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Creamy Coconut Polenta from The Colorful Kitchen Cookbook + GIVEAWAY!

*Giveaway below!*

With my cookbook being released tomorrow, I had to think long and hard about which recipe from The Colorful Kitchen I wanted to share with you today.

My first instinct was to share one of the fun desserts or colorful party snacks (and there are quite a few!), but in the end I decided that the heart of my cookbook is truly about easy-to-make, healthful and nourishing recipes that you’ll want to make for dinner tonight.

Made from ingredients that you’re likely to already have on hand, today’s Vegan & Gluten-Free Creamy Coconut Polenta with Balsamic Mushrooms and Chickpeas is a cozy, warming dinner that I keep on repeat for easy weeknight cooking. It’s definitely one of the recipes from my cookbook that I make for dinner for my family most often (even Baby V loves it!), and it’s a great example of the kinds of recipes you’ll find in my cookbook.

Speaking of the cookbook, I’m so excited to give away a copy to one of you! To enter to win a copy of The Colorful Kitchen, leave a comment on this post letting me know your go-to weeknight dinner. I’ll be randomly selecting the winner Wednesday (12/13) at 7pm (must be in US or Canada to win). The giveaway is now closed, thank you to everyone who entered!

Before we get to the recipe, I also want to say a huge thank you to all of you for being so supportive through the process of writing and launching this book. I would never have been able to do it without my amazing readers!

4.9 from 34 reviews
Creamy Coconut Polenta from The Colorful Kitchen Cookbook + GIVEAWAY!
Prep time
Total time
Recipe type: entree
Cuisine: vegan, gluten-free
Serves: 4
Polenta Base
  • 1 cup medium-ground cornmeal
  • 1 (13½-ounce can) full-fat coconut milk
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
Mushroom Topping
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 cups button or cremini mushrooms, sliced in half
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1½ cups cooked chickpeas (or one 15-ounce can)
  • 3 cups packed baby spinach
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
  1. To prepare the polenta, combine the cornmeal, coconut milk, and vegetable broth in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes. Turn the heat off and let the polenta sit for 5 minutes before serving.
  2. While the polenta cooks, prepare the mushroom topping. Heat the coconut oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic and sauté for 5 minutes.
  3. Add the mushrooms, balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, and water. Cook for about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are tender.
  4. Add the chickpeas and cook for 1–2 minutes, until heated. Turn the heat off and stir in the spinach until it wilts, about 2 minutes.
  5. To serve, transfer the polenta to a large bowl and top with the mushroom mixture. Season with salt and pepper.




Also- there’s just one day left to preorder the book and get the bonus Holiday Ebook!

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129 Responses to Creamy Coconut Polenta from The Colorful Kitchen Cookbook + GIVEAWAY!

  1. It’s not really a single dish, but we’ve been ordering meal kits from Hello Fresh regularly. After a long day at work, it’s nice to be able to make a healthy dinner without having to worry about planning ahead with grocery shopping, meal prep, etc.

  2. This polenta looks good!

    I don’t have a go-to weeknight dinner yet because I am still exploring new recipes. Some of my favorites are fishless filets + broccoli tots and chopped spinach + tempeh.

  3. Oh my gosh I would eat this every day! My go to weekly meal is definitely Daal lentils! I make it extra spicy and as potatoes to it! I just recently went vegan this year and I love it so much!

  4. I’m a huge fan of your blog and your Instagram, all of the food looks amazing and delicious! One weeknight meal that we cook often is just a simple stir fry, with beans or tofu plus tons of veggies!

  5. My go-to dinner on the weekends are usually salads and veggie sandwiches. Something fast, since I work weekends. This cookbook would really help me change up my boring weekend dinners with something more delicious and creamy as shown above :) thank you for sharing!

  6. Thanks for sharing this yummy recipe! It’s hard to choose just on go to weeknight dinner. I love crockpot meals because of the convenience. Crockpot chili or lentil soup are our fave with a side of rice and veggies.

  7. Yuuum!!! I want this cookbook so bad! My go-to weeknight dinner is some sort of salad bowl filled with greens, a grain, roasted veggies, nuts/seeds/or beans and a yummy dressing! But this polenta is lookin’ mighty delicious…

  8. Aside from salads, I tend to cook veggies in my cast iron, add a protein, and whatever spices/sauces that I am in the mood for. It really depends on what I have on hand.

  9. This looks delicious! My go to weeknight meal is any one of one pot vegan curry!! Typically with red lentils, coconut milk and whatever veggies are in my fridge!

  10. So far, I don’t have an usual go-to meal. I’m always searching for new recipes and don’t like repeats too often. There are too many yummy recipes out there to try!

  11. This looks ama-za-zing!! My go to meal is always rice and dahl beans (rice is cooked with ginger, turmeric and black pepper) with a veggie mixture of onions, garlic, carrots, broccoli, and beets cooked in sesame oil! Then I sometimes indulge in cinnamon!

  12. Recently I’ve been having chili rellenos because my grandmother had made me a vegan version of it–which turned out amazing! I have been trying to replecate her recipe ever since.

  13. Yum!!! As a student my schedule varies too much each night to ever get on a true go-to dinner but my favorite meal to take with me to the library is a sweet potato yogurt bowl with peanut butter!

  14. Go to meal for me and my Little’s is chicken and cheese quesadilla with fresh berries and. A side salad 🙌🏼❤️

  15. My fav easy weeknight dinner is bbq cauliflower tacos with homemade vegan sour cream, avocado, olives, shredded lettuce, salsa verde, So Delicious shredded cheese, and Daiya ranch!

  16. It sounds kind of shameful but lately I’ve been relying on spicy Lebanese potatoes and edamame for dinner! I need to introduce more variety but dang, so easy and good.

  17. I’m a vegan as of two months ago and have been on a weight loss journey. I’ve made it a goal to it a habit to make one new healthy recipe every week and my go to has been a form of teriyaki tofu stir fry with rice noodles (made it tonight, in fact)! Can’t wait to try this coconut Polenta recipe.

  18. In the fall and winter tempeh pot pie is my go to meal.. I like to make them on weekends and freeze, unbaked. During the week, I can pop a pie in the oven for an easy homemade meal without any fuss.

  19. My go to meal – generally something involving quinoa, sweet potato and/or spinach. This looks very yummy, will have to try it out!

  20. All of your Food looks soooooo yummy!! I can wait to make some of your recipes. My go to dinner is veggie cauliflower fried rice!!

  21. My easy & healthy go-to is egg roll in a bowl. You simply stirfry veggies of your choice with bragg’s and coconut aminos and some coconut oil. Top with a scarmbled egg and some ssesame seeds!

  22. My go-to weeknight meal is a kale based buddha bowl with jerk mushrooms, seasoned black beans, oven roasted onions and peppers, and rice or quinoa. Topped with fresh cucumbers, tomatoes, and crushed avocados. Yummy :) Gotta try this polenta recipe sometime this week!

  23. This looks so super yummy! Our go to is bibimbob Korean rice bowl w whatever leftover veg we have! Always looking for new recipes to try w the fam!

  24. Yum yum yum, can’t wait to try this! My favorite weekend meal usually includes throwing all the veggies I have left in the kitchen and roasting them in the over! I serve them over a spinach/kale salad and it makes a perfect vegetable medley :)

  25. Yum!! i’m going to try this sometime very soon. My go to meal for the week is a tofu dish with pasta and vegetable. It’s so amazing and very easy. Can’t wait to read the rest of your recipes from your book!

  26. This cookbook looks amazing! My go-to weeknight dinner is zuchinni noodles with a mushroom walnut bolognese sauce. I make a big batch of the sauce and use it throughout the week on spaghetti squash, polenta, etc. So delish!

  27. My go-to weeknight meal is green curry made with chopped vegetables from my garden that I froze last summer. I serve it over wehani rice. My husband could have it 4 nights a week and he’d be happy!

  28. Sounds so good and simple to follow! Will definitely be trying this. Since I work most nights my go to meal is normally a Buddha bowl using whatever I have on hand!

  29. My go to meal is falafel pitas or salads. Falafel balls are so easy to make and store to throw together in a pita or on top of a salad with my favorite veggies and vegan cheese. Especially for a single gal who despises making big meals and getting stuck with lots of leftovers.

  30. My go-to weeknight dinner is bibimbap with sautéed spinach, carrots, lettuce, bean sprouts, sesame oil, red bean pepper paste, and a fried egg on top!

  31. my go to easy meal is black bean tacos with melted daiya, cilantro, shredded red cabbage and chopped red onion in blue corn taco shells ..

  32. My go to weekend meals are always simple and yummy like quinoa tacos, we can eat them for days. I also do a lot of prep cooking so my week is easier to deal with. Who likes to cook on Monday’s? No me.

  33. This looks so delicious! I can’t wait to try it. My go-to weeknight dinner is what I like to call an Italian stir fry – just a combo of whatever veggies you have in the fridge served over pasta. Onions, tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, broccoli, it all works! You can even add some beans for extra protein. Congrats on your book launch! Can’t wait to see more!

  34. This looks amazing!! My go-to dinner is a big bowl of protein and nutrient filled foods. Usually peas, kale/spinach and broccoli on top of rice or potatoes. Then topped with a “garbage bag sauce” as I call it haha! It’s just a mix of tahini, veggie broth, garlic, soy sauce, and brown mustard. So so yummy!!

  35. Going to try the recipe tonight! My go-to meal is usually a veggie soup in the winter and a big salad with lots of great toppings in the summer.

  36. Wow! This recipe looks sooo delicious! I need to try making polenta with coconut milk, we love polenta here at our home!!
    My favorite to go weeknight meal is without a doubt Tacos!! Easy to make, we all can each build our tacos the way we like with a variety of toppings, plus it is nutritious (we add colorful veggies, salsa, guac, corn and beans!) and delicious! In fact Tacos are one of my favorite meals of all times!!

  37. My go to is Spagetti and meatless balls. You can never go wrong. Your dish looks so amazing and easy enough for me to try. I been wanting to try out polenta.

  38. My go to meal is a stir fry of whatever veggies and rice I have leftover. It’s quick, simple, and I don’t waste any good!

  39. Congrats on the release of your book! It looks like it’s full of yummy and vibrant recipes! Like others, my go to quick dinners are curry and stir fry. We’re in need of some new sauces though!

  40. I have zero consistent during the week as of now. Something I haven’t made lately and prepared for this week is a simple Buddha bowl. I like being able to gather slightly different ingredients and pull them together for a quick reheat. P.S. super excited about your cookbook as I’m trying to incorporate a lot more plant-based meals into my diet this upcoming year

  41. Vegetarian chili with vegan crumbles, black beans and kidney beans, diced tomatoes, sautéed onions and green pepper, lots of slices, I like it hot!!! Would be amazing to win! Been vegetarian for quite a while now but been impossible to find interesting recipes. No one I know is vegetarian to swap ideas with and the local restaurants don’t cater to vegetarians. Been struggling with different options of what to eat. Would LOVE to be able to expand my palette , and maybe even recruit my husband and children 😜

  42. My go to is oven-baked veggies with olive oil, salt and pepper. The veggies change day to day and season to season, but always involve garlic and onion.

  43. This looks great! My go-to weeknight dinner is a VeganEgg omelette with yummy veggies! Breakfast for dinner is always a treat!

  44. My go to week-night dinner is brown rice with roasted veggies, such as broccoli, carrots, mushrooms, acorn/ butternut squash, brussel sprouts, and tahini dressing! SO YUMMY. Can’t wait for you cook book :)

  45. My go to dinner is marinated tempeh on whole grain buns (or quick homemade cassava tortillas if I have time) with a big salad and steamed sweet potatoes.

  46. Love your recipes! My favorite simple go-to weekday meal is a simple mixed greens salad dressed with nuts, tahini, olive oil and lemon topped with a poached egg.

  47. This looks so good! I don’t have a go to weeknight dish. I am always trying new things. I like to keep things changed up.

  48. At this time of year, I come home from work, it’s cold out, i’m exhausted, and I just want to relax. I take care of walking and feeding all of my dogs first and then I don’t really feel like making much or cleaning a lot of dishes so, I cook squash, mash it up, add a bit of garlic and that’s what I will eat…lots of it! I find it just such a soothing food for this time of year. I don’t really like to eat heavier foods at night either so, this is perfect!

  49. My go to dinner is a Buddha bowl type of thing- rice, roasted vegetables, kale with a maple tahini dressing!! Easy to prep on a Sunday night and enjoy for a few nights! Super satisfying and Allows time for other things such as working out or relaxing!

  50. Go To Weeknight Dinner? It changes with my mood. I was on wraps for a while. Then Salads. Sometimes it’s anything with noodles! I would LOVE LOVE LOVE the opportunity to win your new book! Thanks so much for the great content!

  51. My go to weeknight dinner is vegan chili, the spicier the better. Your recipe looks wonderful and the idea of winning a free cookbook sounds neat. Congrats on the publication of your new cookbook!

  52. My go to weeknight meal is tacos! We use veggies on hand, throw in some beans, and top with avacodo and/ or salsa.
    The recipes in this cookbook look yummy, healthy, and easy!

  53. Your dish looks ahhhhh-mazing!!! And your presentation ~~ gahhhh 😍 My family loves Mexican food –who can blame us = avocado is the bomb-diggity– so our go-to is usually a bowl filled with rice, beans, corn, lettuce, cilantro, tomatoes, olives and the ever-important avocado!!! Congratulations on your new cookbook ☺️

  54. My favorite go-to weeknight dinner is a simple plate of roasted sweet potatoes, sea-salted Edamame, and couscous cooked in coconut milk and a pinch of coconut sugar. I am in absolute heaven with this plate. You can add avocado on the side too 😊

  55. Hi Ilene. Congratulations on your new cookbook…I can’t wait to try it out. The Coconut Polenta recipe looks so delicious!

    Our favorite weeknight dinner is usually veggies and quinoa via stir-fry or crockpot methods. We aren’t vegetarians but LOVE our veggies just the same and are always looking for delicious ways to incorporate them in our meals.

  56. Our go-to weeknight dinner is usually something to do with pasta (vegan, naturally): either chipotle mac & cheese with roasted brussels sprouts, spaghetti, or pasta with a vegan alfredo sauce. Just depends on what I have in the fridge!

  57. One of my go-to meals is slow cooker butter tofu. It’s incredibly easy and delicious. Thank you for the chance to win your beautiful cookbook. <3

  58. Vegan & Gluten-Free Creamy Coconut Polenta with Balsamic Mushrooms and Chickpeas easy and great tasting for the whole family.

  59. My go-to meal is to roast chickpeas and whatever veggies I have on hand, then top them with a simple pesto made with whatever fresh herbs I’ve got. It’s a great way to empty the fridge!

  60. Lately my go to weeknight dinner has been coconut curry variations~ my favorite has been a chickpea curry with lime, cilantro and quinoa instead of rice. It’s comforting and easy to change up the ingredients. I can’t wait to try this though!

  61. Looks amaaaaazing! For some reason, I’m always a bit scared to use polenta – maybe it’s just because I haven’t found a great recipe yet! Looking forward to giving this one a try :)

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