Vegan Mung Bean Cauliflower Curry

Cauliflower mung bean curry is a vegan, hearty and filling curry you can make on any week night. It’s easy on digestion, quick to make and perfect over cooked rice or cauliflower rice.

Vegan mung bean cauliflower curry is a warming dish that’s easy on digestion and takes just 30 minutes to make. It’s perfect for any busy weeknight. It’s gluten free, dairy free, vegetarian and vegan. #cauliflowercurryrecipes #cauliflowercurry #mungbeancurry #curry #vegancurry #vegancauliflowercurry #veganmungbeancurry #quickcurry #vegan #vegetarian #glutenfree, #dairyfree# #weeknightdinner #quickrecipes #calmeats

Recently I’ve introduced legumes back in my life. In moderation of course and always after they’ve been through proper soaking. It turns out, legumes themselves are not necessarily the problem when it comes to digestion; but it’s the conveniently canned variety that haven’t been through a good soak that generally wreak havoc on the ol’ gut.

Vegan mung bean cauliflower curry is a warming dish that’s easy on digestion and takes just 30 minutes to make. It’s perfect for any busy weeknight. It’s gluten free, dairy free, vegetarian and vegan. #cauliflowercurryrecipes #cauliflowercurry #mungbeancurry #curry #vegancurry #vegancauliflowercurry #veganmungbeancurry #quickcurry #vegan #vegetarian #glutenfree, #dairyfree# #weeknightdinner #quickrecipes #calmeats
Vegan mung bean cauliflower curry is a warming dish that’s easy on digestion and takes just 30 minutes to make. It’s perfect for any busy weeknight. It’s gluten free, dairy free, vegetarian and vegan. #cauliflowercurryrecipes #cauliflowercurry #mungbeancurry #curry #vegancurry #vegancauliflowercurry #veganmungbeancurry #quickcurry #vegan #vegetarian #glutenfree, #dairyfree# #weeknightdinner #quickrecipes #calmeats
Vegan mung bean cauliflower curry is a warming dish that’s easy on digestion and takes just 30 minutes to make. It’s perfect for any busy weeknight. It’s gluten free, dairy free, vegetarian and vegan. #cauliflowercurryrecipes #cauliflowercurry #mungbeancurry #curry #vegancurry #vegancauliflowercurry #veganmungbeancurry #quickcurry #vegan #vegetarian #glutenfree, #dairyfree# #weeknightdinner #quickrecipes #calmeats

A while back, a friend gave me a bag of mung beans as a gift (if you’re a fan of The Office, you’ll likely understand the reference). They sat on my pantry shelf for months and months and I’d occasionally pick them up, turn them over and place them right back next to the other bags of dried legumes.

But some weeks ago when I found myself uninspired and in need of some recipe ideas, I caught a glimpse of the mung beans and decided it was time. I couldn’t quite pinpoint a time in my life when I had actually eaten mung beans other than in sprouted form.

I threw the beans in a pot with water and let them soak overnight, hoping that overnight I would also come up with some sort of inspiring way to use them. I hadn’t so I needed to see what they actually looked like when cooked. Surprisingly, they looked a lot like lentils, but the texture and consistency, somewhat different. So here I was staring at a pot of boiled mushy mung beans when it dawned on me. Curry - how obvious!

I searched my fridge for ingredients that may work. 1/2 a head of cauliflower and a leek would do the trick. My pantry is forever stocked with every variety of canned tomato so, I threw in some tomato puree, spices, and voila, out came probably one of my favorite curries! It’s an easy vegan cauliflower mung bean curry dish you may return to again and again.

Vegan mung bean cauliflower curry is a warming dish that’s easy on digestion and takes just 30 minutes to make. It’s perfect for any busy weeknight. It’s gluten free, dairy free, vegetarian and vegan. #cauliflowercurryrecipes #cauliflowercurry #mungbeancurry #curry #vegancurry #vegancauliflowercurry #veganmungbeancurry #quickcurry #vegan #vegetarian #glutenfree, #dairyfree# #weeknightdinner #quickrecipes #calmeats

Tips for making cauliflower mung bean curry

If you’re new-ish to the mung bean world, don’t worry, they’re particularly easy to cook but don’t expect them to be beautiful!

How to soak and cook mung beans

When searching for the best way to soak mung beans, I wasn’t quite able to come up with much. It seems popularity wise, mung beans wouldn’t stand a chance next to chickpeas and black beans, but I feel they’re exquisite and much underused.

So here is the simplest way to soak and cook mung beans. All you need is 1 cup mung beans and 2 cups water. Cover and let sit overnight. When you’re ready to cook the beans, drain in a colander, discard the water, give them a good rinse and add them back to the pot with 2 cups of water. Cook for 30 minutes until mung beans are mushy and water has evaporated. Don’t worry that’s the consistency we’ll need for this cauliflower curry as it will provide the creamy base.

Can you use lentils instead of mubg beans for the cauliflower curry?

If you cannot find mung beans or for whatever reason do not like them, you can easily substitute green lentils for it. Make sure you cook them really well so you end up with a rather mushy consistency and use them in the same way instructed below.

Can you use fresh or canned tomatoes for the curry?

I’m lazy and love the convenience of canned tomatoes. I’ve tried this curry with a variety of different canned tomatoes, from chopped, to diced, sauce, to puree and puree far out-tasted the other tomatoes. So find a good quality tomato puree in a BPA free can or jar and go for that.

Can you use onion instead of leeks?

Right now is leak season. They peak from September through April and most markets will carry them. But if you’re not able to get your hands on them, don't worry, you can use a sweet onion instead of the leek. You can follow basically the same instructions and it will not dramatically impact the taste of the cauliflower curry.

Can you eat the cauliflower curry on its own?

You can if you want to. I have. But it’s also quite delicious over rice. I find rice that’s been soaked for 30 minutes prior to cooking to be easy on digestion. But a great alternative if you want to keep it grain free is cauliflower rice.

Don’t forget the cilantro

If you’re not a cilantro lover, this part is not for you, but if you are, don’t forget to add it at the end of the cooking and as you’re serving it. It’s going to add depth and flavor into every bite!

Final thoughts on vegan mung bean cauliflower curry

If you have the time to cook the curry in advance, I highly recommend letting it sit for an hour or two. If this is not possible, no big deal. You’ll likely have leftovers and will see how the ingredients transform once they’ve had time to sit overnight. There’s something spectacular that happens to curries when all the wonderful spices further infuse the food.

Vegan mung bean cauliflower curry is a warming dish that’s easy on digestion and takes just 30 minutes to make. It’s perfect for any busy weeknight. It’s gluten free, dairy free, vegetarian and vegan. #cauliflowercurryrecipes #cauliflowercurry #mungbeancurry #curry #vegancurry #vegancauliflowercurry #veganmungbeancurry #quickcurry #vegan #vegetarian #glutenfree, #dairyfree# #weeknightdinner #quickrecipes #calmeats
Vegan mung bean cauliflower curry is a warming dish that’s easy on digestion and takes just 30 minutes to make. It’s perfect for any busy weeknight. It’s gluten free, dairy free, vegetarian and vegan. #cauliflowercurryrecipes #cauliflowercurry #mungbeancurry #curry #vegancurry #vegancauliflowercurry #veganmungbeancurry #quickcurry #vegan #vegetarian #glutenfree, #dairyfree# #weeknightdinner #quickrecipes #calmeats
Vegan mung bean cauliflower curry is a warming dish that’s easy on digestion and takes just 30 minutes to make. It’s perfect for any busy weeknight. It’s gluten free, dairy free, vegetarian and vegan. #cauliflowercurryrecipes #cauliflowercurry #mungbeancurry #curry #vegancurry #vegancauliflowercurry #veganmungbeancurry #quickcurry #vegan #vegetarian #glutenfree, #dairyfree# #weeknightdinner #quickrecipes #calmeats
Vegan mung bean cauliflower curry is a warming dish that’s easy on digestion and takes just 30 minutes to make. It’s perfect for any busy weeknight. It’s gluten free, dairy free, vegetarian and vegan. #cauliflowercurryrecipes #cauliflowercurry #mungbeancurry #curry #vegancurry #vegancauliflowercurry #veganmungbeancurry #quickcurry #vegan #vegetarian #glutenfree, #dairyfree# #weeknightdinner #quickrecipes #calmeats

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vegan mung bean cauliflower curry

  • soaking time: 8 hours to overnight

  • prep time: 10 minutes

  • cooking time: 30 minutes


Ingredients:


Equipment:

  • medium pot

  • large pot

Directions:

  1. In a large pot, add beans, 3 cups of water and soak overnight.

  2. When you’re ready to cook mung beans, discard soaking water, rinse them well and return beans to pot with 2 fresh cups of water.

  3. Cook mung beans for 30 minutes until soft and liquid has been absorbed. If there’s any leftover liquid, drain it. You want the mung beans to be mushy in texture.

  4. Meanwhile, preheat large pot on medium heat and add 2 tbsp coconut oil, leek and a pinch of salt. Cook for 6-8 minutes or until it starts to soften. Stir regularly to avoid sticking to pot.

  5. Add garlic, minced ginger, all spices and cook for 2 minutes. Add cauliflower and toss with spices.

  6. Next add in tomato puree, coconut milk, sugar, salt and pepper and cook stirring occasionally for 20 minutes.

  7. Add mung beans to pot, cilantro and stir well.

  8. Serve over white rice, cauliflower rice or eat on its own with additional cilantro.

    *Tip: Curry tastes best when it’s had the chance to rest for a bit.



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Vegan mung bean cauliflower curry is a warming dish that’s easy on digestion and takes just 30 minutes to make. It’s perfect for any busy weeknight. It’s gluten free, dairy free, vegetarian and vegan. #cauliflowercurryrecipes #cauliflowercurry #mungbeancurry #curry #vegancurry #vegancauliflowercurry #veganmungbeancurry #quickcurry #vegan #vegetarian #glutenfree, #dairyfree# #weeknightdinner #quickrecipes #calmeats
Vegan mung bean cauliflower curry is a warming dish that’s easy on digestion and takes just 30 minutes to make. It’s perfect for any busy weeknight. It’s gluten free, dairy free, vegetarian and vegan. #cauliflowercurryrecipes #cauliflowercurry #mungbeancurry #curry #vegancurry #vegancauliflowercurry #veganmungbeancurry #quickcurry #vegan #vegetarian #glutenfree, #dairyfree# #weeknightdinner #quickrecipes #calmeats
Vegan mung bean cauliflower curry is a warming dish that’s easy on digestion and takes just 30 minutes to make. It’s perfect for any busy weeknight. It’s gluten free, dairy free, vegetarian and vegan. #cauliflowercurryrecipes #cauliflowercurry #mungbeancurry #curry #vegancurry #vegancauliflowercurry #veganmungbeancurry #quickcurry #vegan #vegetarian #glutenfree, #dairyfree# #weeknightdinner #quickrecipes #calmeats

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Paleo Tortillas

With these paleo tortillas, you don’t have to miss out on taco night if you’re paleo or Whole 30. A simple mix of cassava and coconut flours, water, apple cider vinegar, extra virgin olive oil and salt makes the perfect tortilla for your favorite fillings. They’re vegan too!

paleo tortillas

Tacos, oh tacos. How I love thee. I’ve payed homage to the beloved taco on many occasions on this blog so I thought it was time to actually give the paleo tortilla a proper shout out.

I’ll be the first one to say it: my stomach isn’t great. I wish it wasn’t so, but it’s the truth. If I don’t eat in such a way that supports it, I’m in pain; not just for a day but several. It’s unfortunate but it’s my reality. No need for me to sit here and whine about it because I know full well what I need to do to not feel that way.

So when taco night rolls around, everyone in my house is usually enjoying either corn or flour tortillas to wrap up delicious fillings, while I have a blast with my lettuce wraps. Don’t get me wrong, lettuce wraps have their time and place and are a fantastic super low carb option. However, when you’re in the mood for substance but are faced with pain if you go the processed corn route, that can be quite disappointing. But fear not, in come paleo cassava tortillas.

I’ve been sprinkling them in a few taco recipes so I wanted to fill you in on the easiest way to make cassava paleo tortillas at home with only a few ingredients and the right technique. To me there’s something very satisfying about mastering the seemingly simple stuff that requires a bit of skill.

paleo tortillas
hands and flour
hands and dough
pieces of paleo tortilla dough
paleo tortilla dough
paleo tortilla dough

Tips for making the paleo tortillas

So let’s talk about paleo tortillas. While it all seems pretty straight forward, if you’re a kitchen nerd like me and frequently enjoy getting your hands dirty (and you will with this recipe), there are a few techniques that will come in handy for getting the perfect paleo tortilla every single time.

What’s the best flour to use for paleo tortillas?

Cassava and coconut and here is why. Cassava flour adds an almost glutenous like texture that’s reminiscent of a regular tortilla but in my opinion cassava flour adds much more flavor. I also add a little coconut flour for flavor and absorbency. Coconut flour is a sponge and absorbs any liquid it touches.

I found the ratio of one cup cassava to 2 tbsp coconut flour to give the ideal consistency I was after (post several failed attempts).

Can you use tapioca flour instead of cassava for paleo tortillas?

No and here’s why. There is a distinct difference in how the two are processed. Tapioca is starch extracted from the root and processed while tapioca is simply the whole root, ground. The texture of dishes will be significantly different and unfortunately tapioca will not yield a pliable dough the way cassava can.

Where can you find cassava flour?

Most grocery stores carry coconut and almond flour, but not many carry cassava unless you have access to a Whole Foods or a specialty store. But don’t worry, I like getting mine online because it’s often cheaper. I find this brand to be particularly great for making paleo tortillas.

Are paleo tortillas vegan?

Yes, paleo tortillas are 100% vegan. The only ingredients required are cassava flour, coconut flour, water, apple cider vinegar, olive oil and salt.

Best way to make paleo tortillas

It’s taken a lot of fails to get to this place but I find using wax paper to roll out the tortillas to be most efficient. Since the dough is quite sticky and our working hands tend to be warm, the tortilla is not easy to transfer from work surface to pan without losing half of it.

So here’s the method. One you’ve made your dough, you roll it into a tube and cut it into 10 pieces (count this by making a small incision with a knife before you actually cut, so you end up with 10 even pieces). Sprinkle the pieces with cassava flour. Cut several pieces of wax paper into large enough squares to roll out the tortillas. Roughly 10” squares. You can use them a few times.

Sprinkle cassava flour on one of the wax paper pieces and place the piece of dough on top. Add another sprinkling of cassava flour and cover with a second piece of wax paper. With a rolling pin, roll the dough to a desired size, so it’s thin and pliable.

Take the pieces of wax paper, remove the top one and just let the tortilla basically flop from one piece of the wax paper to the other. This will make it extra easy to add it to the pan without it sticking to the wax paper.

When you’re ready, add it to the hot skillet by placing the tortilla face down and lifting the piece of wax paper off. Cook for about 2 minutes until you start to see bubbles and a few dark spots. Flip and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Repeat with the rest of the tortillas.

Can you make paleo tortillas without wax paper?

You absolutely can if you are using a tortilla maker. If you don’t have one, I highly recommend using a biodegradable wax paper.

What’s the best skillet to use for paleo tortillas?

The skillet is up to you but the ones I find work best are a non stick ceramic skillet and of course or my favorite, a cast iron skillet. Make sure whichever one you choose, that you preheat it on medium. Or again, if you have tortilla maker, that’s going to make your life much simpler.

Final thoughts on paleo tortillas

I think you’ll be delightfully surprised at how tasty these paleo tortillas are and how much more pleasureful it is eating something you made vs. something that was purchased. It takes a little bit of practice but I hope you enjoy making and eating these paleo tortillas as much as I do. And what makes making these even more enjoyable is a glass of wine…but that of course is optional!

As far as some ideas for how to eat them, check out some suggestions here.

wine, jar and tortilla dough
rolled out paleo tortilla dough
paleo tortilla in skillet
paleo tortillas and hand
paleo tortillas

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paleo tortillas

  • prep time: 15 minutes

  • cooking time: 20-25 minutes

  • makes: 10 tortillas

Ingredients:

Equipment:

  • large mixing bowl

  • small ceramic non-nonstick or cast iron

  • wax paper

  • rolling pin

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients under cassava flour tortillas and mix by well by hand.

  2. Roll out dough into long tube and cut into 10 equal pieces. Roll each into a ball and coat with a sprinkling of cassava flour and even add some to the wax paper to prevent from sticking. Place each ball between 2 pieces of wax paper and roll out until you have the desired thickness. Then gently peel the tortilla and gently flip back and forth between the two piece of wax paper.

  3. Preheat dry skillet on medium heat. Place tortilla face down in the pan and remove wax paper. Heat until tortillas starts to bubble - about 2-3 minutes per side. Repeat until all tortillas are cooked.



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Making paleo tortillas is incredibly easy and fun! All you need is cassava flour, coconut flour, water, apple cider vinegar, olive oil and salt. And no tortilla maker needed! A little wax paper will do the trick. So check out this 6 ingredient paleo tortilla recipe. #cassava #cassavatortillas #paleotortillas #paleo #whole30tortillas #calmeats #vegantortillas #vegantacos #paleotacos #tortillas #tortillarecipe #whole30 #vegan
Making paleo tortillas is incredibly easy and fun! All you need is cassava flour, coconut flour, water, apple cider vinegar, olive oil and salt. And no tortilla maker needed! A little wax paper will do the trick. So check out this 6 ingredient paleo tortilla recipe. #cassava #cassavatortillas #paleotortillas #paleo #whole30tortillas #vegantortillas #vegantacos #paleotacos #tortillas #calmeats #tortillarecipe #whole30 #vegan
Making paleo tortillas is incredibly easy and fun! All you need is cassava flour, coconut flour, water, apple cider vinegar, olive oil and salt. And no tortilla maker needed! A little wax paper will do the trick. So check out this 6 ingredient paleo tortilla recipe. #cassava #cassavatortillas #paleotortillas #paleo #whole30tortillas #calmeats #vegantortillas #vegantacos #paleotacos #tortillas #tortillarecipe #whole30 #vegan

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Almond Butter Bars with Salted Chocolate

These almond butter bars with salted chocolate are an indulgent, no bake treat that requires just 7 ingredients (counting salt). They’re sweet, salty, creamy and you won’t be able to eat just one.

almond butter chocolate bars with sea salt
almond butter chocolate bars with sea salt
almond butter chocolate bars with sea salt
almond butter bars with salted chocolate

It all begins with salt. You may be thinking that that’s a pretty strange intro for almond butter chocolate bars but the magical ingredient in this recipe happens to be salt.

Last week I started watching the Netflix series “Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat” and was immediately hooked. It was the salt episode that really had me in awe. It was mesmerizing seeing the work and love that goes into producing such an unpretentious mineral that ends up in our kitchen, which is often taken for granted. I realized I was smiling at the television from ear to ear because it just got me in the heart. Suddenly everything made sense.

Salt is everything. Consider all the delicious food we eat every day, the taste and intensity of flavor in our mouth. Salt has the capacity to turn every single dish we eat into something spectacular. We would’t be able to experience and appreciate food without the essence that is salt.

When I first tested this recipe, I made it simply with a pinch of salt in the chocolate and almond butter mixture but that’s it. It was good but not quite the taste I was looking for. I wanted something more. A certain intensity that was lacking.

Then I tried again and it dawned on me. What I needed to highlight the sweetness and simplicity of the almond butter and chocolate and bring out its sweetness in a subtle way, was salt. It’s a modest and yet transformative ingredient.

I’m sure most of you who spend time in the kitchen know just how important that pinch of salt is in almost any dessert as it brings out its sweetness. Well the same concept applies here. The melted chocolate chips used for these almond butter chocolate bars, take on an entirely new flavor profile when combined with almond butter and sprinkled with sea salt.

And this recipe is impossibly easy to make. You need 7 ingredients and there is no baking involved. Almond butter, coconut flour, maple syrup, cinnamon and vanilla create a nice thick base for the layer of luscious chocolate and almond butter that’s finished with a few generous pinches of salt.

It’s undeniable that sweet and salty compliment each other, bringing out the best in any sweet recipe. So check out this easy dessert, let your taste buds celebrate and let’s give a round of applause to salt!

almond butter chocolate bars with sea salt

Tips for making almond butter bars with salted chocolate

When it comes to making no bake desserts, sourcing the highest quality ingredients is key, particularly when you’re only using 7 of them.

Runny almond butter is best

For this recipe, I highly recommend using almond butter that needs to be stirred. It will give you the runny consistency which will mix well with the rest of the ingredients. This almond butter is the one I find works the best but if you have a favorite, use that.

If you don’t like almond butter

If you don’t like almond butter, no problem - you can easily substitute peanut, cashew or sun butter.

Salt matters

For this recipe, I do recommend using a good sea salt. If you’re able to find a flaked salt or Himalayan pink sea salt, that’s what I find works the best. It’s milder than regular salt and balances perfectly with the sweet chocolate.

Chocolate variations

You can make the almond butter chocolate bars with the chocolate I use, but if you’re strictly paleo feel free to use a cup of 100% dark chocolate and sweeten it up with 2 tbsp maple syrup. If you want more sweetness, you can adjust once the chocolate and almond butter have been combined.

No matter which variation you take on the bars, you’ll find that they’re an indulgent, delicious treat that makes a perfect dessert for a gathering or every day. I’d love to hear your thoughts on them!

almond butter chocolate bars with sea salt

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almond butter chocolate bars with sea salt

  • prep time: 5 minutes

  • refrigeration time: 4 hours

  • makes: 16

Ingredients:

Equipment:

  • 8x8 metal baking tin

  • parchment paper

  • medium bowl

  • large bowl

Directions:

  1. Line baking tin with parchment paper.

  2. In large bowl combine 1 cup almond butter, coconut flour, maple syrup, vanilla extract, cinnamon and a pinch of salt. Stir until well incorporated.

  3. Add mixture to parchment paper lined tin and even out with spatula and/or hand until you have an even layer.

  4. Next you can create a water bath (see below) for your chocolate chips or simply take the lazy route like I do and pour the chocolate chips into medium bowl and microwave for 1 minute. Remove and stir until all chips are melted. Add 1/4 cup almond butter and stir until combined.

  5. Pour chocolaté mixture over almond butter base and even out. Sprinkle with as much salt as you’d like.

  6. Put the bars in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours and then cut them to the desired size.

  7. Store the rest in an air-tight container.

  • For water bath add one cup water to medium pan, bring to a boil and turn down to a simmer, add bowl with chocolate chips and stir continuously until completely melted.



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Here’s a delicious 7 ingredient no bake vegan and paleo almond butter chocolate bar recipe with sea salt. They much remind me of peanut butter cups but in healthier and more nutritious form. Check out this simple recipe for yourself! #dessert #vegan #paleo #vegetarian #chocolatebars #chocolatealmondbars #seasalt #chocolateseasalt #paleodessert #sweets #nobake #vegandessert #nobakedessert #easydessert #dairyfreedessert #veganchocolate
Here’s a delicious 7 ingredient no bake vegan and paleo almond butter chocolate bar recipe with sea salt. They much remind me of peanut butter cups but in healthier and more nutritious form. Check out this simple recipe for yourself! #dessert #vegan #paleo #vegetarian #chocolatebars #chocolatealmondbars #seasalt #chocolateseasalt #paleodessert #sweets #nobake #vegandessert #nobakedessert #easydessert #dairyfreedessert #veganchocolate
Here’s a delicious 7 ingredient no bake vegan and paleo almond butter chocolate bar recipe with sea salt. They much remind me of peanut butter cups but in healthier and more nutritious form. Check out this simple recipe for yourself! #dessert #vegan #paleo #vegetarian #chocolatebars #chocolatealmondbars #seasalt #chocolateseasalt #paleodessert #sweets #nobake #vegandessert #nobakedessert #easydessert #dairyfreedessert #veganchocolate

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Polenta with Mushrooms, Kale and Roasted Carrots

A super simple creamy polenta recipe with a tasty mushroom, kale and red onion sauce, along with dijon brushed roasted carrots. It's vegan, gluten and dairy free.

freshly picked carrots
bunch freshly picked carrots
freshly picked carrots
fresh carrots
kale, mushrooms, carrots and red onion

I like routine - it can be cathartic, even necessary. But at times can feel oppressive and restrictive. When I become particularly aware of the daily repetition, a slightly suffocating feeling emerges from the depths of my being, gripping, like two imaginary hands forcibly choking me. Breath doesn’t flow in and out the way it ought to, energy feeling trapped. 

There’s an urging to depart from repetitive thoughts, actions and ways. And perhaps not in a grand fashion, like picking up and moving to a new country but by simply changing something in my routine. Even the slightest shift can suddenly redirect my focus, rearrange my thinking and open up new ideas. That’s when I feel an ease, a release, a lessening in the grip around my throat. Breath flows steady. In and out. 

I believe these smothering feelings are necessary for growth and change. It’s our body and mind’s way of sending us signals that we need to refocus and rearrange, if only energetically. I often think it’s in those moments that the universe is trying to tell us something and all we have to do is listen. It can be something substantial or merely changing up routine in the kitchen. 

Feeling stagnant comes in many forms and I realized that no matter how much I love fresh tomatoes, zucchini and strawberries, there comes a point in the season where I just want to move on, experience something new and fresh. And sure, there’s still over a month of summer left, but I’m finding a certain shift happening every August. I’m ready to experiment with fall produce. 

Luckily I need not look too far for inspiration as my little garden is the perfect muse. A few kale leaves and a bunch of carrots set the tone for the recipe. I had leftover red onion along with some sliced mushrooms in the fridge and pulled it all together in no time. But there was one thing missing. A base for what would be a mushroom ragout and roasted carrots.

While neither paleo nor whole 30, but certainly gluten free, today’s recipe base holds a certain sweetness for me and was a staple growing up. And it is a 180 from what I normally cook but I wanted to go with it. I’m talking about polenta. I felt it was the ideal companion for the flavorful mushrooms, kale and roasted carrots. 

It’s become one of my favorite dishes not just because it’s incredibly easy to make but but tasted really freaking delicious! You won’t miss the meat as the mushrooms create a rich and hearty sauce that’s rich yet healthy and nutritious. But you could always experiment with a protein if you wanted to. Check out the below suggestion.

Should you soak the polenta first?

While not necessary if you’re in a hurry, I highly recommend it. I do eat some gluten free grains from time to time, and when I do, they usually have to be soaked first. That makes a big impact on digestion and can cut down on the anti-nutrients often found in grains.

Can you use a paleo substitute for polenta?

Absolutely! You can find a recipe for home made cauliflower rice here and what you’ll want to do is just give the cauliflower rice some additional pulses until it reaches the desired polenta size.

Can you add a protein?

Yes, you can. I’ve tried several variations of this recipe and it works particularly well with a quality sausage. Before you start cooking the onion, you could simply cook the sausage first, remove and set aside and then add in the onions and continue with the recipe. Before serving, just slice the sausage and toss it in with the mushroom mix.

Whichever variation you make, you’ll find this to be a perfect comfort food for any time of year, but it works especially well once the season turns a little cooler.

kale mushrooms and red onion
polenta with mushrooms, kale and roasted carrots
polenta with mushrooms, kale and roasted carrots
polenta with mushrooms, kale and roasted carrots
polenta with mushrooms, kale and roasted carrots

polenta with mushrooms, kale and roasted carrots

  • soaking time: 12 hours

  • prep time: 10 minutes

  • cooking time: 30 minutes

  • makes: 4-6 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup dry polenta

  • 3 cups water

  • 1/2 cup broth of your choice

  • 2 tbsp ghee

  • 5 tbsp olive oil divided

  • 1 lb portabella mushrooms

  • 1/2 red onion, chopped

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 2 cups chopped kale

  • 1 tsp chopped fresh thyme

  • 1 lb carrots with stem

  • 1 1/2 tsp salt divided

  • 1/2 tsp ground pepper, divided

  • 1 tsp dijon mustard

  • 1 tsp lemon juice

  • 1/2 cup dry white wine (or broth if whole 30)

  • optional: chopped Italian parsley


Equipment:

  • sheet pan

  • parchment paper

  • soup pot

  • small mixing bowl

  • large skillet (preferably cast iron)


Directions:

  1. In large soup pot, add polenta along with 3 cups water, 1/2 tsp salt, cover and let soak overnight.

  2. The next day, start simmering polenta for 10 minutes stirring continuously. Add broth and continue simmering, while stirring regularly for another 10-15 minutes. Add ghee and if you want, additional salt and turn heat to the lowest setting and continue simmering.

  3. * If you don’t want to pre-soak the polenta, just follow package instructions.

  4. Meanwhile preheat oven to 400 degrees.

  5. Trim greens off carrots and slice them in half. Add carrots to parchment paper lined sheet and add 1 tbsp olive oil, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper and combine. Roast carrots for 25 minutes or until tender but with a slight bite.

  6. In small mixing bowl combine dijon mustard, 3 tbsp olive oil and 1 tsp lemon juice and whisk well. Set aside.

  7. Meanwhile, preheat cast iron skillet on medium heat, add 1 tbsp olive oil and chopped red onion and a pinch of salt. Cook until translucent, about 10 minutes. Next add garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Turn up heat, add wine or broth and deglaze pan for 2 minutes.

  8. Reduce heat back to medium and add sliced, mushrooms, thyme and kale. Cook for 10 minutes until mushrooms are soft and kale has wilted.

  9. Remove carrots from oven and immediately brush with 1/3 of the dijon lemon and oil mixture.

  10. Add the remaining mixture to the mushrooms and stir well.

  11. To plate, add polenta, roasted carrots, mushroom mixture and if you want, sprinkle with chopped parsley or additional thyme.

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Polenta is easy to make and versatile. Add a quick mushroom ragout and roasted carrots and you’ve got a delaicious, vegan, dairy free and gluten free dinner! Check it out for yourself! #vegan #calmeats #polenta #vegetarian #glutenfree #dairyfree #polenta #mushrooms #fallrecipes #fallfood #comfortfood
Polenta is easy to make and versatile. Add a quick mushroom ragout and roasted carrots and you’ve got a delaicious, vegan, dairy free and gluten free dinner! Check it out for yourself! #vegan #calmeats #polenta #vegetarian #glutenfree #dairyfree #polenta #mushrooms #fallrecipes #fallfood #comfortfood
Polenta is easy to make and versatile. Add a quick mushroom ragout and roasted carrots and you’ve got a delaicious, vegan, dairy free and gluten free dinner! Check it out for yourself! #vegan #calmeats #polenta #vegetarian #glutenfree #dairyfree #polenta #mushrooms #fallrecipes #fallfood #comfortfood

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Grilled Vegetables with Balsamic and Basil

This is one of those recipes that you’ll want to make all summer long and perhaps even brave cold winter days to get that grilled taste. These grilled vegetables are light and flavorful, healthy and pair well with just about any main dish. They’re also vegan, paleo and whole 30.

grilled vegetables with balsamic and basil
grilled vegetables with balsamic and basil
grilled vegetables with balsamic and basil
grilled vegetables with balsamic and basil

Red onion - an unassuming vegetable hiding a gentle sweetness and flavor behind its many layers. It took me a while to fully come around to this lovely vegetable. I used to catch glimpses of it at the market, modestly nestled next to the sweet and yellow variety but hardly ever did I think to cook with it. I guess it seemed a bit intimidating so I stuck with the familiar kind. 

But truth be told, red onion is now one of my favorite vegetables. Aside from its alluring color, red onion has a sweet, mild flavor that enhances many a dish. 

Las weekend my mother visited. And as is typically the case, she comes baring little gifts of one kind or another. While I insist that I need nothing and she doesn't have to, this time though she nailed it when she walked in with a massive pot of basil. There are few things that bring me as much joy as fresh herbs. But along with the basil she also brought an array of vegetables that were now strewn about my counter so my job was to figure out what to do with the mishmash. 

Days past and I still hadn't figured out what to do with all the vegetables on hand. Roasting of course was always an option but I wanted something else. Then I remembered the red onion sitting in the fridge from a previous recipe I'd made and it all came together. I would keep things very simple and grill the vegetables, toss them with olive oil, salt and pepper and finish them with balsamic vinegar and fresh basil. 

Best vegetables for grilling

For me, red bell pepper, zucchini and red onion are a must. I love green beans so they were a natural fit for this dish, but you could always add summer squash or eggplant as well.

You can play around with this recipe as you see fit and swap out the vegetables to suit your liking but the red onion is a must! It changes the entire flavor profile of the vegetables. It brings out the best in them in an almost inexplicable way. You'll see...

Best way to grill vegetables

Well you have a few options. You could toss them directly on the grill, add them to the grill pan that came with your grill (if that was the case) or use a cast iron skillet directly on the grill. Either options is going to give you flavorful grilled vegetables. And if you don’t have a grill at all, you can always use a grill pan and make them on the stove top.

Do you have to add balsamic vinegar to grilled vegetables?

That is entirely up to you. Some people find the flavor of balsamic vinegar to be intense and would rather tone it down some. You could experiment with something a milder vinegar like a rice vinegar, champagne vinegar or red or white vinegar. Or you could skip it entirely and just go for a little more olive oil to really bring out the flavor of the grilled vegetables.

Can you skip the basil?

Well of course, I just happen to love it and think that it works fantastically well in this dish. You could experiment with other tender herbs or leave them out all together. I don’t think a tougher herb like rosemary finds its home in this dish so stick with milder ones! Fresh oregano would be a very good contender!

grilled vegetables with balsamic and basil
grilled vegetables with balsamic and basil
grilled vegetables with balsamic and basil
grilled vegetables with balsamic and basil
grilled vegetables with balsamic and basil

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grilled vegetables with balsamic and basil

  • prep time: 5 minutes

  • grilling time: 20 minutes

  • makes: 4 servings

Ingredients: 

  • 1 red onion, sliced

  • 1 zucchini, sliced

  • handful of green beans, trimmed

  • 2 red bell peppers, roughly chopped

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 1/4 tsp ground pepper

  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

  • 1 tbsp fresh basil chopped

Equipment

  • large mixing bowl

  • tongs

  • grill

  • grill safe plate

  • cling wrap

Directions:

Preheat grill on medium low.

In large bowl combine all ingredients aside from vinegar and basil and mix well. 

Add all vegetables to grill safe cast iron plate (most grills come with one) and grill for 10 minutes on low (stirring occsaionally) until soft but still retaining a bite. 

Place grilled vegetables back in bowl, add balsamic vinegar and basil and stir until vegetables are coated. Cover with wrap and let sit for 5 minutes. Serve right away. 



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If you're looking for the prefect side for pretty much any dish, check out this simple 10 minute grilled vegetables recipe. Red onion, bell peppers, zucchini and green beans come together with extra virgin olive oil, salt, pepper, balsamic vinegar and fresh basil. This recipe is vegan, paleo and whole 30. #calmeats, #grilling, #grilledvegetables, #vegetables, #sidedishes, #vegan, #vegansides, #whole30
If you're looking for the prefect side for pretty much any dish, check out this simple 10 minute grilled vegetables recipe. Red onion, bell peppers, zucchini and green beans come together with extra virgin olive oil, salt, pepper, balsamic vinegar and fresh basil. This recipe is vegan, paleo and whole 30. #calmeats, #grilling, #grilledvegetables, #vegetables, #sidedishes, #vegan, #vegansides, #whole30
If you're looking for the prefect side for pretty much any dish, check out this simple 10 minute grilled vegetables recipe. Red onion, bell peppers, zucchini and green beans come together with extra virgin olive oil, salt, pepper, balsamic vinegar and fresh basil. This recipe is vegan, paleo and whole 30. #calmeats, #grilling, #grilledvegetables, #vegetables, #sidedishes, #vegan, #vegansides, #whole30