Cheesy Polenta with Mushrooms, Swiss Chard and Pinto Beans Recipe

Eat Like You Give A DamnMichelle Schwegmann and Josh Hooten, founded Herbivore, a T-shirt design company, in 2002 as a means of providing stylish clothing to spread the message of animal rights. Their latest endeavor is a new vegan cookbook, Eat Like You Give a Damn, which includes over 100 of their favorite vegan dishes. In this book they’ve extended their art and ethics into the kitchen, showcasing how and why everyone can and should eat like they give a damn. They will be giving a cooking demonstration at Vegfest this year.

We are happy to share a delicious recipe from their cookbook:

Cheesy Polenta with Mushrooms, Swiss Chard and Pinto Beans

Cheesy Tomatillo Polenta

2 cups water

2 cups no-salt-added vegetable broth

1 cup coarsely ground yellow cornmeal

¼ cup nutritional yeast flakes

1 cup tomatillo salsa or other mild green salsa


Mushroom, Swiss Chard, and Pinto Bean Sauté

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 cups sliced crimini mushrooms

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1½ cups chopped onions

1 cup chopped poblano chiles

2 tablespoons minced garlic

1 can (15 ounces) no-salt added pinto beans, rinsed and drained

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 teaspoon ground cumin

4 cups stemmed and chopped Swiss chard leaves


Freshly ground black pepper

¼ cup pumpkin seeds, toasted (see tip) and chopped


To make the polenta, put the water, broth, and salt in a large saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Slowly whisk in the cornmeal, stirring constantly. The polenta will thicken quickly and bubble (stand back to avoid splatters). Decrease the heat to low (keep stirring!) and stir in the nutritional yeast and salsa. Cover and cook, stirring frequently to prevent sticking, until the polenta is as thick as you like it, 10 to 15 minutes.

To make the saute, put 1½ teaspoons of the oil in a large, heavy skillet (cast iron if you have one) and heat over medium heat. When hot, add the mushrooms and cook, stirring frequently, for 2 minutes. Add the oregano and stir to combine. Cook, stirring frequently, until the mushrooms release their juices and most of the liquid has evaporated, about 3 minutes longer. Transfer the mushrooms to a bowl and set aside.

Put the remaining 1½ teaspoons of oil in the skillet and heat over medium heat. When hot, add the onions, chiles, and garlic. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onions start to brown, about 6 minutes. Add the beans, chili powder, and cumin and stir to mix well. Stir in the Swiss chard, cover, and cook for 3 minutes. Stir in the reserved mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

To serve, spoon the polenta onto plates, top with the vegetable mixture, and sprinkle with the pumpkin seeds.

Tip: To toast the pumpkin seeds, heat a small skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, add the pumpkin seeds and toast, stirring frequently, until they turn a shade or two darker and are fragrant, 3 to 4 minutes. To keep the seeds from burning, remove from the heat immediately and transfer to a plate to cool.