This polenta breakfast delivers a savory & hearty start to the day. It’s topped with toothsome vegan sausage, browned Brussels sprouts, and a drizzling of maple syrup.
As a kid, I really only wanted cold cereal for the prize inside. I liked little presents. (I still do.)
I’m less keen on mushy cornflakes and marshmallows floating in milk, or whatever it is they’re putting in cereal these days.
Before making a purchase, my mom would always ask, “Now do you want this for the cereal or for the prize inside?”
She was totally on to me.
These days, there are a few cold cereals I will eat, but that usually only happens once or twice a year. Plus, they don’t put any surprises in cereal boxes for adults.
What’s up with that? Would it kill them to throw in some cute stationery, tiny kitchen tools, or mini bottles of hot sauce? Now, that’s some cold cereal I would buy. 😉
The fact is I’m much more inclined to make a warm breakfast – something savory and filling.
When many people think of hot breakfasts, their minds venture to oatmeal. But a polenta breakfast is a terrific alternative.
The polenta that I use is finely ground, which means it cooks very quickly.
(Update: I used to use a brand called de la Estancia. It’s no longer on the market. For an alternative, make vegan grits instead!)
Oftentimes, I have creamy polenta on its own with a dab of vegan butter or Ethiopian seasoned oil.
But if you really want to lean into those cozy feelings, you’ve got to go all in on the polenta breakfast platter.
This polenta breakfast is topped with Brussels sprouts that have been thinly sliced and browned in a skillet, until they have that wonderful smoky edge that makes Brussels sprouts sing.
(I often roast Brussels sprouts in the oven. However, when you thinly slice them, they cook up on the stove in almost no time at all. Got to love that in the morning.)
The polenta and sprouts are joined with vegan breakfast sausage links.
For this recipe I’ve gone with Field Roast breakfast sausages, but any vegan breakfast sausage will do. You just want something with a chewy texture and bit of smokiness.
(Having this for dinner instead? This meal would also be great with sliced and browned Field Roast apple sage sausages.)
Finally, you know what all of these foods like? Maple syrup. A little drizzling over the sausages, Brussels sprouts, and creamy polenta brings it all together – one harmonious bite after another.
It may not be a decoder ring, mini magnifying glass, or temporary tattoo, but perhaps there’s a prize inside of this breakfast after all.
Polenta breakfast with Brussels sprouts & vegan sausage
For Brussels sprouts & vegan sausages
- 1 ½ teaspoons organic canola oil or other high heat oil, divided
- 10 ounces Brussels sprouts ends removed, thinly sliced
- Pinch salt
- 4 vegan sausage links I use Field Roast breakfast sausages
To make Brussels sprouts & vegan sausages
- Bring one teaspoon of canola oil to a medium or medium high heat in a non-stick skillet.
- Put an even layer of thinly sliced Brussels sprouts across the skillet along with a pinch of salt. Don't move the sprouts until they are starting to get nice and toasty brown on the bottom. Toss them and continue cooking until that side is brown as well. (If you move the sprouts too much, they won't get the lovely, dark color that is desired.)
- After the sprouts have cooked for about 5 to 6 minutes, push them to one side of the pan. Lower the heat, if necessary. Put the remaining half teaspoon of oil in the empty space of the pan, and brown the 4 vegan sausages on all sides. It should only take 2 or 3 minutes. Remove the skillet from heat and set aside.
To make polenta breakfast
- Bring a medium-sized pot to a medium heat with ½ teaspoon oil. Saute minced garlic for a few minutes, until fragrant. Add water to the pot & a pinch of a vegetable bouillon cube. Once the bouillon cube has disintegrated and the water comes to a low boil, lower heat to a simmer. Slowly pour in finely ground polenta, stirring constantly.
- After a minute or two, the polenta will thicken and start pulling from the sides of the pan. Once it has thickened, add nutritional yeast flakes and non-dairy milk. Stir to combine and cook for about 30 seconds more, until it's evenly incorporated and has a texture that's similar to mashed potatoes.
- Divide the polenta between two platters. Top each platter with even amounts of Brussels sprouts and vegan sausages.
- (Optional) Serve with maple syrup for drizzling on top.
**I use a finely ground polenta that cooks very quickly. If you use a different brand, make sure to check the liquid measurement & cooking times. You may need to make adjustments.