Poblano Chicken Sausage, Black Beans and Goat Cheese over Pumpkin Polenta

I’m going to start with some bragging. It’s my blog, so I can do that, right? Here goes. I’ve been a rockstar lately. Yup, totally rocking it in the gym, growing stronger and leaner, keeping a good friendship with the scale, and with my hubby. Those are all important, right? One of the ways I’ve been able to maintain peace in my kitchen while putting in all the hard work is the gym is cooking double-duty meals. It started as a little challenge to myself. That is, to figure out more meals we could have that don’t involve cooking, so that I wouldn’t feel guilty putting in all the time and effort I need during those longer lifting workouts. So I’ve been trying to work more with my freezer, and doubling up on recipes that I would normally make as just two servings. And sometimes we even – gasp – eat the same thing two nights in a row.

Sounds boring, right? But success is when it’s the day after you first ate the meal and you find yourself thinking, “I can’t wait until dinner!” Such success was with this meal – something I probably wouldn’t have originally thought of doubling because soft polenta will inevitably become firm polenta after a trip to the refrigerator. Nothing wrong with firm polenta, it has its place, for sure. But I like the soft stuff as the base for this hearty sausage-and-bean-saute. Kind of like mashed potatoes, only, a lot healthier. Especially with the added fiber and antioxidants from my favorite superfood, pumpkin, of course! So in order to enjoy this meal twice in one week, I just made the whole recipe for sausage and bean portion and half of the polenta on the first night. The second night, I whipped up another batch polenta and simply heated the leftover sausage mixture. So I lied – I had to do a little cooking when I got home late from the gym on that second night. But, polenta is so quick and easy, I promise I didn’t mind at all. Just like I absolutely didn’t mind eating this for dinner two nights in a row.

Poblano Chicken Sausage & Black Beans over Pumpkin Polenta
Printable Recipe

1 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 large bell pepper, sliced (I used half of a yellow pepper and half of a green)
3 links Mexican-style chicken sausage, such as Sam’s Club Chicken Sausage with Poblano Peppers and Mexican Cheese, thinly sliced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
3 tbsp canned diced green chilis
1-2 tsp each cumin and chili powder
1 cup drained, rinsed black beans
14.5 oz can diced tomatoes (about 1 3/4 cups)
2 cups pumpkin puree
3 cups water
1 cup yellow cornmeal
pinch of cinnamon, nutmeg, or pumpkin pie seasoning

2oz goat cheese, crumbled

Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and cook for about 8 minutes, until softened. Add the bell peppers and chicken sausage and cook for about 5 minutes more, until tender. Add the garlic, green chilis, cumin and chili powder, and season with salt & pepper. Stir and cook for one more minute, then add the black beans and diced tomatoes. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer while preparing the polenta.

To make the polenta, whisk together the water and pumpkin in a saucepan. Season with salt. Bring to a boil, then slowly add the cornmeal while whisking. Continue to cook until thickened, stirring with a wooden spoon constantly. (Tip: an oven mitt is good here!). It will take 5-10 minutes.

Divide the polenta among serving bowls and top with the sausage mixture and crumbled goat cheese.

Tip: For a vegetarian version, try using extra beans or tofu in place of the chicken sausage.

Nutritional Info
Servings Per Recipe: 4
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 440.0
Total Fat: 10.8 g
Cholesterol: 59.0 mg
Sodium: 1,528.8 mg
Total Carbs: 62.5 g
Dietary Fiber: 11.9 g
Protein: 25.0 g
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8 Responses to “Poblano Chicken Sausage, Black Beans and Goat Cheese over Pumpkin Polenta”

  1. 1

    Dawn — November 18, 2009 @ 6:31 pm Reply

    I love the goat cheese and the pumpkin together. Yum! What do you do for workouts at the gym? I just started Body Pump class after becoming bored with my own weight routines. Along with power yoga in between it's a great mix!

  2. 2

    Cara — November 18, 2009 @ 6:54 pm Reply

    hey Dawn! I am all about the heavy lifting and I follow the New Rules of Weightlifting for Women book. I am currently on my second round of the program. I also do running, HIIT on the elliptical, and Cathe Frederiche step DVD's on my in between days! I wish I could get into yoga, but with everything else I don't seem to have enough time to commit.

  3. 3

    Manaloa — November 21, 2009 @ 1:03 pm Reply

    Did you mean to write in your polenta instructions: "To make the polenta, whisk together the water and Pumpkin in a saucepan. Season with salt. Bring to a boil, then slowly add the cornmeal while whisking."?

  4. 4

    Cara — November 21, 2009 @ 1:44 pm Reply

    Manaloa, yes, thanks for pointing that out! I fixed it.

  5. 5

    Manaloa — November 21, 2009 @ 1:49 pm Reply

    No problem, I really enjoy your recipes! Keep it up!

  6. 6

    Kelly — November 23, 2009 @ 2:00 am Reply

    Delicious. These are a bunch of my favorite flavors. I can bet this would be fantastic. I love stirring polenta because it's a pretty good workout.

  7. 7

    Healthy Mamma — October 19, 2010 @ 7:00 pm Reply

    Excellent comb of flavors!! Another one I will be trying!

  8. 8

    Healthy Mamma — April 5, 2011 @ 1:14 am Reply

    Excellent comb of flavors!! Another one I will be trying!

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