrooms and water, and cook, stirring occasionally, until water evaporates and mushrooms turn golden brown, about 10 minutes. Stir in garlic, wine, rosemary, and 1 tablespoon thyme.

  2. In a measuring cup, combine broth and cornstarch and stir with a fork. Add cornstarch mixture to mushrooms and continue to simmer until sauce is thickened, about 2 minutes. Drizzle with vinegar and stir to combine. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed.

  3. To serve, divide polenta evenly among four bowls. Top with sauteed mushrooms and remaining 1/2 tablespoon thyme.

  4. Store leftover mushrooms and polenta separately in airtight containers for 4-5 days. Polenta will firm up in the refrigerator and can then be sliced easily and reheated in a dry nonstick skillet on medium heat for 3 minutes per side. It can also be thinned again by stirring in a couple of tablespoons of water at a time until it reaches the desired consistency.

  5. To freeze polenta, wait until it's completely cool and slice into individual servings. Wrap in parchment and then plastic and store in freezer bags for up to 3 months.

Nutrition Facts
Creamy Polenta with Sauteed Mushrooms
Amount Per Serving
Calories 264 Calories from Fat 18
% Daily Value*
Fat 2g3%
Carbohydrates 45g15%
Fiber 5g21%
Sugar 6g7%
Protein 14g28%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

About Diane

Here’s what Diane’s bio at Simon & Schuster says … 

Diane K. Smith is a plant-based nutrition expert, writer, photographer, and recipe developer who’s been helping people transition to a whole food, plant-based lifestyle for nearly ten years. She is Plant-Based Nutrition certified and is also a certified “Food Over Medicine” instructor. Her goal is to guide and inspire her readers to control their eating habits, enjoy delicious meals, have freedom from worry about health concerns, and live a long and healthy life through her cookbooks and website, PlantBasedCooking.com.

I’d like to add that she’s kind, funny, generous, and a wealth of knowledge about improving health through a plant-based diet. She’s an artist as well and does lovely watercolors when she’s not creating new recipes. Like these …

 

In Diane’s Plant-Based Kitchen

Diane K Smith in her kitchen

1. Please tell us about YOU and your kitchen in general? Who are you, what do you do, and where in the world do you do it?

I’m a dedicated walker, dog lover, watercolor painter, and nutrition enthusiast and have been eating a plant-based diet and managing plantbasedcooking.com for the past 10 years. I do this most of the time from beautiful Boulder, CO, but also spend part of the year in Encinitas, CA. It’s been an enlightening journey and one that helped me heal. I love to create and photograph new recipes and find ways to help my followers transition to eating whole foods. My mission is to help people restore their health, stop worrying, and get back to enjoying life. 

2. When and how did you become vegan or plant-based? What influenced you?

I’ve been eating a plant-based diet for the past 10 years, however, my love of nutrition and healthy living started many years ago when I bought book after book on the subject and wanted to learn how to heal myself and stay well. After many bouts with sinus infections and rounds of antibiotics, I took the advice of Dr. Andrew Weil, one of the first health gurus, who had wonderful tips for healing. I found that if I boosted my own body’s ability to heal, it would do it really well. Then I discovered Dr. Joel Fuhrman and love his perspective on diet – eat the most nutritious food (which are whole foods, of course). I knew this was the best way to eat while also helping to protect the planet and animals.

3. How has cooking only with plants changed your kitchen and the way you cook and entertain?

One way my kitchen has evolved is that I have the equipment and tools that make eating plant-based easier. Just to name a few, having a blender, food processor, non-stick and baking pans, good knives, cutting boards all help. And, glass storage containers! They’re the best for leftovers and freezing. I also have beautiful wooden salad bowls to make eating salads a special event. Anything I can do to make eating plant-based rewarding and easier.  
 
I’ve also discovered that meal prepping ahead of time is a real time saver. Cooking rice, potatoes, prepping salad fixings, and even casseroles and soups early in the week really makes mealtime quicker and more pleasant and it helps me stay on track. 
 
Then there’s keeping my pantry and fridge stocked with whole foods. It’s gotten even easier with online ordering these days. Once you have your list in the system, you can easily choose them again without searching. People sometimes worry that processed foods aren’t allowed on a whole-food, plant-based diet, but there are many minimally processed and packaged foods that work really well. I have a whole article on the topic of eating packaged foods. You really do get better and planning and preparing plant-based meals with a little practice!

4. What motivated you to write your book, The Everything Plant-Based Meal Prep Cookbook? And can you tell us more about the book?

I wanted to write the cookbook to share my love of eating whole foods with a wider audience, but more than that, I wanted to motivate people to get on board with this lifestyle. So many people suffer health issues that are attributed to diet. These can be greatly reduced or even reversed with a whole-food, plant-based diet. At almost 69 years old (next month), I’m not on any medication, my blood pressure, and cholesterol are low and I’m maintaining a healthy weight. 

5. What was your worst cooking failure? And greatest success? Favorite kitchen gadget? Technique? Best tip?

My worse cooking failure was probably pumpkin pie. I am still trying to perfect it and hope to have one by this Thanksgiving. I want an oil-free crust and filling that’s just the right consistency so it’s going to take a little more experimentation. My greatest success, hmmm, that’s a hard one because I love so many. I’d say that the Lasagna Soup from my new cookbook is one of my favorites. The recipe uses store-bought pasta sauce which makes it easier and you break up the lasagna noodles when you cook them. It’s topped with basil which is delightful and the combination of flavors is just so yummy.
 
Aside from my food processor and blender one of my favorite kitchen gadgets is my oil-free microwave chip makers. It’s two, round stackable silicone trays. I use them for tortilla or potato chips. You just microwave cut up corn tortillas for a few minutes and you have beautiful, crunchy oil-free chips. Even wheat tortillas work well and, although I haven’t tried them, I’ll bet veggie chips would also work.
 
As for a technique I use, I would have to say cooking oil-free. I do this in several different ways. One is to saute in water, broth, or wine instead of oil, and another is to crisp tortillas (for quesadillas or tacos) right in a non-stick pan. They crisp up beautifully without any oil. I made oil-free salad dressings with raw nuts or cannellini beans. Baking without oil is probably the hardest. I have an article,  Cooking without Oil, that covers more on this topic if you’re interested. 
 
A great tip I could share is to keep your fresh ginger or turmeric in the freezer so that when you need it, just remove and grate into your dish and voila, you’re done. I often use these both in my smoothies.

6. What are some of your favorite recipes from The Everything Plant-Based Meal Prep Cookbook?

I mentioned the Lasagna Soup. I also love the Anti-Inflammatory Ginger Turmeric Hot Cocoa, the Basil-Spinach Dip, Crispy Baked Mushrooms, Vegetable Fried Rice, Roasted Vegetable Tacos, and the Avocado Brownies. 

7. Your go-to prepared vegan foods?

My weekly go-to prepared vegan foods are easily low or no-salt canned beans and lentils, canned tomatoes, and tomato paste. I also really enjoy the Kite Hill Almond Ricotta because it has very little added ingredients. However, I do now have a recipe for making that at home now in my cookbook. Tempeh is another favorite store-bought item of mine. It’s great made into mock tuna/chicken salad. And, No Evil brand seitan products because they’re made oil-free. 

8. And, of course …  Where do you get your protein?

Ha, great question. 🙂 I use soymilk, tofu, tempeh, seitan, and lots of beans, legumes, and quinoa. I use soymilk on my oatmeal, beans made into stews, soups, and as salad toppers, tempeh made into mock “chicken” salad, tofu sauteed and used in a sandwich or as an addition to lots of other dishes. I need a few more recipes using seitan but love the No Evil brand of seitan. It’s good to know that many vegetables and grains also have some protein.
 

Get a Copy of The Everything Plant-Based Meal Prep Cookbook

If you want to enter the giveaway, simply leave a comment below in the comment section. For extra entries, share this post on your social media and leave a comment about where you did it below. Of course, you can also order your own copy HERE!
 

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Lisa Viger Gotte

Hello! I'm Lisa, an artist, photographer, author, gardener, navel-gazer, and lover of the planet and all its inhabitants. I draw and paint, cook, write, take lots of pics, eat lots of chocolate, and practice gratitude daily.

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Susan Bessette
Susan Bessette
9 months ago

This book looks marvelous. We will try your creamy polenta and mushrooms this week. My new year’s project is to return to a vegan diet. We got away from it because SAD is easier, and social pressure from family and friends. But your book makes it seem so easy. Can’t wait to try more of your recipes.

colleen lee
9 months ago

Shifting from a meat/veg/starch mindset does not come easily but everytime I see someone really making plant-based as normal and delicious as a glass of water, I become again converted to doing this for my family, friends and extended generations! Please keep teaching me all you can…

T
T
9 months ago

Just learning about WFPB and would find this cookbook helpful. Thanks for the giveaway. Loving the blog and cannot wait to try some of the recipes.

Deanne O'Donnell
Deanne O'Donnell
9 months ago

OMG!!! I really REALLY NEED THIS BOOK!! Love your blog and recipes!!!

Maria
Maria
10 months ago

Hi and thank you for the book giveaway! I would love a chance at checking out your book and getting some new creative food ideas. ❤

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