The holidays are upon us and life just seems to be getting more hectic. Are you like me, short on time, have too many things on the to do list and yet need nourishment and prefer a home cooked meal to eating out? Then check out this quick & easy recipe that allows you to have dinner on the table from beginning to end in no time! I had high hopes for this recipe that was inspired by a Cooking Light recipe but let me tell you it was even better than I expected. Even if you aren’t pressed for time this recipe is a winner. It can be assembled earlier in the day and then refrigerated until evening. Just heat and eat. In the original recipe the ground beef was cooked in the microwave but I have never cooked meat in the microwave. I thought the recipe could use the addition of chopped onion and garlic so I used a skillet to brown the meat with my additions.
The ingredients are simple, ground beef, black beans, purchased polenta in a tube, chopped onion, enchilada sauce, ground cumin and reduced fat cheddar cheese. It starts on the stove and finishes in - get this - the microwave oven! Trust me, it works beautifully. If you don’t own a microwave oven you could heat it in the oven at 350 degrees for about 20-30 minutes.
This dish has plenty of good things to enjoy. Gooey cheese melted over the top of a well seasoned ground beef and black bean enchilada filling which is layered over a bed of polenta cubes. Leftovers if you have any, reheat beautifully. This is going to become one of your favorite go to recipes when you need something hearty and don’t have a lot of time. A deep dish pie plate was used and the recipe filled it up. The servings are huge. Love it! You could garnish it with some Avocado Cream, chopped green onions, sour cream and freshly chopped cilantro. Feel free to use ground turkey in place of ground beef, add black olives is you wish. It’s a great basic recipe that would adapt to plenty of variations. Next I’m going to work on an Italian version using turkey Italian sausage, peppers, mushrooms, mozzarella cheese and marinara sauce. Yum!
Polenta in a tube is sold at most grocery stores, Trader Joe’s, Cost Plus Imports, Whole Foods and health food stores.
Polenta Tamale Pie
1 pound lean ground beef
1/2 cup diced onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup enchilada sauce (Trader Joe’s is my favorite but any brand will do)
1/2 cup salsa
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup reduced fat cheese, shredded
In a large skillet over medium heat combine ground beef, onion and minced garlic, cook until ground beef is completely cooked. Drain if needed. Add enchilada sauce, salsa,ground cumin and drained black beans. Cook until mixture is hot, about 5 minutes.
While meat mixture is heating, cut the tube of polenta into slices, then cube each slice. Spray a 9 inch deep dish pie plate with non stick spray. Fill pie plate with cubed polenta. Spoon enchilada filling over polenta. Cover with plastic wrap and microwave for 6 minutes on high or until heated through. Top with shredded cheese and serve. You could put it back in the microwave for a minute to melt the cheese if you wish.
Yield: 6 Servings
Per serving; 341.9 Calories, 12g Fat, 60mg Cholesterol, 775.7mg Sodium, 317.2mg Potassium, 30.3g Carbs, 4.6g Fiber, 26.6g Protein WWPP 8
Recipe inspired by a Cooking Light Tamale Pie recipe.
How is it the day before Thanksgiving already? I went to Sam’s club and the grocery store yesterday to get my fresh vegetables and a few other items. Even at 7:30 am Sam’s club was busy! I can only imagine what it was like later in the day. Today will be spent prepping for tomorrows feast. Katy is coming over to help and she is going to bake the pumpkin pie while I make the cranberry chutney. It’s going to smell wonderful in here. Tonight hubby Tom will brine the turkey and we will get up early tomorrow to set about cooking the bird and all the side dishes.
We have much to be thankful for this year, the gift of family, friendships and love top the list.
Wishing you and yours a very Happy Thanksgiving day filled with love, laughter and good times.
Add Your Thoughts
Do you ever buy ready made polenta in a tube?
Where will you be spending Thanksgiving this year?