Cheezy coconut polenta and shiitake bacon

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Add these killa sides to any protein/ vegetable/ fruit/ sauce for a complete entree.  This polenta is EZ breezy and cheezy, with a ‘z’ because ya just twist the ‘s’ around, much like the swap from cheese to a plant alternative.  Yeah, that’s how the word was formed.  It tastes like warm, cheesy popcorn, which I’ve never actually wanted ’til now…  I hope that sounds appetizing.  The coconut milk adds richness here and the nutritional yeast tastes like cheese and is just the best- especially the Red Star brand, which has been certified to contain a good quantity of vitamin B.  (Most vegans gotta make sure they get enough).  Something I definitely get enough of: shiitake bacon- the umami bomb.  It’s best lightly seasoned, since roasting intensifies its flavor, and intense it is.  This stuff turns mushroom haters into people with mushy-feelings toward mushrooms.  Get ready to cry!


Pictured with my smoky lime tempeh, a garlicky cashew/almond cream and some blanched and sautéed spinach with minced garlic and fresh grated ginger.

Cheezy coconut polenta

(serves 2)

 1 13.5-ounce can full fat coconut milk

1 cup water

½ cup polenta

½ teaspoon sea salt

2 Tablespoons nutritional yeast


  1. Bring the coconut milk and water to a boil in a small pot. Slowly pour in the polenta while whisking. Reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring often, until the corn meal has lost its grittiness and thickens to hold its shape, 15-20 minutes. Season with sea salt and nutritional yeast. Set aside.


Shiitake “bacon”

(serves 2-4)

3.5 ounces (about 10)  shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced

1/8 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste

Light drizzle of extra virgin olive oil/ coconut oil


  1. Preheat the oven to 410 degrees and line a sheet tray with parchment. Brush the tops of the mushrooms with a pastry brush to clean, then chop off the stems, saving them to make a vegetable stock for future use if desired
  2. Overlap the mushrooms in a line on a cutting board and slice away into thin strips of equal size, aboutu ¼ inch or thinner. Place the mushrooms in a small bowl and massage in the sea salt and oil to coat evenly.  Spread the mushrooms on the lined sheet tray with space between them.  Bake for 10 minutes, then turn the tray around for even baking and add another 2-5 minutes, keeping an eye to prevent burning.  The length of time depends on the size of your cuts.  Remove from the oven and love ur life


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