Tuesday, December 08, 2015

Polenta, Wild Rice, and Seitan with Spicy Marinara and Grilled Asparagus (No Added Fat)

It has been a long time since I have cooked wild rice and I was thinking of using it tonight with dinner. I picked up some packaged polenta today and discussed with my daughter what she would enjoy for dinner. I was thinking of cooking wild rice and polenta with seitan and various vegetables, including corn, and that sounded appealing to us both.

My daughter didn't like the idea of including marinara sauce, so I decided to prepare a little spicy marinara to top my wife and my servings. My wife and I, but not my daughter, enjoy asparagus, so I thought that I would serve all but her grilled asparagus. As I was preparing the dish, I decided not to use corn because the dish had so many ingredients that the corn would be lost and superfluous. Here is what I did.

  • 1/4 cup wild rice
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 8 ounces seitan cut into 1/2" cubes
  • About a pound of polenta in any form (I used a 17.6 ounce tube of polenta, but it could have easily been made from cornmeal), cut into small cubes (which I did - about 3/8") or blended into a slurry
  • 2 cups onion cut into half moon slices approx. 1/4" x 1 1/4" ( maybe 2/3 of a medium onion)
  • 1 1/4 cups carrot cut into 3/8" slices (3 small-medium carrots)
  • 1T miso
  • 1/4 cup additional water
  • Pinch or two of salt (to taste)
  1. Wild rice is cooked in a 1:3 ratio of "rice" (really a grass) to liquid for 25-30m. I put the wild rice, 3/4 cup water, and bouillon cube into my Instant Pot pressure cooker and cooked for 23m.
  2. After the cooking was done, I waited a few minutes and gently released pressure, then added the seitan, polenta, onion, carrot, miso, and additional water, and cooked for another 2m.
  3. When I was ready to serve, I opened the pot slowly, and added salt.
  4. I served as is to my daughter. For my wife and me, I served it with a few tablespoons of a spicy marinara that I had prepared with an existing sauce base, cooked slowly with onion, plenty of olives, nutritional yeast, and hot chili pepper. I also had cooked on a cast iron pan with no oil some asparagus spears; I put the hot spears on a plate, added some lemon juice, then sprinkled on salt and lemon pepper. I served the asparagus spears on top of the polenta main course before topping with the sauce.

We all loved the dish!

Ideas for the future

I bet a little wine would be good cooked into the polenta (and/or sauce). Doubling the amount of sauce could be good. Artichoke would be good with the polenta.

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