Buffalo Beans and Greens with Creamy Polenta

During a recent trip to Nashville, Tennessee, we not only listened to great country music but discovered one of my favorite vegan restaurants - The Wild Cow.  I had their Buffalo Beans and Greens dish and was amazed.  I spent some time trying to recreate their recipe while also adding my own spin using some blue cheez dressing and polenta. You'll love this one!

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Kitchen Tools
  • High Speed Blender
  • Parchment Paper
  • Large Baking Sheet
  • Large Fry Pan
  • Medium saucepan
  • Small and medium size mixing bowls
  • Knives 
  • Cutting board
  • Whisk
  • Spatula and spoons
  • One 14-ounce package of extra firm tofu or one 8-ounce package of tempeh, cut into 1-inch cubes.
  • 1 cup oil-free buffalo wing sauce (I use Frank's Red Hot Sauce), mixed with 1/4 teaspoon liquid smoke, plus more for serving
  • 2 bunches kale, sliced with stems removed
  • Two 15-ounce cans pinto beans drained and rinsed

Blue Cheez Dressing

  • 2 tablespoons raw cashews
  • 4 ounces extra-firm tofu
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 3/4 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped green onions or fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup crumbled extra-firm tofu
  • Preheat oven to 400˚ degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  • Generously brush the tempeh or tofu with the buffalo sauce mixture. Set the remaining sauce aside. Place the tempeh or tofu onto the prepared baking sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes until edges are browned and dry, turning the tempeh or tofu halfway through so it doesn't overcook on one side.  
  • Place all of the blue cheese dressing ingredients, except the green onions and crumbled tofu, into a blender and blend until smooth and creamy. Remove the dressing from the blender and fold in the green onions and crumbled tofu. 
  • Steam the sliced kale in a small amount of water just until wilted. Drain, then add the pinto beans and toss with the kale until warmed through
  • To assemble each serving, start with 1 cup of polenta, then add the kale and beans, and top with the tempeh or tofu. Drizzle with the Blue Cheez Dressing. Drizzle some of the remaining buffalo sauce if you like it spicy.


Prep time:  5 minutes

Cook time:20-30 minutes

Yield:4 servings

  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cup polenta or coarsely ground yellow cornmeal (or Instant Polenta for a quicker cook time.)
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • In a medium saucepan, bring the water to a full boil. When the water boils, slowly sprinkle in the cornmeal and spices whisking the entire time. This will prevent lumps from forming. Continue whisking until the polenta begins to thicken. 
  • Reduce heat to low and cook for another 30 minutes (15 minutes for Instant Polenta), stirring occasionally. If the polenta is too thick, add a splash more water to achieve your desired consistency. Add more salt and pepper to taste.  
✏️Tips & Hints
  • Polenta is a great base for your favorite veggies or beans. Season with different spice blends or your choice of herbs.