Tag Archives: casserole

Good Morning, Tamale Casserole!

A while back, I made an argument for taking back the microwave, and I stand by that argument. While not appropriate for cooking most dishes, it can be really effective in the throwing together of a meal in under thirty minutes. I’m not necessarily one of those 30-minute-meal types: I like to languish in the kitchen, relax, chop and slice and cook at leisure. This is, understandably, why most of my meals clock in around 45 minutes to an hour, and also why, reasonably, I don’t tend to do a lot of cooking mid-week. Unless eating out or being cooked for, I tend to subsist on whatever is readily available in the kitchen.

Thankfully for my appetite, The Garden of Vegan not only contains wonderful vegan recipes, it features an entire chapter on microwaveable meals. Coming across a recipe for “Tamale Pie” I was immediately entranced – all the goodness of a cornmeal-crusted casserole in exactly half the time I would usually make something like this. Despite a minor error with the cornmeal topping, this came out delicious, hearty, and very, very quickly.

Best of all, this dish is perfect for breakfast, lunch, or dinner time. It’s so fast, make two and save the other one for later in the week.

Tamale Casserole

Ingredients
– 3/4 cup cornmeal
– 1 tsp salt
– 2 cups water
– 2 cans beans, your choice, drained and rinsed (I used black and pinto)
– 1 cup corn
– 1 small onion, chopped
– 1 small green pepper, chopped
– 1 cup tomato sauce
– 1/2 tsp cayenne
– 1 tsp cumin
– 1 tsp chili powder
– 1 tsp dried basil
– 1/2 tsp Cajun seasoning (optional)
– 1/4 cup jalapeno, sliced (optional)

– In a bowl, stir together the cornmeal, salt, and water. Microwave for 6 minutes. The cornmeal should be a firm mush.
– In a microwaveable casserole dish, add the beans, corn, onion, and pepper. Cover with sauce and spices. Cover the whole dish with the cornmeal mixture and add the jalapeno on top, if using. Microwave for 8 – 12 minutes, until the cornmeal is crisp on top and the entire dish is heated through.

(Recipe adapted from “Tamale Pie” in The Garden of Vegan by Sarah Kramer and Tanya Barnard)

Good Morning, Casserole!

Formerly sneered at as the mediocre output of 50’s housewives, casseroles have come back in style. Any devoted potlucker will tell you that casseroles work great for group dinners, as they are portable, sizable, and play well with other foods.

And yummy, did I mention yummy? For a little taste of the retro and a big taste of delicious, check out these five casserole recipes picked fresh from blogging kitchens. (Where’s my floral apron…)

– A little on the stew side, a little on the casserole side, Rachael over at Cupcakes and Carrot Sticks shares with us a Hungarian Casserole perfect for those of us suffering through freeze and snow. This veggie casserole seems to be made up of things that most people have on hand in their stocked fridge and kitchen cupboards, but in case you don’t have caraway seeds, definitely get some before making the recipe. Their presence is missed when they’re left out.

– Okay, I used to be a green bean hater when I was a kid, but don’t tell Cuisine by Eileen, cause I think she might bury me up to the neck in green beans. I’ve reformed, Eileen! And I would have even earlier if I had been privy to all the delicious green bean recipes that you have in your cooking arsenal, especially the grilled eggplant and green bean salad and the barbecue green beans.

– Is there any casserole more retro seeming than a Tuna Veggie Casserole? I didn’t think so. Tammy @ Palm Trees and Manatees offers up a good version. A little canned and frozen food heavy, but I don’t think she’ll mind if you guys substitute the fresh stuff.

– Still one of my recent favorite casseroles to come by, Midnight Maniac Rebecca shakes up the ol’ chicken casserole with her “Chicken” Lattice Casserole. It’s every bit as old timey and adorable as Rebecca is, and the photographs alone are worth checking out.

– Holy Christmas, Hungry Face! That is one stellar looking Breakfast Casserole. But cutting down the brown sugar by half? I don’t know if I can abide by that, even if it would help me get rid of my big fat dupa.

Vegan MoFo Polenta Casserole!

Oh, cornmeal. In every corner of the world, cornmeal is used in abundance, from the Makki di roti in South Asia to kachamak in Bulgaria to the intriguing national dish of Barbados, Cou-cou and the Flying Fish.

In my kitchen it is mostly used as breading, cornbread and the occasional johnnycake craving. I love working with cornmeal because it is versatile and flavorful, but I haven’t done much with polenta, or boiled cornmeal, despite its terrific heritage and various uses.

[Among my favorite, from the Wikipedia entry on polenta: “In southern Austria, polenta is also eaten for breakfast (sweet polenta); the polenta pieces are either dipped in café au lait or served in a bowl with the café au lait poured on top of it (this is a favourite of children).”]

Vegan Polenta Pizza Casserole! Continue reading