Living in a van comes with sacrifices – you probably don’t have access to an oven and you definitely don’t have room for a dishwasher, but that doesn’t mean you need to sacrifice eating healthy, delicious food. And when it comes to the holidays, many traditions revolve around food.
Every Christmas my Grandma and Mom turn our kitchen into an assembly line of mixing, kneading, and filling. They create 100 of the most sought after cheese raviolis, from scratch. I realized it would be a bit ambitious to try and recreate these steaming cheese-filled pockets of bliss in the van, so this year I tried to keep the Italian tradition alive by making the next best thing – polenta.
Polenta with Mushroom Sauce
1 tbsp safflower oil (or another oil of your choice)
1 package pre-cooked polenta (slice into 1/4 inch slices)
1 package pre-cooked polenta (slice into 1/4 inch slices)1 tsp. minced garlic (or substitute garlic powder)
1/2 onion, diced
1 cup mushrooms, diced
1 can tomato sauce
3 pinches dried herbs (oregano, parsley, thyme)
In one pot, heat a small amount of safflower oil. Cook polenta slices until slightly crispy, then flip to cook on the opposite side. While the polenta is cooking, heat a small amount of safflower oil in another pot. If using minced garlic, sauté for a minute then add the onions. Stir for a couple minutes, then add mushrooms and stir for a couple more minutes. Pour in the can of tomato sauce and dried herbs and bring the sauce to a low simmer.
Top the cooked polenta with sauce and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.
1. In the van, we always buy pre-washed, pre-cut mushrooms. It saves us the hassle and time of trying to wash slippery mushrooms without a sink.
2. Did you recently celebrate sending your climbing project with a big ol’ cheesy pizza? Save those extra packets of parmesan for recipes like this!