Creamy Polenta with Roasted Tomatoes and Smoky Chickpeas

In Dinner, Recipe by Jennifer

Polenta is cozy. I love to grate in some parmesan cheese to make it rich and a little creamy. In this vegan dinner recipe I needed a way to get it to rich and creamy without dairy. I came up with a combination nut milk for a creamy taste and some nutritional yeast for the cheese flavor. It works nicely.

Polenta is ground corn also called grits. The ground corn absorbs liquid as you gradually add it, stirring very frequently over low heat. It takes a while but you can work on the other parts of the meal (or help with homework, or do some online banking…) between stirs.  Look for organic non-GMO polenta though. You don’t want to be working with compromised corn when building this very healthful dish.

The crunchy chickpeas add a nice contrast to the creamy polenta with their spicy, smoky flavor. Hopefully you’ll have some left over to snack on the next day. You might even discover that the chickpeas are a recipe within a recipe. Whip a batch of them up to have available as a healthy crunchy food when you crave something from that category.

A few of the hormone-loving ingredients featured here:

Lots of veggies, of course, bringing you lots of antioxidants and fiber to ship bad estrogen outta here.

Turmeric to reduce inflammation and pain.

A bunch of herbs to give you many vitamins and minerals as well as keep your winter-challenged immune system strong and support your body’s detoxification efforts.

This is a warm comfort food. Something to look forward to on blustery winter nights. Give it a try this week as temperatures take a dip lower (at least they will around here…) and share with us on Instagram using tag #freshbalancenutrition!

Creamy Polenta with Roasted Tomatoes and Smoky Chickpeas
Serves: 4-6 servings
  • Polenta
  • 2 cups nut milk, almond, cashew, hemp, etc
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup polenta, non-gmo
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • Tomatoes
  • 2 pints grape tomatoes
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons fresh dill
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • Chickpeas
  • 1 14½-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed, drained, and dried on a tea towel
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric
  • ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  1. Polenta: Pour nut milk and broth into a large pot. Bring to a boil. Gradually add the polenta, whisking continuously to avoid lumps. Lower heat to a simmer, and cook, uncovered, stirring often about 50 minutes.
  2. When polenta is soft, still in nutritional yeast and salt.
  3. Tomatoes: Preheat oven to 400℉. Place tomatoes on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and toss with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and the garlic. Roast for 20 minutes until tomatoes have collapsed.
  4. Combine herbs, salt, pepper, and the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in a bowl. Add tomatoes and gently toss to coat.
  5. Chickpeas: Place dried chickpeas in a large bowl. Add oil, turmeric, paprika, cayenne, and salt. Toss to coat.
  6. Transfer to a parchment paper-lined sheet pan and arrange in a single layer. Roast in 400℉ oven 30 minutes, until chickpeas are crispy.
  7. To serve, spoon polenta onto a plate, top with roasted tomatoes and a handful of smoky chickpeas.