Vegan ‘Cheese’ Polenta + Kale Pesto + Roasted Chickpea

This Vegan ‘Cheese’ Polenta + Kale Pesto + Roasted Chickpea will be ranked one of the best dishes eaten all year, believe me! It’s based with creamy polenta, followed by a tasty kale pesto sauce, and topped with roasted chickpeas that have been lightly dressed with buffalo sauce. This dish surely boasts of bold flavors that marry so well together for one great bowl of goodness. The perfect breakfast or dinner option.

Vegan 'Cheese' Polenta + Kale Pesto + Roasted Chickpea

Happy Saturday, ya’ll! I hope that you guys have been enjoying your weekend so far. In NYC, it’s been pretty frigid, especially today, so being indoors or from point A to point B has been the main plan. Haha.

Although, in NYC it’s ALWAYS busy and people are always out and about, so there’s hardly any slow moments when being outdoors, regardless of weather, time of day, or anything else for that matter.

Anyway, today has been rather busy for me (kinda like most of my weekends), especially with the debut of the For the Love of Sweet Tea podcast being back in action.

Yup, that’s right. I’m back and trying to get into the swing of things after a little Holiday break. And don’t worry—-I have a ton of new content and ideas for future episodes, don’t be sure to join me on Saturdays on FB Live!

Vegan 'Cheese' Polenta + Kale Pesto + Roasted Chickpea

Besides, that, I’ve been getting things together for our upcoming Sip. Shop. Eat. PopUp Shop, which takes place next Saturday (12/16) in Brooklyn, NY.

There’s so much prepping that has to happen, especially when it’s your first one, so a girl’s been stressing a bit. Haha. I know. Woosahhh!

It’s just nerve wracking a bit, but I got this! Much like you’ve got whatever you’ve been trying to do, too.

One thing that I’ve learned is that things may not always go as yo’d like for them to go, BUT they always go the wya they need to.

So, embrace the hiccups, changes, and shifting moments. It’s all working out!

Vegan 'Cheese' Polenta + Kale Pesto + Roasted Chickpea

Besides those two things, the Holiday season has been pretty well. It has been spent getting everything together, including our Christmas trees and decor, among other things.

Oh and before I forget to mention, don’t forget to check out our Sprinkle Sugar Cookies on Pinhole Press’s Pinterest Cookie Bake-off if you haven’t already!

We definitely advise that you give our recipe a try and then snap a quick photo to submit your vote.

But if you’re looking for other great recipes with Chickpeas, I’ve rounded up a few below for you:

Buckwheat Veggie Pizza with Chickpea + Kale Pesto Sauce

Vegan Chickpea + Broccoli Mashed Potato Bowl

Roasted Plantain + BBQ Chickpea Vegan Bowl

Healthy Loaded Kale Salad with Spicy Chickpeas

Of course, you can always check out our Vegan Bites Archives for other awesome plant-based options. There are some really special treats there for you to try!

Vegan 'Cheese' Polenta + Kale Pesto + Roasted Chickpea

OK, so let’s dig right into this recipe, shall we?

To Make Roasted Chickpeas:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, add chickpea and seasonings, stirring them together until well coated.

Add chickpeas to baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes, tossing them mid-way until golden brown and crisp. **NOTE: During the last 10 minutes, add homemade buffalo sauce, brushing it onto chickpea and continue to bake.**

Remove from oven and set aside.

To Make Polenta:

Strat by adding 3 cups of water to a medium pot pot and bringing it to a boil. Add a pinch of sea salt. Once boiling, slowly add polenta and whisk it into the water at the same time. **NOTE: Yes, I know. This requires a bit of multi-tasking.**

Reduce heat to low and let polenta simmer while you continuously whisk it around, until it becomes thick.

Once all water has reduced and polenta is full thick and no longer “grainy”, add vegan butter and then vegan cheese. Continue to whisk, until well combined. Remove from heat and set aside until ready to use.

To Make Kale Pesto Sauce:

Add all ingredients into a blender and blend until sauce becomes creamy. **NOTE: If needed, add a bit more lemon juice or water (1 Tbsp at a time), until desired consistency is met.**

To Assemble: Simply add polenta to a bowl, topping it with Kale Pesto (smudging it a bit using a spoon), and then Roasted Chickpea atop. Garnish with dried parsley, optional.

Bon Appetite!

Vegan 'Cheese' Polenta + Kale Pesto + Roasted Chickpea

Vegan 'Cheese' Polenta + Kale Pesto + Roasted Chickpea

Vegan 'Cheese' Polenta + Kale Pesto + Roasted Chickpea

Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 20 mins
Total Time: 25 mins
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Ingredients

To Make Roasted Chickpeas:

  • 2 cups chickpeas, drained + rinsed (That's a 15 oz. can)
  • 1 Tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 Tbsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 cup Homemade Vegan buffalo sauce (See Notes!)

To Make Polenta:

  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cup organic dried polenta grains (I used Bob's Red Mill)
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1 Tbsp vegan butter
  • 3/4-1 cup vegan cheese (I used Daiya's Mozzarella)
  • dried parsley, garnish

To Make Kale Pesto Sauce:

  • 1 cup fresh kale, chopped
  • 1/2 cup spinach, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • pinch of sea salt + black pepper
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes

Instructions

To Make Roasted Chickpeas:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, add chickpea and seasonings, stirring them together until well coated.
  • Add chickpeas to baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes, tossing them mid-way until golden brown and crisp. **NOTE: During the last 10 minutes, add homemade buffalo sauce, brushing it onto chickpea and continue to bake.**
  • Remove from oven and set aside.

To Make Polenta:

  • Strat by adding 3 cups of water to a medium pot pot and bringing it to a boil. Add a pinch of sea salt. Once boiling, slowly add polenta and whisk it into the water at the same time. **NOTE: Yes, I know. This requires a bit of multi-tasking.**
  • Reduce heat to low and let polenta simmer while you continuously whisk it around, until it becomes thick.
  • Once all water has reduced and polenta is full thick and no longer "grainy", add vegan butter and then vegan cheese. Continue to whisk, until well combined. Remove from heat and set aside until ready to use.

To Make Kale Pesto Sauce:

  • Add all ingredients into a blender and blend until sauce becomes creamy. **NOTE: If needed, add a bit more lemon juice or water (1 Tbsp at a time), until desired consistency is met.**
  • To Assemble: Simply add polenta to a bowl, topping it with Kale Pesto (smudging it a bit using a spoon), and then Roasted Chickpeas atop. Garnish with dried parsley, optional.
  • Bon Appetite!

Tips & Tricks

To Make Vegan Buffalo Sauce:
  • 1/2 cup of vegan butter
  • 2/3 cup hot pepper sauce
  • 1 1/2 Tbsps white vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp garlic powder
Start by melting the vegan butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Once melted, add seasonings and whisk until mixture begins to boil. Let simmer for 3-4 minutes, continuously whisking, and remove form heat and let cool slightly.
NOTE: Sauce can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a month.

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