Vegan Polenta Muffins with Red Pepper & Shiitake

Vegan Polenta Muffins with Red Pepper & Shiitake

Savoury polenta cake is a traditional Serbian dish that has its place on a beautiful holiday or a celebration table as well as on an ordinary weekend breakfast one. My mum was of course the master of “proja” – the Serbian name for the savoury polenta cake. The original recipe requires eggs and cheese and I was wondering how I am going to “veganise” it. I was not worried about the taste at all because by now I learnt (and experienced) that plant-based food tasted at least as good as the “traditional” one and in many cases much better.

The texture of cakes in general is another story. It requires more precision and experience to make a plant-based cake, whether it is sweet or savoury, as fluffy and airy as the one made with eggs. Experience taught me that it was easier to control the texture of a plant-based cake when it is smaller. That is why I have decided on vegan polenta muffins instead of cake at least until I would be sure to make the texture right.

And I did it! The texture is just perfect, soft and fluffy, keeping just enough moisture to become a great breakfast the next day 😉  If they get to still exist that far in the future, hahaha. You will find my suggestion for stuffing in the recipe but you can stuff them with any veggies or vegan cheese you prefer: mushrooms, corn kernels, pickles, spring onions, peppers, etc. Or have them plein, no stuffing at all…

Serves: 8 muffins. Total time: 50 minutes (preparation 15-20 min, baking 30-35 min).

INGREDIENTS (organic and in order of use)

Muffin Batter

150g of Polenta
1 heaped tsp of Unrefined Salt
150g of Flour (I use a mix of Wheat and Rye)
1 tsp of Baking Soda
1 tsp of Baking Powder
100ml of thick Soy Yoghurt (Greek style)
100ml of Olive Oil
150ml of tepid Water
Tip: they are even fluffier with sparkling instead of still water.

Stuffing

1/2 Red Pepper (pointy or Bell)
4-5 Shiitake Mushrooms (or any other Mushrooms)
1 tbsp of Olive Oil (taken from the above mentioned 100ml)
1/2 tsp of dried Thyme or Oregano
pinch of Salt
pinch of Pepper

A handful of pumpkin seeds to sprinkle on top.

PREPARATION

  1. Start by slicing the red pepper and shiitake in small pieces (dice for example). Sauté them with 1 tbsp of olive oil, a pinch of salt and a pinch of pepper and 1/2 tsp of thyme to soften them a bit. On a medium temperature for about 5 minutes.
  2. In the meantime, combine all the dry ingredients in a big bowl: 150g of polenta, 150g of flour, 1 heaped tsp of unrefined salt, 1 tsp of baking soda, 1 tsp of baking powder.
  3. Preheat your oven to 190°C.
  4. Add 100ml of soy yoghurt, 100ml of olive oil and 150ml of water and mix everything together with a whisk to obtain a smooth batter, a bit thicker than a pancake batter. Your veggies should be ready by now.

    vegan polenta muffins batter
    Vegan polenta muffins batter.
  5. Fill in half of each muffin mould with the batter. Add the veggies on top and then cover with the rest of the batter. Sprinkle with some pumpkin seeds and bake at 190°C for about 30-35 minutes.
    Muffin batter with sautéd red peppers and shiitake stuffing.
    Muffin batter with sautéd red peppers and shiitake stuffing.

    Vegan polenta muffins with pumpkin seeds ready to bake.
    Vegan polenta muffins sprinkled with pumpkin seeds ready to bake.
  6. Let cool before you serve 😉
    Freshly baked polenta muffins.
    Freshly baked polenta muffins.

    Vegan polenta muffins stuffed with sautéd red pepper and shiitake.
    Vegan polenta muffins stuffed with sautéd red pepper and shiitake.
  7. And they are great even the next morning for breakfast 🙂

    Savoury muffins for breakfast..
    Savoury muffins for breakfast.


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