Recipe: Seasonal Chard with “Sausage” & Polenta

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Holy tofu, does being a student take up a ton of time or what?  I feel like I’ve been spending just about every spare moment reading, listening to lectures, doing homework or studying.  How people can stand this long enough to get any degree higher than an Associate’s is beyond me!  Those of you who are, or have, or will…I salute you.  Some days I barely have time to shower, much less blog!

But here I am, emerging from the workload long enough to share a recipe designed to make the most of the greens that are available in abundance this time of year.  Rainbow chard is one of my personal favorites.  The vibrant colors play right into my love of visually appealing food.  I don’t know if that’s what makes it seem to taste better than regular Swiss chard, but I’ve found it does have a different flavor.  Though there’s a bunch of it growing in my garden right now, I obtained the greens for this recipe from one of my favorite vendors at the farmer’s market.  I can always count on them to have a ton of green things before my garden is even planted!

rainbow chard with vegan sausage

Combining with the slightly bitter flavor of the chard is the savory bite of vegan sausages.  I really suggest using homemade ones, though Field Roast is a good alternative if you’re tight on time.  To round it all out, everything gets served with pan “fried” polenta slices.  Browning them without oil takes a little diligence, but you’ll be rewarded with warm, crispy-on-the-outside, soft-on-the-inside corn triangles that soak up the juice from the chard mixture and generally taste amazing.

browned polenta triangles
You can use any polenta recipe that strikes your fancy; I like the one from Forks Over Knives – The Cookbook.  It’s so simple and makes a delicious base for the chard and sausage.  And as for the chard–the fresher, the better!  If you can get some out of your own garden, great.  If not, hit up the farmer’s market or a farm stand!  Fresh greens not only taste better, but they’re also higher in nutrients than the ones you’ll find languishing on store shelves.  Plus they smell awesome.  Ever notice that?

Seasonal Chard with “Sausage” & Polenta
 
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Author:
Recipe type: dinner
Serves: 4

Ingredients
  • 1 recipe polenta
  • 3-4 vegan sausage links, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
  • 1 cup red onion, sliced
  • 1 28oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 lb. Swiss chard, leaves shredded & stems chopped
  • pepper and Italian seasoning, to taste

Instructions
  1. Prepare the polenta and spread it in an 8×8 baking dish. Chill until set, 1 hour or longer. Cut into triangles and set aside.
  2. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, cook the vegan sausage, flipping frequently, until browned, about 5 minutes. Remove and set aside.
  3. Preheat the oven to 200F. In the same skillet, add the polenta triangles and cook for about 10 minutes, flipping once halfway through, until browned. Place on an oven-safe plate or dish and put it in the oven to keep the polenta warm.
  4. Add the garlic, onions and chard stems to the skillet. Cook for about 3 minutes, until softened, adding splashes of water as necessary to keep things from sticking.
  5. Stir in the tomatoes and their juices, the balsamic vinegar and the pepper and Italian seasoning. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer for 3-5 minutes, until the liquid is reduced by half.
  6. Add the chard leaves and stir to coat. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the chard is cooked down and the flavors have incorporated, 5-10 minutes.
  7. To serve, divide the polenta triangles between two plates. Top with the greens mixture, then the vegan sausage. Enjoy!

 

polenta chard vegan sausage

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About the Author:

Sam has been a vegan since summer of 2009 and has spent the subsequent years experimenting with all manner of vegan food. She holds a Certificate in Plant-Based Nutrition from the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies and is a graduate of the Bauman College Nutrition Consultant Program. She is a member of Toastmasters International and currently serves as part of the Capital View Toastmasters club. When she's not blogging or cooking, Sam likes to read and study the Bible, play silly card games and knit socks.
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Comments

  1. Small Footprints  July 25, 2013

    Oh this looks lovely! We’ve recently stopped using oil and I actually love the flavors of food without it … they seem so much cleaner. Frying or sauteing without the oil does take a bit more time and effort but really, it’s worth it … and so much healthier. Thank you for sharing this recipe … I’m definitely going to hit the farmer’s market and then give it a go.

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