Thursday, January 10

Veggie Tamale Pie

Hello again. Let me introduce you to one of my favorite foods...this is tamale pie.  Not only is it one of my favorite dishes, its healthy and practically fool proof (ahem... even when you are slightly nervous and making it for your mother in law). If you can chop, briefly saute on the stove, and then dump into the oven, you can make this. My mother made this when I was young. The taste and smell alone reminds me of her and how wonderful the house smelled when she cooked it. This is a slightly healthier version of hers mixed with this recipe here

I made this for dinner this last week when my mother in law was in town. She was having some one on one time with her favorite grandson, and we took the very much needed night out. Perfect timing! This was quick and easy for me to whip up, and let her just pull out of the oven when the timer went off. I am always so grateful when family is in town! Hahaha not just for the free babysitting, but so I can make yummy food like this for them. I really do enjoy cooking for people.  I usually halve this recipe, but since its a busy week, I am stretching it into easy lunches/dinners with the colder January weather. 


1 lb lean ground turkey (tastes good with beef too)
1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp minced garlic
1 large onion, finely diced
2 cups of frozen corn
1 can (14.5oz or 15oz whatever you have) black beans, drained and throughally rinsed
1 can (14.5 or 15 oz whatever you have) diced tomatoes* regular or fire roasted (both are good)
7 oz can of green chillies
1 Tbs homemade or sugar free taco seasoning
4oz or 1 cup finely cubed butternut squash
1 large carrot, washed, finely cubed
1 Tbs salt
3/4 cup cornmeal, course
1 1/2 cup milk, I used 1%
1 egg, beaten
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (Pepper jack or Monterrey jack would both also be excellent here)
(optional) sour cream, avocado, cilantro, fresh green onion any of your favorite taco toppings


1. In a large skillet saute the veggies with the olive oil (onion, butternut squash and carrot) until they are tender approx 5 minutes
2. Add the ground turkey (or beef) and garlic to the skillet and cook until meat is done. The longer you let the meat sit in the pan without stirring it will create yummy caramelized bits.  Stir occasionally though so the garlic doesn't burn. 
3. Add almost everything else (frozen corn, cans of black beans, chilies, tomatoes, salt, taco seasoning, and heat through on low approx 5 minutes. 
4. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
5. Butter or grease or use cooking spray a very large baking dish (I used 11" x 7") 
6. Transfer the skillet's contents to the baking dish. 
7. In a bowl mix together the egg, milk and cornmeal. Pour this over the veggie/meat mixture. 
Its okay if it doesn't quite look right. It will bake just fine. I was worried about it not dissolving or some of it clumping out of the bowl at the end the first time too. 
8. Bake at 400 for 15 minutes uncovered
9. Lower the temp to 350 for 10 minutes
10. Pull the pie out and top it with cheese and bake for another 15 minutes until the cheese is fully melted and golden. 
11. Serve with your favorite taco toppings listed above or just dig right in! 

I enjoy how easy this dish gets vegetables into my family's stomachs. They are thinking about the cheesy, sweet corn, and my husband is loving the chunks of meat. No one is thinking about the vegetables just lightly sautéed and full of those important vitamins.That's what moms are for, right? The vegetable colors are pretty too. You can see orange, yellow, and red. I have made this before with other veggies too. Please do use what you have on hand or what's on sale. Sneak in some red peppers or some zucchini in the summer time. I really hope you enjoy this healthier veggie filled version of Tamale Pie. 

From my kitchen to yours!

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