Sunday, October 16, 2011


So...I am officially posting this recipe one week late. Before you go and say "UGH, worst food blogger ever!" let me explain. (Get the acronym in the title now?).

I guess I don't have an explanation, except that being an engineer who writes all day long ('s a thing) makes me want to come home and NOT write. That is actually the reason you haven't heard from me. But I'll get over it soon. And hopefully you'll get a chance to make today's recipe and forgive me for being so M.I.A. 

In the realm of workouts, I caved and decided I needed to go to a gym. I spent that past couple of months on the fence about joining a gym, because I thought I had motivation to do my own thing. Apparently I don't, because I was incredibly inconsistent. I went to boot camp yesterday for the first time in...over two months. Today, I am having some issues walking. (Can you say squats to the MAX?) Best feeling ever.

Remember how last week I found that quinoa polenta? I couldn't wait to use it. I've never had regular polenta before, and actually didn't really know what it was. (It's boiled cornmeal). The easiest thing to do if you don't know how to use something is to bake it...because really, you can't go wrong with baking stuff.

Layered Quinoa Polenta Casserole

  • 1 package quinoa polenta (or regular polenta)
  • 1 can refried black beans*
  • 2 red bell peppers
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn
  • 2 cups sliced mushrooms
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 hatch pepper (or any large moderately spicy pepper)
  • shredded cheese of choice
  • salt/pepper

*You could easily make your own re-fried black beans if you don't prefer the canned version!

First things first, chop up the vegetables, and cook them in a large skillet with 1 tablespoon vegetable oil. Season with salt, pepper, and some garlic powder (optional). 

Mix the refried beans and frozen corn and set this aside.

Slice the quinoa polenta into medium-thick slices. Evenly pour 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil onto a large baking dish and place the polenta slices on the dish.

Spread the black bean mixture on top of the slices, then top with the vegetable mixture.

Top with a light layer of shredded cheese, and bake for about 30 minutes at 350F. 

Slice and serve. 

And maybe top with your favorite spicy salsa for an extra kick, or maybe a dollop of greek yogurt!

Perfect make-ahead meal. I ate this every day last week for dinner and it did not get old at all. I am so behind on life that I still haven't planned this week's dinner (gasp). Any ideas? I'm thinking about somehow incorporating those kelp noodles I found...that'll be an adventure.

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