Chickpea Vegetable Sauce on Polenta

A wholesome tomato sauce with chickpeas, broccoli and red peppers served over fun heart-shaped polenta.

Chickpea Vegetable Sauce
2 tsp olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 cup broccoli, chopped
1 19 oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
1 14 oz can diced tomatoes
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp basil
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar

Heat oil on medium heat, then saute onion and garlic until soft for 3-5 minutes. Add bell pepper and broccoli and cook for 5 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and heat until sauce is bubbly, then reduce to low heat and simmer covered for 15 minutes.

4 cups vegetable broth
1 cup cornmeal
1 tbsp butter
1 tsp garlic powder
1/4 cup parmesan cheese

Heat broth to boiling, then gradually add cornmeal while whisking continously. Transfer to an oven-safe greased baking dish and bake at 350F for 35-40 minutes until creamy, stirring every 10 minutes to prevent lumps. Remove from oven and stir in butter, garlic powder and parmesan. Place in the refrigerator until cooled and set, then cut with a cookie-cutter into fun shapes, or just cut into squares. You can serve them like this, or saute them on medium heat in a non-stick skillet sprayed with cooking spray until lightly browned. Top with chickpea sauce.

We’ve been in in the midst of renovations on our basement for almost a year now, and there have been many times over that year when I’ve had to make meals without power or without water. This particular night there was no water because the plumber was working on some pipes and had to shut it off. Now the smart thing to do would have been to set aside some water before the plumber turned off the water, but in my defense he said it would only be an hour so I figured it would be back on before dinner. That didn’t happen, so I was stuck using bottled water to clean my veggies. I was planning to serve the sauce over pasta, but then I realize you need water to boil the pasta, and I didn’t have enough water bottles for that. Luckily I had been making polenta earlier, so I used that instead. Low and behold the polenta and sauce paired perfectly together. Everyone really liked it, except Cole wasn’t too fond of the polenta, which I thought he’d like because I had cut it into hearts, but that didn’t seem to help. I find polenta a lot of work, although this method of baking the polenta is a little less work because you don’t have to constantly stir it like you do on the stovetop. Still, it is time-consuming so I’d probably just use the store-bought stuff next time. The sauce was delicious, and I even ate it by itself as a sort of chickpea stew the next day. I think it would go nicely wth pasta as well, seeing as that was my original plan for it. We’ll give that a try one of these days when we actually have running water.

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Welcome! I’m Megan.

My kids like to whine, especially when it comes to the food they eat, but that doesn’t stop me from trying to make tasty and healthy meals for them. Follow along as I share family-friendly recipes and reviews from my picky family members, who I lovingly call “The Whine Critics.” Read More…

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