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Smoky Beans, Coriander Cream & Polenta

This recipe is close to my heart as my dear friend and fellow naturopath Lidia Bier developed it and used to serve it to me during our university years together! She is the queen of vegan recipes and cafe/restaurant recommendations.


The coriander cream and chopping of vegetables can be done ahead of time and left in the fridge until ready. It is best to work on the chilli and the polenta concurrently, aiming to have them ready to serve at roughly the same time.

Smoky Sweet Potato Chilli Beans Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp coconut oil (or ghee if you're not vegan)

  • 1 yellow onion, diced

  • 1 can of organic borlotti, kidney or black beans (or 2 cups if cooked from dry) - rinse twice to avoid gassiness

  • 1 medium sweet potato, chopped into small cubes

  • 1 red capsicum, diced

  • 1 tsp cumin

  • 1⁄2 tsp dried oregano

  • 1⁄2 tsp cinnamon powder

  • 2 tsp smoked paprika powder (or 1 tsp chipotle powder)

  • 1 long red chilli, minced

  • 3-4 garlic cloves, minced

  • Bottle of tomato passata (750ml)

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • Splash of balsamic vinegar

  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast

  • Diced ripe avocado

  • Chopped spring onion (topping)

  • 1 tbsp raw cacao powder (optional)


  1. Melt oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. When warmed (roughly 30 seconds), add onion and cook until soft, add spices and chilli pepper continuing to stir until fragrant, 2-3 minutes.

  2. Add your beans, sweet potato and capsicum and stir to combine all ingredients. Pour in the tomato passata and stir through.

  3. Once the sauce starts to reach boiling point, reduce to simmer and cover, leaving for 15-20 minutes. Taste and add salt and pepper if required and adjust seasonings if needed. Add garlic cloves, splash of balsamic and nutritional yeast, and cacao if using.

  4. Stir, remove from heat and let sit for at least five minutes before serving.

  5. Serve on the bed of polenta (recipe below) and cover with a generous dollop of coriander cream (recipe below).

  6. If desired, top with chopped avocado, fresh coriander and chopped spring onion.

+ Soft Polenta Recipe


  • 1 litre cold water

  • 1 cup polenta (cornmeal)

  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 tsp salt reduced veggie stock

  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Place the water in a saucepan over high heat. Season with veggie stock cube and bring to boil. Pour in polenta and whisk thoroughly for two minutes or until combined.

  2. Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon for 30 minutes or so.

  3. Take off heat and stir in olive oil and salt and pepper if needed. Serve immediately (as it will firm up quite quickly!)

+ Coriander Cream Recipe


Makes just over a cup.

  • 1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked overnight (2 hours minimum)

  • 1 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice and 1 tsp zest

  • 1 cup loose-packed coriander leaves

  • 1 clove garlic

  • 1⁄2 cup water

  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)

  • 1 tsp salt


Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend on high. You’ll need to stop every 30 seconds or so to scrape down the sides and continue to process until you reach a smooth, creamy consistency. This can vary from blender to blender but should take roughly five minutes.

Enjoy xx


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