This is Mexican comfort food that’s off the beaten path of typical Mexican cuisine. Corn is used in so many different ways down south, which is why I wanted to highlight polenta in this recipe. Although I love a good corn tortilla, this is a delicious way to switch things up and is so simple to make! Chorizo is famous for its paprika and spicy flavor—it truly is Mexican soul food. All of this can be beautifully represented in the plant-based world, as you’ll soon experience. This dish is healthy Mexican comfort food and is perfect to share on a warm night in.
Polenta with Spicy Tomato Chorizo [Vegan]
For the Polenta:
- 3 cups (720 ml) vegetable broth
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (150 g) cornmeal
- 1/2 cup (120 ml) full-fat coconut milk
For the Chorizo:
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 teaspoons (10 g) salt, divided
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon chipotle powder, plus more as needed
- 1 1/2 cups (105 g) finely chopped cremini mushrooms
- 1 small yellow bell pepper, finely chopped
- 1 small sweet potato, shredded
- 1 tablespoon (15 ml) agave nectar
- 1/4 cup (40 g) lentils, rinsed
- 1/4 cup (40 g) cherry tomatoes, thinly sliced
- 2 cups (480 ml) vegetable broth, divided
For the Garnishes:
- 10 cherry tomatoes (preferably on the vine), broiled until blistered
- Chili oil
- Lime wedges
- First, get your polenta going. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the broth and salt. Once the broth is boiling, add the cornmeal while stirring it constantly with a spatula. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook the polenta for 15 minutes, stirring it every minute or so. Pour in the milk and cook the polenta for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring it every so often, until it is thick and smooth. Cover the polenta and keep it warm while you make the chorizo.
- To make the chorizo, heat the oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add in the onion and 1 teaspoon of the salt. Cook the onion for 2 minutes, stirring it frequently. Next, toss in the garlic and cook the mixture for 30 seconds, stirring it occasionally. You’ll be stirring both the polenta and the chorizo at the same time, so don’t walk away quite yet!
- Add the paprika, coriander, cumin and chipotle powder. Toast the spices with the onion and garlic for 30 seconds. Toss in the mushrooms, bell pepper, sweet potato and agave. Cook down the vegetables for 5 minutes. Add the lentils, cherry tomatoes and 1 cup (240 ml) of the broth. Cover the pan and cook the mixture for 10 minutes. Uncover the pan and add the remaining 1 cup (240 ml) of broth. Cook the chorizo, uncovered, for 10 minutes, until the broth is absorbed and the sweet potato is tender.
- Taste your chorizo for doneness—the lentils should be tender—and your desired level of spiciness; if you want the chorizo to be spicier, add more chipotle powder. Add the remaining 1 teaspoon of salt, adjusting the amount to your taste if needed. Grab three serving bowls and divide the polenta among them. Top the polenta with the chorizo, blistered cherry tomatoes, chili oil and lime wedges. Serve the polenta and chorizo immediately.