Polenta and Black Bean Tamale Pie

January 29, 2012 By: Megabeth Category: Main Dishes

I adapted this recipe that was adapted by This American Bite. I used regular cheddar cheese (after recently using up all my vegan shredded cheese) and used black beans that were pressure cooked the day before. The flavoring of this tamale pie depends on the type of salsa you use. Aim towards a deeply flavored salsa perhaps a smoky adobo or a roasted garlic flavor. Spicy is also good, good, good. I’ve made recipes using these ingredients time and time again. The difference with this recipe is the packaging and delivery. The polenta at the bottom creates a nice base for the chunky filling. By the way, this passes my “oh my goodness this is good as left-overs” test. The In-House Taste Tester somehow managed to leave me some which I know was a struggle. Polenta and Black Bean Tamale Pie adapted from This American Bite

  • Olive Oil
  • One  18 oz roll of polenta
  • 3 – 4 plum tomatoes, diced
  • 1 cup of corn
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 1 1/2 cups black beans
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/3 cup garlic breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup Daiya Mozzarella vegan cheese (Megabeth note: I used shredded cheddar.)
  • Megabeth note: if your salsa doesn’t pack enough of a punch, then add some cayenne, chili powder and some chipotle peppers in adobo sauce to the mixture.

Pre-heat over to 350 degrees. Line a 9″ baking pan with foil including the sides. Drizzle a light coating of olive oil in bottom of the pan (or use cooking spray). Slice polenta into 1/2 inch slices. Layer on bottom of pan, then flatten (with your knuckles) to create an even crust. Line a 9″ round straight sided baking pan with silver foil.  (Megabeth note: I used a square glass pyrex baking dish.) Drizzle 1 teaspoon of olive oil on the foil and use a paper towel to grease the base and sides of the pan.  Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.  Slice your polenta in to 1/2 inch rounds and layer at the base of the pan, then flatten it – use your knuckles to create an even crust that will form the base of your pie. Combine tomato, corn, black beans and salsa in bowl. Add spices and combine. Pour mixture on top of polenta. Spread to ensure top is even. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven, sprinkle breadcrumbs on top. Then, sprinkle cheese. Return to oven for an additional 20 minutes.

Quinoa and Roasted Vegetable Tacos

January 04, 2012 By: Megabeth Category: Main Dishes, Recipe

Remember that warm quinoa and corn salad I made a few recipes ago? Well, it’s back and paired up with some roasted vegetables to make a taco.

One thing I am always, Dear Reader, is honest. And, I must confess something here. The flavors of this recipe were really super good, but my execution of it was, well, terrible. You see, I picked up soft tacos rather than hard taco shells. The weight of the potato mixture and the quinoa made these next to impossible to pick up and eat. What’s the fun of a taco if you have to eat it with a knife and fork?

So, please note that my final pictures of nicely lined up tacos actually turned into a fiesta of food all over my plate. I ate them as a quasi-burrito then gave up and grabbed my fork.

Bottom line: use hard shells if you want to have a taco experience. Otherwise, fill soft tortillas and roll them up as a burrito. Or, just throw the roasted vegetables with the quinoa salad and dig in!

Quinoa and Vegetable Tacos
Vegetarian Journal, Vol. 30, Issue One 2011

  • 1 large sweet potato or yam, washed and diced
  • 1 medium potato, washed and diced
  • 1 onion, peeled, outer skin removed, and diced
  • 1 ½ cup sliced carrots (1/2-inch slices)
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 ½ cups Warm Quinoa and Corn Salad
  • 1 ½ cups shredded lettuce
  • 1 or 2 cups chopped medium-sized tomatoes
  • Salsa
  • 1 package prepared vegan taco shells

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Place potatoes, onions, and carrots in a large baking dish.

Drizzle olive oil over vegetables and place in the oven. Roast vegetables, stirring occasionally for approximately 30 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

While the vegetables roast, assemble the remaining ingredients. Microwave the Quinoa and Corn Salad for a few minutes or until warmed. Layer the quinoa and corn, roasted vegetables, lettuce, tomatoes, and salsa in taco shells.


Warm Quinoa and Corn Salad

December 12, 2011 By: Megabeth Category: Side Dishes

Quinoa. I’ve cooked with it many times here on Veggin’, and I can’t say enough about it. It’s so easy to cook and it packs a punch with protein that it really should be in every pantry.

This quinoa and corn salad is fabulous warm or cold on it’s own. You can also pair it with other recipes, including one I’ll be featuring here on Veggin’ very soon. Stay tuned!

And, before I forget, let’s talk how easy this is to make. You cook the quinoa, whisk up the dressing and take a minute to chop some fresh herbs and scallions and you’re done. Look forward to the leftovers, the longer it sits, the better it gets.

Warm Quinoa and Corn Salad
from  Vegetarian Journal

Quinoa and Corn

  • 1 3/4 cups water
  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
  • One 15-ounce can corn, drained and rinsed

Bring water to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat, add the quinoa and corn, bring to a second boil, and then reduce heat again.

Cook over low heat for 15 minutes or until grains have absorbed all of the water. While the quinoa and corn cook, prepare the dressing.


  • 4 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 or 2 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon cayenne

In a small bowl, combine vinegar, oil, and garlic. Add cayenne, if desired.

(So, easy that I didn’t even think to take a picture of this step!)

Finishing and Serving

  • 1/4 cup sliced scallions
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped curly parsley or peppercress
  • 1/4 cup lightly toasted walnuts (I used pecans)

When quinoa is done, transfer to a medium-sized serving bowl. Blend the dressing, scallions, and parsley into the quinoa. Top each serving with some walnuts (or pecans). Serve with a steamed vegetable side dish.

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Stuffed Calabacitas: Squash Stuffed with Corn, Tomatoes, Green Chiles

October 31, 2011 By: Megabeth Category: Main Dishes

Fresh green chilies (from our garden), fresh corn, fresh zucchini, fresh tomatoes and manchego cheese – perfection. These calabacitas were whipped up for a potluck celebrating el Dia de los Muertos.

I thought that blending the cheese and tortillas was genius. The cheese melted evenly and didn’t overwhelm the bright flavors of the corn, chilies and tomatoes.

So very easy to make and perfect for feeding a crowd. I doubled the recipe and fed eight as a side dish. (You can make the stuffing and put in the zucchinis the night before if you want. Just bring them to room temperature before putting into the oven.)

By the way, I can attest that these hold up to travel. We strapped the baking dish (in its travel case) to the back of the In-House Taste Tester’s bike and rode three miles in a light rain down to the party. Even after tipping the bike to get into a teeny-tiny elevator, I just needed a bit of scootching them back into place and we were in business. I sprinkled the shredded cheese on top, popped them in the oven for the final five minutes and they were perfecto.

Stuffed Calabacitas (Squash Stuffed with Corn, Tomatoes, Green Chiles)
from Fête & Feast

  • 3 medium zucchini squash
  • 2 thin corn tortillas
  • 2 tsp. ancho chile powder
  • 3 oz. manchego cheese, cubed plus 1 oz. shredded manchego cheese
  • 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium shallot, diced
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 1 c. fresh corn kernels
  • 2 roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 4 oz. chopped green chiles
  • Salt and pepper


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Slice the top ½ inch from the squash. Split in half horizontally and scrape out the seeds. Bring enough salted water to cover the squash halves to a boil. Drop the halves into the boiling water and cook for 2 minutes.

Remove shells from boiling water; nestle close together in a glass baking pan, and season with a little more salt and pepper.

Tear the corn tortillas into large pieces. Add them to the bowl of a food processor along with the chile powder and the cubed manchego cheese. Pulse until the mixture resembles very coarse cornmeal.

Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan. Cook the shallot and red onion until soft and starting to become translucent, about 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the corn, tomatoes, and green chiles. Let cool for about 5-10 minutes.

Combine the tortilla mixture with the sautéed vegetables. Check for seasoning; add salt and pepper to taste. Mound some of the stuffing into each squash half.

Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil, sprinkle with the shredded manchego cheese, and return to the oven. Cook for an additional 5-7 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly.

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