January 19, 2012

Recipe: Beanballs and Polenta

Beanballs and polenta

Sometimes, it's a nice change to cook something more complicated than my usual "whole foods" regimen.  Here is last night's dinner -- soft polenta (leftover from the previous night) with homemade tomato sauce and "bean-balls," recipe courtesy of the always-inspiring Veganomicon by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero.   I have had little problems with tomato sauce as a GERD trigger, so this combo suited me fine, but if too much tomato doesn't work for you, the bean-balls are great on their own, too.

This beanball recipe has been making the rounds online.  Here is the original recipe, as posted on the Living is Motion blog (a personal health/diet oriented chronicle by blogger Tamara).  The Veganomicon recipe called for wheat gluten, but I omitted this, and also left out the lemon zest and soy sauce -- two flavors I don't care for.  I used the tomato paste instead of steak sauce, and added parsley and a small chopped onion with great results.   There's also much discussion online about the amount of canned beans used -- two cans? three cans? -- but I just used two medium sized cans of kidney beans and it worked out fine.   Mine did turn out softer than I suspect they should, probably since I left out the binding gluten, but they were delicious  It is tempting to eat them all straight from the oven pan!

For the polenta, I used cornmeal (medium ground), bringing 2 and a 1/2 cups of water to a boil and adding the cornmeal in a steady stream.  The trick is constant stirring.  Here's where your whisk is especially handy to break up lumps.  Stir while simmering for 15 minutes or until desired doneness -- you'll need to taste at the end of the 15 minutes.  Add water if the mixture is getting too thick before done.

I had three bean balls and 1/2 cup of polenta, and a generous helping of sauce.   I left the table feeling satisfied, but not full -- this, plus slow eating is really helping relieve my GERD symptoms.  I did have brief reflux later that night (maybe tomatoes do affect me after all?) but it passed very quickly.

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