Polenta Stack with Mushroom Gravy

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Sometimes I like to get experimental in the kitchen.  It doesn’t always turn out so well, but there are those times that it turns out WAY better than you ever expected.  This was one of those awesome times!  I have never made mushroom gravy before, especially not an “almost vegan” version.  The only reason this wasn’t considered vegan is because I used “I can’t believe it’s not butter” instead of Earth Balance.  I’m sure Earth Balance would have made about the same result so if you decide to re-create this vegan style just substitute Earth Balance in necessary location.  Anyway, it was Friday night,  my husband was playing video games and so I decided to play around the kitchen.  That is usually what I do when I get bored and hungry.  I had a tube of polenta that my mother had given me and I knew it was about time to use it.  Now, I have used polenta a few different ways: polenta fries, polenta vegetable casserole, etc… I had seen online that people were crisping them up in a skillet and for some reason I had just never tried it so I thought I would give it a shot.

I was shocked at how quick and simple it is to cook this in the skillet.  I’m probably just going to make it this way from now on.  The texture is great as it gets really crispy on the outside but stays nice and creamy on the inside.  Never have I attempted to make my own polenta.  I always just buy the kind that is in the weird-looking tube shape.  Maybe one day I’ll venture into making my own but for now I’ll just stick to store-bought.  They know what they are doing and I don’t have to wait for it to set up which is nice, especially when you are in a hurry, or just lazy, like me.

The internet is swirling with polenta recipes.  Mostly they are shown as mini pizzas or with some sort of marinara sauce and I just wasn’t feeling Italian last night.  Not to mention that my husband is not a huge fan of marinara sauce and I wanted him to try something new so I decided on a more savory version.  What is better than a nice gravy?  Not much really when it comes to sauces or dressings in my book.  I started thinking about gravy options to pair with the polenta.  Since polenta is basically grits I immediately went to breakfast style options.  However, I wasn’t feeling like “biscuit style” gravy and I had some random mushrooms so I thought I’d give this mushroom gravy a shot.  Goodness gracious, I’m so glad that I did and I also think that this would be an awesome topping for biscuits as well, when you are just wanting something a little different.

I wanted to make the gravy first, since the polenta doesn’t take very long and I didn’t want them to get cold.  Here are a list of the ingredients you will need for the mushroom gravy:

Gravy Ingredients

Handful or two of sliced white button mushrooms

1 – 1 1/2c Original unsweetened almond milk

2 tbs AP Flour

1 tbs I can’t believe it’s not butter

salt, pepper

Start by spraying a skillet with non stick spray, saute the mushrooms until soft and then scoot them to the side of the pan.  Add butter and flour to the skillet to create the roux for the gravy.  Slowly add in almond milk and simmer until the gravy thickens to desired consistency.  Season with salt and pepper to taste. HA…how easy is that?

Once you have made the gravy, simply spray another skillet with cooking spray and cook each polenta round for about five minutes on each side.  Stack them up, pour on the gravy and add some fresh thyme.  Perfect healthy dinner on your plate in no time.

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