Thursday, October 15, 2015

Vegetarian Tamale and Cheese Pie

Over the past few months, I have been following a pretty low carb diet. Did you know that carbs are in pretty much everything under the sun except for meat, eggs, and cheese? I have definitely been feeling like I have been eating way too much meat lately. I have slowly been reintroducing carbs back into my diet, and I have been trying to find recipes that are healthy and satisfying. I have been uninspired by so many recipes that I come across, but I was so excited when I saw this recipe on a blog that I follow the other day. I knew immediately that I had to try it out. Greg was away for two weeks at a work training in Pennsylvania, so I made this dish for him when he got home last Saturday. We had our neighbor over, and we sat out on the front deck enjoying the chillier fall weather and the soulfulness of this dish. This recipe does require a bit of time, but none of the steps are difficult. After making it, you won't have to cook again for several days. We ate it every day between Saturday and Wednesday and never got tired of it! Our daughter, who is 1 1/2 and getting more picky about food, also enjoyed this meal. I think you will probably enjoy this meal, too! It is healthy, hearty, comforting, and filling! Yum!

Recipe for Vegetarian Tamale and Cheese Pie

3 14.5-ounce cans of diced tomatoes, with liquid reserved
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
4 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 Tbsp. of extra virgin olive oil
1 1/4 tsp. of kosher salt, divided
1 Tbsp. of chipotle peppers in adobo, chopped (add more if you want more heat)
2 tsp. of chili powder
1 Tbsp. of freshly squeezed lime juice
2 15-ounce cans of black beans, drained
2 15-ounce cans of pinto beans, drained
1 1/2 cups of frozen corn
2 Tbsp. of fresh cilantro, finely chopped
1/2 tsp. of dried oregano
12 ounces of grated cheese (you can use colby jack, mild cheddar, sharp cheddar, pepper jack - or a blend of cheeses)
5 1/2 cups of water
1 3/4 cups of cornmeal
Salt & pepper

For serving:
Sour cream or Greek yogurt
Chopped avocado
Tortilla chips

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. In a medium sized bowl, combine the diced tomato, chopped onion, garlic, olive oil, and 1/2 tsp. of the kosher salt. Mix together. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and then pour the tomato mixture onto the baking sheet. Place in oven and roast, stirring a couple times, until the garlic and onion begin to brown on the edges (about 30 minutes or so).

While the vegetables are roasting, pour the reserved tomato liquid into a blender. Add in the chipotle peppers, chili powder, and lime juice. Then when the vegetables are finished roasting, transfer them into the blender with everything else. Puree the mixture until it is slightly chunky, about 10 - 15 seconds. Set aside. Lower the oven temperature to 375 degrees.

Put the beans, corn, cilantro, and oregano into a 9x13 inch baking dish. Pour the sauce from the blender on top and mix well. Spread the mixture into an even layer, and then sprinkle the cheese evenly over the top.

Get a whisk ready. Put the water into a large saucepan, set over high heat, and bring to a boil. Add in the 3/4 tsp. of kosher salt. Slowly add in the cornmeal, using the whisk to whisk vigorously so the cornmeal does not clump. Then reduce the heat to medium-high and continue to cook, while whisking constantly, until the cornmeal softens and the mixture thickens (about 3 - 4 minutes).

Remove the cornmeal mixture from the heat and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Use a spatula to spread the warm cornmeal evenly over the top of the casserole. Make sure to spread the cornmeal to the edges of the baking dish.

Cover the dish with foil and bake for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, remove the foil and cook for another 30 minutes. Allow it to cool for 5 - 10 minutes before serving.

Serve each piece with sour cream (or Greek yogurt), avocado slices, and tortilla chips.

Recipe makes approximately 10 - 12 servings.

Recipe Adapted from: Annie's Eats, and her recipe was slightly adapted from The Complete Vegetarian Cookbook