Sunday, December 27, 2009

Vegetarian Times: Veggie Tamale Pie

I've been toying with the idea of vegetarianism.  I even went so far as to subscribe to a vegetarian cooking magazine.  To be honest, I'm not entirely sure I'll be able to commit for any length of time to giving up meat, but it certainly doesn't hurt to try and get some extra vegetables into your diet.  I deliberately picked a recipe that had tons of spices in it, because my one big fear is that eating vegetarian means eating without flavor, and that is certainly not going to happen, in this lifetime or any other.  This little tamale pie was actually pretty good, and I got a nice dose of zucchini that otherwise wouldn't have been part of the dish.

Veggie Tamale Pie
From Vegetarian Times magazine, January 2010

½ cup dry polenta or corn grits
¼ cup grated sharp Cheddar cheese

1½ teaspoons vegetable oil
3 cloves garlic, minced (1 tablespoon)
1 medium onion, diced (1 cup)
1 small zucchini, diced (½ cup)
½ medium red, yellow, or orange bell pepper, diced (½ cup)
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano (Mexican, if available)
1 (15-ounce) can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 (14½-ounce) can tomato purée
½ cup frozen corn kernels
2 teaspoons brown rice flour

To make topping: Preheat oven to 375°F. Bring 2 cups water to a boil in saucepan. Stir in polenta, reduce heat to medium, and simmer 30 minutes, stirring often. Stir in cheese. Set aside.

To make filling: Heat oil in skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and onion, and cook 5 minutes. Add zucchini, bell pepper, chili powder, cumin, and oregano. Cook 5 minutes more.

Stir in beans, tomato purée, and corn. Mix rice flour with ¼ cup cold water; stir into zucchini mixture. Cook 3 minutes, or until mixture thickens slightly. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. Spread filling into 8-inch square baking pan. Spread topping over filling. 

Place casserole on baking sheet. Bake 40 minutes, or until filling bubbles and top is golden. Let stand before serving.

Frozen cooking instructions: Preheat oven to 375°F. Cover casserole with foil, and place on baking sheet. Bake 90 minutes. Remove foil during last 15 minutes of baking.

Makes 6 servings

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