RECIPE. Sep 10, 2010

Mexican Corn & Bean Casserole

Baseball bats. That’s what we call the zucchini in our garden that doesn’t get picked in time and is allowed to grow out of control. As with most people, our garden has flourished with zucchini and it’s a challenge to find something to do with it other than saute or bake in bread. This recipe was made on a whim when all I had was zucchini, black beans, no meat and a need for protein. It fit the flavor profile perfectly while also meeting my personal complete protein needs. The beans and the corn in the polenta combine to provide all amino acids necessary for a complete protein. Yet taste and time do not suffer.

This took me no more than one hour from boiling the water for the polenta to pulling the casserole out of the oven. If you have never made polenta before, no fear, it’s incredibly simple and you probably have the ingredients at home. To make polenta, bring water to boil and add salt and oil. Slowly add corn meal, stirring continuously. Lower heat and continue stirring for 10-15 minutes until mixture is quite thick. Set aside.

Heat oil in large skillet, add onion, minced garlic and salt. Add pepper, zucchini, ground cumin and oregano. Saute five more minutes. Add cooked beans, tomato sauce and water. Check taste and add salt if necessary.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In 8x8 casserole dish spread bean and vegetables across bottom, spread polenta on top and top with parmesan cheese. Bake, covered for 25 minutes. Remove, cover and bake five more minutes at 400 degrees. Cut and enjoy. I also added avocado and sour cream once it was put on the plates.

For babies 6 months and older: Reserve some of the zucchini, steam and puree.
Variation for children: Serve bean-vegetable portion in bowl and cut polenta into strips for dippers.