Creamy Polenta with Crispy Kale and Poached Egg

Over the weekend I had the wonderful opportunity to spend some quality time with one of my dearest friends. It was so nice to sit with her in person and share the latest about love, friendship, family, and our mutual infatuation with Ashtanga yoga.

Brunch is served

Brunch is served

Driving home on Sunday after a terrific brunch at Green Pig Bistro, my friend’s favorite jaunt for brunch, dinner, or drinks, I felt absolutely full and nourished.

But I don’t mean full and nourished by the food.

Brunch was delicious, don’t get me wrong, but I was filled and nourished by so much more…

Our friendship has reached a point of such ease and comfort, it amazes me. What’s mine is hers, and vice versa. So much has changed since we first met, on move-in day –our first day of college – 7.5 years ago. We have seen each other through the highs and lows of college life and the ups and downs of life in our 20s. Even though our visits are always too short, they leave me full of joy, and immensely thankful.

Weekend brunch is truly one of life’s greatest little pleasures. Whether it’s spent catching up with friends or doing crossword puzzles with my husband, I love lingering over a delicious meal with a cup of tea in hand. This recent brunch creation was a winner that will be repeated again soon.

Runny yolk, crispy kale, tomato sauce with a slight "kick"

Runny yolk, crispy kale, tomato sauce with a slight “kick”

Creamy Polenta with Crispy Kale and Poached Egg

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1.5 cups vegetable broth
  • 2.5 cups water
  • 3/4 cup polenta
  • 1/4 cup almond meal
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 clove garlic, sliced
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • ~3 kale leaves, torn into bite sized pieces
  • olive oil
  • 4 eggs
  • marinara sauce
  • parmesan cheese

savory brunch closeup

Method

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss kale with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and spread on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake kale until crispy, about 10 minutes.

Bring vegetable broth and water to boil in a saucepan. Add garlic, salt and pepper; whisk in polenta until smooth. Add almond meal and whisk until mixture thickens; add butter and whisk until melted and combined.

Poach eggs, 1 or 2 at a time. Divide polenta among 4 bowls. Top with crispy kale, poaches egg, marinara sauce, and parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.

egg porn

Gorgeous egg yolk, creamy polenta

The almond meal adds variety of texture and flavor, while the crispy kale perfectly contrasts the smooth and creamy polenta. I chose marinara sauce for flavor, but I imagine that other sauces (hollandaise, tahini, honey mustard, to name a few) would work well, too.

I hope this brunch nourishes you and your closest friends and family, as my brunches have nourished me.

-L

Reflections on Brunch + Vegan Waffles

I love brunch.  Absolutely love it.  You get to eat excessive amounts of delicious food, spend time with friends and/or family, and enjoy a nice cup of joe (or even better… mimosas!).  I’m not sure exactly when my love for brunch began.  It was probably in high school when we had Sunday brunch every week with my grandparents.

Mmmhmm

Mmmhmm

Brunch is the perfect time to catch up with my girlfriends.  Unfortunately, a lot of my old brunch gang has relocated!  When I woke up late Sunday morning, I was craving a nice big brunch.  Since my girls were gone, I made myself a meal using things to remind me of them.

Waffle Iron and Coffee Maker

Waffle Iron and Coffee Maker.  Great gifts!

A great friend of mine gave me her waffle iron when she moved away, and I had not yet used it.  Waffles sounded perfect, but after going on a brinner (breakfast for dinner) kick last week, I was all out of eggs!  Enter vegan waffles.

Waffle and Fruit

Waffle and Fruit

Vegan Whole Wheat Waffles

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup soy milk
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

In a large mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients.  Stir in soy milk and oil.  Pour into waffle iron and cook according to manufacturer’s instructions.

Mug of Memories!

Mug of Memories!

I also made a nice cup of Green Mountain Coffee, using the handy dandy Keurig coffee maker that my sisters gave me a couple years ago.  I poured it into my new mug.  For Christmas this year, my best friend from home gave me a mug decorated with memories of our friendship.  It always makes me smile!

To finish off my meal, I topped some yogurt with bananas and blueberries.  It was the perfect way to start my day!

Mmmhmm

Mmmhmm

What are your favorite brunch dishes?

Happy Eating!

-C