Polenta Rancheros

Well, I had planned on spending my day taking a trip up to Indianapolis to visit with my Ma but the fact that it had snowed 2 feet and everything is iced over discouraged either of us from wanting to drive. AND it being 15 degrees outside has discouraged me from even getting out of my pajamas, let alone leaving the house. So, what to do with my freed up day? Clean the house? Do some studying? Fold my laundry? Nah. How about….make some elaborate breakfast and lay around watching movies with my roommates and working on my blog all day? Score!

Okay, so I am a little bit in love with avocados. It may be a problem. I crave them all the time. I pick out recipes just because they are in them. And I tend to down the entire thing when I slice one open. This recipe was obviously inspired because I was determined to not eat ANOTHER lunch consisting of only an avocado and a spoon.

Also, this recipe is another “cross cultures” type of meal which makes it surprisingly unique but traditionally delicious. If you love the combination of bursting flavors you get with Mexican cuisine then you are sure to love this vegan twist on traditional TexMex. And it’s perfect with mimosas (if you’re having it for brunch) or beergaritas (if you’re having it for dinner).

Speaking of beergaritas, have you guys ever had a brass monkey? I know that is probably the trashiest question I have ever asked on my blog but they are surprisingly delicious! I realize that they were invented as a way of masking just how awful cheap beer/40s taste and the Beastie Boys sing about them but dayuuum! We were stuck in our house one night a few weeks ago because of an ice storm with the only evening beverages to choose from being gin and cheap beer pong beer so we decided to make some brass monkeys. I was pleasantly surprised. Orange Juice really can make any type of terrible alcohol taste good. Okay…sorry, this last paragraph was completely off topic of anything that this post is about.

Oh! And lastly, I should let you know where this recipe originated from! This is an adapted recipe that I got out of my ‘Vegan Brunch‘ cookbook (oh-it’s so good if you haven’t cooked from it! Go to your local library immediately and pick up a copy!).

Polenta Rancheros

  • 1 can of black beans (15 ounce)
  • 1/2 teaspoon agave nectar
  • dash of salt
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 can of tomato sauce (8 oz)
  • 1 Tablespoon oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 2 cups cooked polenta (cook according to manufacturer’s directions).

+Toppings: avocado, sour cream (vegan or non), cheese (vegan or non), tomatoes, salsa, cilantro, etc.

Prepare the polenta according to the manufacture’s directions and put aside to set.

In a large skillet, put the cumin seeds over medium heat and cook for about two minutes (or until slightly browned). Next, add the oil, onion, peppers, and garlic. Saute for about ten minutes or until the onions start to soften. Then, add the tomato sauce, dash of salt, black beans and the agave nectar. Cook for another ten minutes or until the beans until warmed up.

Plop a couple big spoonfuls of polenta in a bowl followed by the bean mixture and all the toppings.

Enjoy hot while you listen to your favorite David Bowie album or watching Anthony Bourdain eat spam in Hawaii (I wish I was in Hawaii! But this brunch is wayyyy better than any Hawaiian spam. that is for sure).