I love Trader Joe’s frozen entrees, and the Polenta Provençale I had last month was really delicious. This copycat recipe is vegan naturally.
The cheese sauce is made from nutritional yeast, not fake vegan cheese. I was looking at the ingredient list of one of the fake cheeses at the store, and guess what the second ingredient was? CASEIN! Cow milk protein!!! Have you read The China Study by T. Colin Campbell? Read the chapter on casein, afloxin (a carcinogen), and rat cancer, and trust me you will never want to consume dairy again. Plus I think it’s a little deceitful to advertise vegetarian cheese when it’s really made from a dairy product, just more processed.
This recipe does not taste exactly like the Trader Joe’s version, but it’s pretty tasty and comforting!
Note on nutritional yeast: If it seems really expensive, try finding it somewhere else. About 16 oz was $1.25 more expensive at Kroger than Annie Kay’s Whole Foods! If you’ve never used it before, here’s a really good guide. If you’re still skeptical, try getting it from a bulk bin at a health food store, that way you can buy only the amount you need.
You do not need to be specific with this recipe (but you kind of do with the cheese sauce). Add more spinach, add less, use broccoli instead or whole wheat pasta (hey that sounds really good… wait I made that last night when I discovered the cheese recipe).
Makes 2 bowls ($4.72 total — slightly more than the Trader Joe’s version, but way less sodium and it’s vegan. I’ll take it.)
- 1 serving of cheez sauce from Oh She Glows (I whisked the flour and margarine while the margarine melted until it got a nice rich nutty flavor, then I added some of the dry ingredients with some of the almond milk, whisked, heated, added more, whisked, heated, etc. Add enough milk to reach desired consistency.)
- 8 oz frozen spinach (thawed and drained)
- 1 heaping cup of polenta, balled with a teaspoon (or more)
- Salt, black and red pepper to taste
- Create the cheese sauce according to recipe above.
- Once simmering, add remainder of ingredients, heat through. Serve.