This was inspired by Donna Hay.
I just love me some Donna Hay... It was a treasure to go the bookstore every month or so flip through her magazine or better yet, bring it home and cherish it with a hot cup of tea and a notepad to write ideas. Now of course, we don't have our Borders bookstore so sadly I do not come upon it as easily. So lately I've been enjoying my old Donna Hay magazines.
polenta fries). However I really liked the idea of grilled cheese and basil polenta. YUM! All of those ingredients are amazing.
Not to be deterred by the fact I don't eat cheese. I thought I can make that. At first I thought, maybe I could completely nix the cheese and just go with basil. Nixed that idea. What if I substituted the cheese with a soft roasted vegetable? Not feeling it. Nix. What if I made cheese? YES!
I've tried to make cheese sauces before and have succeeded in edible-ity or edibility (I made that up) but not in overall amazingness. Nothing to write home about... until now.
While doing research for another recipe, I came upon a coconut milk mozzarella from Olives for Dinner, a totally new site to me, which was originally adapted from this guy Josh Hebert.
And as I really believe in crediting those who inspire you and your recipes/ideas. I just wanted to thank Josh Hebert and Erin from Olives for Dinner (not that they will ever read this) for such a great idea! And thanks to Donna Hay for also all the inspiration!
This is very mild (definitely a good taste for mozzarella) and has a slight coconuty taste, subtle but it does NOT annoyingly remind you you're not eating cheese.
I changed the recipe a bit (otherwise I would just link) but here we go.
Coconut Milk Mozzarella
1 15 oz can Coconut Milk (not lite)
5 t agar flakes
1 tsp pink Himilyan Salt (or any sea salt)
1 tsp white balsamic
4 tsp Arrowroot Powder (or tapioca)
1 1/2 tsp nutritional yeast flakes
1. Pour can into small saucepan over medium-low heat until completely mixed.
2. Add remaing ingredients, except for nutritional yeast. Boil then simmer for ten minutes while frequently stirring.
3. Pour into flat-bottomed glass dish (This is was Erin's tip) and let gel for an hour or stick in fridge when cool for later use.
Also I didn't have instant polenta but this would be a much quicker fix if you did. You could also prepare the sandwiches and stick them in the fridge to heat up when you get home from work. Nom nom nom.
If you have have instant polenta, this will only need to cook 3 minutes. Regular is almost ten times as long.
3 cups water or vegetable broth
1 cup regular polenta
2 garlic cloves, minced
Large Handful Fresh Basil
Pinch of salt
1. Boil water.
2. Whisk in polenta, garlic, and salt. Reduce Heat. Stir Frequently for 20-30 minutes until thickened and not sticking to sides.
3. Pour half into loaf pan with nonstick baking paper. Top with mozzarella, basil leaves then remaining ingredients.
3. Refridgerate until set, at least 40 minutes.
To make Grilled Cheese and Basil Polenta Sandwiches:
1. Remove polenta from loaf pan (by pulling up nonstick baking paper).
2. Cut into squares or triangles.
3. Heat a little coconut oil (or any oil) on skillet on medium-high heat, add sandwiches. Grilling on both sides for five minutes.
Question of the day: Is there any food you miss? Have you found any delicious substitutes?
Most of all I miss cheese and greek yogurt. They were so delicious and creamy!