Coconut-Polenta Rounds

Last Updated on Tuesday, 5 July 2011 12:56 Written by Flax Wednesday, 23 March 2011 10:42

Mushrooms on a bed of PolentaI often get asked, how I come up with new recipes every week.  The answer is that I find inspiration all over the place.  I also think I must dream about food.  This is because one morning last week, I opened my eyes, and this recipe popped into my head.  I must admit that if I do have to dream about food, this dish is worthy.

In class we made this as a spicy biscuit, served with grilled mushrooms and grilled eggplant slices.  It can also be made into a delicious egg free, gluten-free cookie.  I give both recipes below.

Spicy Polenta    


  • olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1″ ginger, grated
  • 1″ chilli pepper, diced
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 2 stalks lemongrass, cut into small pieces
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 1 cup polenta
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup coconut milk

Oil the bottom of a sauce pan.  Saute the onions for a few minutes until soft.  Add the remaining spices and saute for one minute more.  Add the water and the coconut milk and bring to a boil.  Simmer for 5 minutes.  Add the red pepper and then slowly pour in the polenta, while briskly stirring the whole time to prevent lumps.   Keep stirring the polenta for a few minutes while it cooks.  The polenta is ready when it starts to thicken and pull away from the pan. 

Pour the polenta on to a flat surface and smooth it out.  Allow it to cool for up to five minutes.  Use a cookie cutter to cut out the desired shape. 

It’s not really possible to recut the remaining polenta – so just put it on the table and let people munch on it. 

Sweet Polenta


  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon or nutmeg
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Bring the liquid, spices and sugar to a boil.  Follow the same method as above.

Before serving, grill the polenta in a toaster or an oven for five minutes.

Serve hot.  Serves 4-6


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Lentil Stew

Last Updated on Sunday, 13 March 2011 02:29 Written by Flax Sunday, 13 March 2011 02:29

This stew contains both a protein and a green leafy vegetable.  Serve it on a bed of rice and you have a well-balanced, healthy and nourishing meal.  The prep. time for this dish is about ten minutes, and while you could theoretically get away with twenty minutes of cooking time, I prefer to let it cook slowly, over a low flame, for up to an hour. 

The green leafy vegetable that I use here has a bunch of names.  In Israel it is called both mangold and beet leaves.   It is one of my favorite green leafy vegetables to use in cooking because it is a Gush Katif product that is almost always available.  Look for it next to the lettuce in the refrigerated vegetable section.

For all of those who have been asking, pickled lemon is sold in supermarkets.  It is a commonly used ingredient in North African cooking and can usually be found next to the horseradish or the schug.  The hebrew name for pickled lemon is lemon baladi.  It is both salty and sour in flavor.  To prevent oversalting your food, add the pickled lemon first and then taste the dish before you add more salt.


  • olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, smashed and diced
  • 2 tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 1 bunch mangold leaves (beet leaves), crudely chopped
  • 1 cup green lentils
  • 3 cups water
  • 1/2 bunch coriander, diced
  • 1 tsp pickled lemon
  • turmeric
  • chilli pepper (optional)
  • fenugreek (optional)
  • cumin
  • salt and pepper

Heat the olive oil in a wide sauce pan.  Saute the onion, garlic and spices until the onion is translucent.  Add the mangold leaves and sweat until the leaves are soft.  Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil.  The lentils are cooked after 15 minutes but I like to cook this dish for up to an hour, leaving it to simmer until most of the water has boiled out and you are left with a thick sauce.

Serve hot.  Serves 4 as a main course.


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Ginger-Carrot Soup

Last Updated on Wednesday, 9 March 2011 11:55 Written by Flax Wednesday, 9 March 2011 11:51

Ginger and carrots, two of my favorite foods, being that I am a redhead.  I like this recipe because it is extremely versatile.  This creamy soup will warm you up on a cold winter day, or likewise, it can be a refreshing cold soup on a hot summer day.  Additionally, halve the amount of water and you have a bright and tasty sauce to perk up a rice or a quinoa dish. 


  • olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1/2 fennel bulb, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1′ ” ginger
  • 1″ chilli pepper
  • 2 tsp curry powder
  • 10 cups water
  • 10 carrots, peeled, and coarsely chopped
  • 1 star anise (optional)
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • Atlantic grey sea salt
  • pepper
  • 1/2 bunch coriander, chopped

Heat the olive oil in a soup pot.  Add the onions and sweat for 5 minutes.  Add the fennel, ginger, garlic,  chilli pepper, and spices and saute for 5 minutes more.

Add the water and bring to a boil.  Add the carrots, star anise, lemon juice, and coconut milk.  Bring to a boil again and then lower the flame and simmer for 45-60 minutes, until the carrots are well done.

Remove the star anise and puree.   Garnish with the chopped coriander.

Serve hot or cold.


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