Thursday, August 6, 2009

Zucchini, Tomato, Okra and Seitan Sausage Over Polenta

All is right with the world again because my sweetie is home safely from Oklahoma. I get is such a funk when we are apart. Ok, enough of that, back to cooking. Since I wanted to get a lot of veggies into my husband, I made a vegetable medley to serve over polenta for a late lunch today.

In order to keep the fat down, since I wasn’t certain how much fat he had on the road, I used only a teaspoon of oil to sauté the onion, and no fat in the polenta. Normally I would use a little more fat but I wanted to try to get the fat percentage a little lower than normal to bring the two day average down.

I used what I had in the house that I knew would go together. The okra was included for its ability to lower cholesterol. Okra isn’t my husband’s favorite (he complains about the “slime factor”). However, I have found if okra is a component of a larger dish he will eat it without much complaint. At least without any serious complaints (only his joking complaints), so that works for me. The zucchini was added for bulk. Zucchini is great to use as a vegetable filler. The red bell pepper adds a lot of vitamin C (more than an orange). Onions, garlic and tomatoes are cancer fighters, but also provide great flavor and are the foundation for many of my dishes. I included a seitan sausage to add a little more protein to the dish. I served this over polenta because I wanted to increase the calories without adding fat.

Zucchini, Tomato, Okra and Seitan Sausage Over Polenta
Serves 2

Polenta Ingredients:

1 cup of dry polenta
3 cups of cold water
1 teaspoon of salt

Vegetable Medley Ingredients:

1 teaspoon of canola oil
1 red onion, finely minced
1 red bell pepper, minced
1 cup of zucchini, minced
1 cup of okra, minced
15 ounce can of diced tomatoes
1 clove of garlic, grated or minced
½ teaspoon of dried oregano
½ teaspoon of dried thyme
1/8 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
1 Mexican spiced seitan sausage, sliced thinly


Add the polenta, water and salt and stir to incorporate the three. Taste the water to see if it tastes salty enough for you. Polenta is like rice, you can’t salt it later, it just won’t ever have enough salt if you do. Turn the heat on lower and periodically stir the polenta. When it starts to tighten up and bubble like lava turn off the heat and put a lid on the pan. You can hold the polenta for 10 – 15 minutes before it begins to firm. If necessary you can leave the heat on low and add a little water to keep it from getting too tight.

When you start the polenta you should also begin the vegetable medley so that they are both finished at the same time.

Sauté the onion in the olive oil until soft. When the onion has softened add all the remaining ingredients and simmer until the polenta is ready. The cooking process should take about 15 minutes.

Serve the vegetable medley over the polenta. If you have fresh parsley, that would be a good garnish on top of the vegetables.

Nutritional Information:

Amount Per Serving
Calories - 463.63
Calories From Fat (11%) - 51.97

Total Fat - 6.05g
Saturated Fat - 0.71g
Cholesterol - 0mg
Sodium - 1393.27mg
Potassium - 1316.03mg
Total Carbohydrates - 82.85g
Fiber - 13.88g
Sugar - 5.31g
Protein - 26.51g


Lunch today was very filling. I don’t think we will be having a heavy dinner tonight. The flavor was mild, but complex. There were no complaints about the okra (thankfully).

Overall, I think we both liked this meal. My husband did comment that the texture of the sausages was good. It appears we both prefer the pressure cooked seitan sausage methodology. This meal was all about comfort food to me. The creaminess from the polenta makes it very comforting, in my opinion.

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