Polenta Rancheros

Well, I had planned on spending my day taking a trip up to Indianapolis to visit with my Ma but the fact that it had snowed 2 feet and everything is iced over discouraged either of us from wanting to drive. AND it being 15 degrees outside has discouraged me from even getting out of my pajamas, let alone leaving the house. So, what to do with my freed up day? Clean the house? Do some studying? Fold my laundry? Nah. How about….make some elaborate breakfast and lay around watching movies with my roommates and working on my blog all day? Score!

Okay, so I am a little bit in love with avocados. It may be a problem. I crave them all the time. I pick out recipes just because they are in them. And I tend to down the entire thing when I slice one open. This recipe was obviously inspired because I was determined to not eat ANOTHER lunch consisting of only an avocado and a spoon.

Also, this recipe is another “cross cultures” type of meal which makes it surprisingly unique but traditionally delicious. If you love the combination of bursting flavors you get with Mexican cuisine then you are sure to love this vegan twist on traditional TexMex. And it’s perfect with mimosas (if you’re having it for brunch) or beergaritas (if you’re having it for dinner).

Speaking of beergaritas, have you guys ever had a brass monkey? I know that is probably the trashiest question I have ever asked on my blog but they are surprisingly delicious! I realize that they were invented as a way of masking just how awful cheap beer/40s taste and the Beastie Boys sing about them but dayuuum! We were stuck in our house one night a few weeks ago because of an ice storm with the only evening beverages to choose from being gin and cheap beer pong beer so we decided to make some brass monkeys. I was pleasantly surprised. Orange Juice really can make any type of terrible alcohol taste good. Okay…sorry, this last paragraph was completely off topic of anything that this post is about.

Oh! And lastly, I should let you know where this recipe originated from! This is an adapted recipe that I got out of my ‘Vegan Brunch‘ cookbook (oh-it’s so good if you haven’t cooked from it! Go to your local library immediately and pick up a copy!).

Polenta Rancheros

  • 1 can of black beans (15 ounce)
  • 1/2 teaspoon agave nectar
  • dash of salt
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 can of tomato sauce (8 oz)
  • 1 Tablespoon oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 2 cups cooked polenta (cook according to manufacturer’s directions).

+Toppings: avocado, sour cream (vegan or non), cheese (vegan or non), tomatoes, salsa, cilantro, etc.

Prepare the polenta according to the manufacture’s directions and put aside to set.

In a large skillet, put the cumin seeds over medium heat and cook for about two minutes (or until slightly browned). Next, add the oil, onion, peppers, and garlic. Saute for about ten minutes or until the onions start to soften. Then, add the tomato sauce, dash of salt, black beans and the agave nectar. Cook for another ten minutes or until the beans until warmed up.

Plop a couple big spoonfuls of polenta in a bowl followed by the bean mixture and all the toppings.

Enjoy hot while you listen to your favorite David Bowie album or watching Anthony Bourdain eat spam in Hawaii (I wish I was in Hawaii! But this brunch is wayyyy better than any Hawaiian spam. that is for sure).



  • Heike Herrling
    February 11, 2012

    This looks very yummy. Always good to have recipes like this on hand when you need to cook from the pantry because you can’t be bothered going to the shops!

    http://WWW.heikeherrling.com : but it tasted good!

  • Spanish
    February 11, 2012

    This dish could not possibly be called “Polenta RancherOS” since “polenta” is a singular, feminine noun in Spanish. Therefore, “rancheros” would only agree with a masculine, plural noun (like “huevos”), so this dish should be more aptly named “PolentA RancherA”. Aside from that, the dish looks delicioius.

    • noor
      February 11, 2012

      RE: Spanish

      “Cooking is like love. It should be entered into with abandon or not at all.” (Harriet von Horne)

      since feeling is first
      who pays any attention
      to the syntax of things
      will never wholly kiss you;
      wholly to be a fool
      while Spring is in the world (e. e. cummings)

      So lighten up on the syntax of things. Delicious is as delicious does 🙂

  • tinykitchenstories
    February 12, 2012

    This looks so delicious I wish it was breakfast again! I’m going to try this next weekend. And I can’t wait to get Isa’s Vegan Brunch cookbook–right now I’m loving her “Appetite for Reduction.”
    Sorry about the weather. I’ll send you some California sunshine.

  • realfunfood
    February 15, 2012

    Love this. I’ve also recently found myself just mashing an avocado with a little lime juice, sea salt and pepper. SO good. Nice blog!

    • shellywest
      February 17, 2012

      So simple but yet sounds delicious!

  • Arabella FullofLife
    May 25, 2012

    Oh, I miss avocados… in the UK and Romania you get avocados which are hard as rock, and if you buy them and try to ripen them, after a week waiting, they go from rock to black mush overnight. Aside from that… this looks great.
    Thanks for finding cheapeasydelicious, and liking the fruit fondue. For a veggie, maybe try the pink pasta – it’s yummy and very filling and sustaining. GREAT for cold days.

    • shellywest
      Arabella FullofLife
      May 25, 2012

      oh no! I don’t think I could live without avocados!

      • Arabella FullofLife
        May 27, 2012

        The very best avocados I’ve ever eaten were on Crete. Grown on chalky soil in the Aegean sun, they were so rich and creamy and full of flavour that I could hardly eat half of one; in the UK they’re so thin and weak that it might be a completely different thing.

  • Kim
    December 14, 2017

    Please share your best Brass Monkey recipe? Or at least an idea of how you have made them.

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