Adopt a Gluten-Free Bloger: Diane of the Whole Gang’s Portobello Polenta Pesto Recipe

mushroomtempeh4chicknuts3mushroomtempeh6This month after much soul and blogroll searching, I decided to adopt one of my favorite people- Diane of the Whole Gang. Diane describes herself as a gluten free food coach, and promotes whole, healthy, organic food on her blog. While recipes are just one of the features of her blog, she has a select, quality variety of recipes that appeal to me, including recipes for Gluten-Free Jalapeno Pepper Poppers and Black Bean Cakes. Tempting though these recipes are, Diane inspired me to adopt her based on one of her most recent recipes- one for Pesto Shrimp on Polenta Portobellos. Lately I’ve become obsessed with the peppery-flavor of arugula, thanks to lovely bags of the stuff available at Trader Joe’s. And, Diane’s dairy-free pesto recipe called not only for basil (one of my favorite herbs) but combined it with arugula as well as toasted pine nuts. How could I possibly resist? And I loved the idea of layering grilled portobello mushrooms with polenta and then a grilled or pan fried protein in pesto. I always try to follow recipes as closely as possible in adoptions, but in this case, I found that I was out of parsley so had to make the recipe with basil, arugula, and chives instead. I also am not tolerating garlic well these days (darned sensitive pregnant tummy) so left that out. Otherwise, though, I made her pesto as written, and found it rich but tangy. I used arrowhead mill polenta and tried microwaving it instead of boiling it on the stove, but came close to overcooking the polenta as their directions suggest far too long of a cooking time. Luckily I was able to add water and recover a nice, creamy, but thick polenta. I always like to season the polenta itself, so I added some pesto to the polenta for flavor and interest. I grilled the portobello on our gas grill and covered it with the pesto-flavored polenta and let it begin to set. I had considered using edamame for my vegetarian-shrimp substitute, but then I found a package of Tempeh in the fridge and decided to lightly baste it a mixture of coconut oil and olive oil and light salt and grill strips. It worked beautifully and added great texture to the dish. I found that once you let the polenta sit, you can also deconstruct the dish by slicing the mushroom and topping it with tempeh. Beautiful and delicious, too! I loved Diane’s idea to use arugula in pesto, as well as the fun combination of mushrooms, polenta, and protein, and I will definitely be making my vegetarian version of her dish again! This wasn’t the only recipe I made, though- I also mixed up a batch of her Amazing Toasted Mixed Nut Recipe. This dish is essentially a high protein snack of canned chickpeas and nuts, seasoned with spices and a drizzle of agave nectar. I’m not sure if it is because my oven runs hot or because my canned chickpeas were on the small side, but I found that some chickpeas burnt slightly on 400f, so next time I would either shorten the cooking time or lower the temperature. I did enjoy the seasoning (although I used smoked paprika instead of chili pepper), but I also reduced the oil since I didn’t need the extra calories. Diane is right, though- these mixed nuts (and beans!) are addicting. I enjoyed everything I made from Diane’s blog, and look forward to seeing the recipes to come from this dedicated and healthful gluten-free blogger.

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6 Responses to “Adopt a Gluten-Free Bloger: Diane of the Whole Gang’s Portobello Polenta Pesto Recipe”

  1. First I want to thank you for the kind words. I really appreciate it and I’m very honored you choose me to adopt this month. When I saw your post, I had to run and get my husband to show him. Very exciting. Thank you.

    So cool to see what you did with these recipes. I love the idea of tempeh as a vegetarian option. My son will love it too. The nuts look great. I also find if I use organic chick peas they are smaller and tend to cook up faster. I think I’ll have to add that note on the recipe. Maybe lowering the temperature just for those will work so they have time to cook out the moisture and get crunchy.

    I’ll be watching your blog for more ideas with arugula. I only have one plant in my herb garden but it is growing like a weed. I have to harvest and cut off flowers every 4-6 days. The herb garden will keep me cooking!

    Thank you again for sharing this and adopting me this month.

  2. Everything looks delicious, great post!

  3. Wow, this looks really good. Wish I could enjoy arugula, but that peppery flavor is too much for me.

  4. [...] This week I posted A review of a Polenta pesto portobello Recipe [...]

  5. [...] As soon as I saw Elana’s post on Gluten Free Twinkies I knew my son and I would be making these.  This month I’ve adopted Elana’s from Elana’s Pantry for Book of Yum’s monthy event, Adopt a Gluten Free Blogger.  This is a fun event where you can get a lot of great gluten free ideas.  I was honored to be adopted this month by Sea.  I suggest you see how she created one of my recipes with a vegetarian twist. [...]

  6. Both of these dishes look fabulous. Thanks for bringing them to my attention. I don’t know which one to try first. Maybe the addicting toasted mixed nuts. I guess I’ll have to watch the temperature. Great review.

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