It’s the first night of chanukah and as I drove home from work I realized I hadn’t really planned dinner for the party of four that were joining us to eat. Last night I made croutons, and I have last week’s onion soup in the freezer but even with a salad, it didn’t quite seem like dinner. Something was missing.
My wife suggested a “polenta tamale pie”, not something I have ever made – my experience with Mexican cooking is fairly limited, but it sounded good, so I grabbed my phone and tried to find some inspiration for a dish that would be table-ready in less than an hour. I stumbled upon A Couple Cooks and found a recipe I felt confident I could adapt and serve by the time guests walked through the door. I’m not scared of trying new dishes when I have company, especially when the ingredients sound like they are a good fit – my one failing in making this dish in a hurry was that I forgot to put my SD card in the camera before the dish was complete!
The following ingredients made for a wonderful vegan dish that I will happily serve again and again! These ingredients will serve eight. (Thank You Anne, my WeightWatchers leaders for working out the points on this. If you serve six, rather than the suggested eight, this works out to be 5 Points Plus per serving.)
Vegan Tamale Pie with a Polenta Crust
Line a 9″ round straight sided baking pan with silver foil. 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.
Dice your tomato and put in a glass bowl with the corn, black beans and salsa. Add two teaspoons of cumin and a teaspoon of paprika and combine the ingredients. Once mixed, pour this mixture into your round pan, on top of the polenta crust.
Make sure the top of your pie is even and put it in the oven for thirty minutes.
After thirty minutes, remove from the oven and evenly sprinkle the garlic breadcrumbs over the top of the pie. Not only does this give you a wonderful crusty top, but it absorbs any excess moisture from the top of the pie. Now sprinkle 1/3 cup of Daiya Vegan Mozzarella Style Shreds over the top and return to the oven for another twenty minutes.
This dish is a wonderful weekday meatless meal, and another win for people on a dairy-free diet! I am sure real cheese would be great too – if you eat dairy. Now I’ve opened the gateway into mexican cooking, let’s see what comes next!