I'm always wary of vegetarian recipes. Even though I used to be vegetarian as a teenager, I now enjoy and actually like eating meat. I don't mind eating vegetables, in fact I sometimes like it. But I have this weird texture issue that gets in the way. We had stuffed zucchini a week or two ago and eating it made me want to gag! The flavor was nice, but there was just something about the texture. I don't know. It's weird. And especially frustrating when I'm making the effort to eat more vegetables.
I am also trying to make use of my bounty of cookbooks and saved magazine recipes by incorporating new recipes into every two-week menu I put together. Last night I tried a new recipe for Tamale Pie from one of my cookbooks A World of Wisdom. It was completely vegetarian, so I was a little concerned. My concern was a waste of energy, because it was freaking awesome! I couldn't stop thinking about it after dinner and I woke up being tempted to eat it for breakfast, it was that good. Haha!
So, of course I had to share the recipe. I added carrot and zucchini (because I have a lot from my garden!), but overall, I followed the recipe and was very happy with the results. I think the key is that the veggies are chopped up. Big chunks of veg just don't appeal to me. I am just so weird.
2 cups cooked preferred bean (I used black bean. It's my #1 fave!)
1/2 cup minced onion
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
1 chopped tomato
1/4 cup shredded zucchini (about half of a smallish-medium one)
1 shredded carrot
1/4 cup diced black olives
1 minced garlic clove
1 tsp. cumin
1 1/2 tsp. chili powder (more if you like it spicier)
1 tsp. dried oregano
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 recipe of your favorite cornbread (The recipe should only fill one 8"x 8" or 9" round pan. I had to be specific because I have a recipe that fills a 9"x13" pan.)
Simmer beans, vegetables, and seasoning with a little liquid for 10 minutes in a skillet. Stir in half the cheese. Prepare the cornbread and pour half the batter into a greased 10-inch pie plate (deep dish) or 8-inch square dish and spread over the bottom. Add bean mixture on top, scooping it up with a slotted spoon to let any extra moisture drip out. (We don't want a soggy pie!). Top with remaining cornbread batter and spread out over the top the best you can. Bake at 425º F for 15 minutes. Top with remaining cheese and bake 10 minutes longer.*
*I didn't read this part of the recipe and just put the cheese on top at the beginning. I baked it for 15 minutes and it was done! And a huge bonus was that the cheese was all nice and brown and crusty on top. Mmmm! If you don't like it that way, follow the above directions and totally ignore the way I did it!
No garnish necessary. Just dig in and enjoy! And loosen your belt a little. You may go for seconds... or thirds....