Golden Polenta with Cannellini Beans and Mushroom Sage Gravy {vegan and gluten-free}

Drizzle with olive oil, and bake until almost crisp–sounds like a good start, right? Top the golden little squares with something really delicious, whatever your foodie heart desires. Keep going, right? Here’s a seasonal recipe to show you how it’s done. Since we’re well into autumn, this golden polenta with cannellini beans and mushroom sage gravy is just the thing.

Golden Polenta with Cannellini Beans and Mushroom Sage Gravy | Letty's Kitchen

This is not your usual way to prepare polenta–that’s why it’s kinda fun. The hot cornmeal mush is spread quite thinly in the pan. When it sets up, it’s cut into 3-inch squares. That where the olive oil and baking ‘til golden around the edges comes in. And then there’s the sauce, this creamy dreamy vegan gravy.

This veggie gravy features umami mushrooms and sweet onions, sautéed with garlic until golden. The finish is simple and easy–gently pungent sage, veggie broth, and sesame tahini. While tahini brings in creaminess, white cannellini beans add rich meatless protein.

Particularly when the whole seasoned combination gets spooned over scrumptious little squares of baked polenta, it turns out to be an amazingly simple vegan-happy feast. Especially this time of year. This savory sage gravy will splash the puddle in a mound of hot roasted garlic mashed potatoes in a big meatless way. Hello holidaze! Continue Reading…

Cinnamon Poached Pears with Chocolate Sauce {vegan}

Fresh pears are at their peak this time of year, and cinnamon poached pears with chocolate sauce is an elegant yet simple dessert showcasing this seasonal bell-shaped fruit. It’s a marriage made in heaven–bittersweet chocolate sauce draping over perfectly poached citrus and cinnamon scented pears. This recipe first appeared on Pressure Cooking Today where I’m a contributor.

Cinnamon Poached Pears with Chocolate Sauce | Letty's Kitchen

“There are only 10 minutes in the life of a pear when it is perfect to eat.” Back in my bakery days, I’d heard that saying about pears, so I Googled it. It’s a quote from poet and philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson. Who knew? I bet he would have loved this dessert.

Ten minutes might be an exaggeration, but it’s certainly true that perfectly ripe pears are key to perfectly poached pears. This means pears should definitely not be mushy, but neither should they be rock hard. Aim for just ripe, but still firm, with color just beginning to change from green to yellow. Continue Reading…

Mushroom, Chard, and Cheddar Tart

Filled with meaty golden sautéed mushrooms and vitamin-rich chard, this mushroom, chard, and cheddar tart is mostly all veggies, with a couple of eggs and a smattering of cheese to hold everything together. It’s baked in a flaky whole wheat oatmeal crust and finished with a sprinkle of crunchy roasted sunflower seeds.Mushroom, Chard, and Cheddar Tart | Letty's Kitchen

At play here is what I call the amazing shrinking greens phenomenon. This time a big leafy bunch of chard greens reduces into a green tangle. When chard is your green leafy, be sure to use the stems, just pan-fry those colorful tasty stems along with the onions. When they’re soft, add the chopped chard leaves and cook until they’ve wilted and shrunk–into just enough to fill a 9-inch tart. Continue Reading…

Lentil Chiles Rellenos with Creamy Walnut Sauce – vegetarian Chiles en Nogadas

Lentil chiles rellenos with creamy walnut sauce are a delicious meatless play on the famous Mexican dish, chiles en nogada. Oh the colors, flavors, and textures! These have the traditional almond crunch, dried fruit sweetness, warm spices, not to mention the creamy white sauce and crimson pomegranate garnish. But the filling in these chiles begins with rustic lentils and golden meaty mushrooms. When you bite in, pretend you’re in the heart of Mexico.

Lentil Chiles Rellenos with Creamy Walnut Sauce | Letty's Kitchen

When traveling in Mexico, and finding chiles en nogada on a restaurant menu, I always dreamed of a vegetarian version. I once asked the chef to make me some without meat. He obliged, but they came served cold, and I was totally disappointed. So, I’m stoked to share this recipe, these fantastic stuffed mild chiles, served hot, with warm creamy goat cheese walnut sauce. Continue Reading…

Chunky Banana Chocolate Chip Pecan Pancakes

Chop some sweet banana, throw in buttery-rich nuts, and bake them into golden brown pancakes. You’ve already got a good thing going, and it gets even better when you stir in the chocolate. Chunky banana chocolate chip pecan pancakes —just the thought of these will get you out of bed in the morning.

Chunky Banana Chocolate Chip Pecan Pancakes | Letty's Kitchen

Today’s banana chocolate chip pecan pancakes are made with whole wheat flour, chia seeds, and healthy bananas and nuts. They are easy to mix up, and, with no eggs or dairy, they rise quite nicely for your weekend nourishment needs. Continue Reading…