THE TRAVELLING VEGAN: Beautiful Beetroot with Lentils & Polenta
This savoury lentil dish with a vibrant beetroot puree served on creamy polenta is a lovely way to elevate a vegans’ standard ‘beans and rice’. It might take a bit longer than refrying your beans and cooking up some rice but is indeed worth the time and patience. When I first had this combo, I slurped up the entire giant plate of food because it was so freakishly delicious!
More About Mia and her Soulful Food...
Hi, I'm Mia, veg and fruit lover extraordinaire. My plant-based journey started with a love for this planet and everyone who's living on it. Through travel, experimenting, and a lot of curiosity, I have discovered just how easy, accessible, and simple (yet diverse, tasty and nutritious!) vegan food can be. It is very important to me that my diet supports all my nutritional needs, and so my recipes focus on finding ways to this whilst also tasting scrumptious!
What I love the most about cooking is the community aspect of it. The joy and comfort of gathering and sharing – how it brings everyone together. My regular recipes and posts are to do just this! I will be sharing my favourite tasty and healthy vegan meals and treats with you. And I hope that you will enjoy looking after yourself by eating them, and of course sharing them with your own tribe, large or small.
Wishing you lots of love, health and happiness, Mia xx
For many people, Polenta has the sad (and untrue) reputation of being very boring. However, by trying different variations you’ll see it’s so versatile and can be combined with any veggies and even fruit.
To make my polenta super creamy I use a mix of coconut milk and water. Coconut milk is warming and sweet and quenches thirst. It is thought to be very supportive of conditions like diabetes and protecting the heart from weakness.
Sweet in flavour and pungent in colour, beetroot is also a natural heart-strengthening vegetable and is said to help with nerves and anxiety. Beetroot is one of the most silicon-rich vegetables. It contains a great amount of Vitamin B9 (Folate) and various minerals such as manganese, potassium and iron which are all beneficial in cases of congestion of the vascular system.
In combination with potato, which by the way is also a potassium powerhouse, it is good for those who have used too much salt and high sodium foods in their diet. Potatoes naturally help to increase the ‘yin’ aspect of the body, believed to support the bodies innate receptive, nurturing and compassionate nature.
My Super Special Tips…
My recommendation with the spices is to use the ones you have on hand and not worry about the others it truly tastes incredible even if you skip them. Also make sure to brown your onions thoroughly, as the caramelized flavour really complements the beluga lentils and brings out an earthy dimension.
Passion for Protein…
Overall this fusion of a meal is a full-on protein bomb! It will keep you feeling satiated and full for hours, as well as being superbly nutritious throughout, bringing you several of your essential minerals and vitamins. If you want to keep your digestion content, and your body well energised then this protein-packed (and delicious!) recipe is one to add to your favourites.
(Serves 4 hungry herbivores)Polenta
- 200g polenta
- 200ml coconut milk
- 800ml water
- Nutritional yeast
- 2 cups dried Beluga lentils (you can sub with brown lentils or others that you prefer)
- 4 cups vegetable stock
- 2 tbsp tomato puree
- 2 cloves garlic (pressed/chopped)
- 1 large onion (diced)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 heaped tbsp of spice blend (cumin, black pepper, oregano, nutmeg, cinnamon and cayenne pepper)
- Splash of plain, unsweetened non-dairy milk (oat, almond, soya etc)
- 3 medium-large pre-cooked potatoes (cut into small pieces)
- 3 large red pre-cooked beetroots (cut into small pieces)
- ½ lemon
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp water
- Fresh basil and salt to taste
PreparationBEETROOT PUREE PREP…
Start by peeling, cutting and cooking the potatoes and beetroots for your beetroot puree. Set them aside to cool while you prepare the rest of the dish.
In a large pot, heat up the olive oil and add the diced onion, stirring until onion is brown and soft (adding a little water if needed).
Add chopped garlic and cook for another minute or so. Then, stir in all your spices and cook for 30 seconds.
The next step is to add the lentils and vegetable stock, and then bring the whole pot to the boil. Reduce to a low heat, then cover your pot and allow it to simmer for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Whilst this pot is simmering, you can start making your polenta.
In another good-sized pot, you will need to bring the water and coconut milk to a boil.
Whisk in the polenta bit by bit, and reduce to low heat while continuously stirring for 5 minutes.
Add a sprinkle of nutritional yeast for that ‘cheesy flavour’.
Remove from the heat, cover and let it sit for at least 5 minutes longer to allow the polenta to soak.
After letting the lentils simmer for 25 minutes to let them thicken, add the tomato puree and a splash of the non-dairy milk.
Let them cook slowly for another 15 minutes until the lentils are only just holding together (but before they become mushy). Season with salt and pepper to taste.
BEETROOT PUREE PREP…
In the meantime, continue to make your beetroot puree.
Add your chopped (and now cooled) potatoes and beetroots to a blender along with salt and lemon juice to taste.
Start blender on a low setting, slowly add olive oil, water and basil until smooth and creamy.
Prepare a bowl with all parts of the dish served together in equal amounts. You can also add any toppings that you might like… my favourites include fresh basil, toasted sesame and pumpkin seeds, and roasted almonds or hazelnuts. Yum!
If you love this, then you will love my other Soulful Vegan Recipes from around the world… Just click for my Beautiful Buddha Bowl, Perfect Vegan Cacao Pancakes, Delicious Vegan Dahl, Vegan Carrot Cake or my Tropical Thunder Green Smoothie.
Until next time, sending lots of love, health and wellness to you. Mia xx