By admin | February 15, 2012

BY JOANNE BRUNO

Sometimes good things come in small packages: engagement rings,chocolate truffles, and the inevitable tequila shot(s) that are absolutely necessitated by the fact that you are a single lady again on Valentine’s Day.

And then, to even things out…there are the kinds of good things that come with long ingredient lists;  this mango and black bean casserole, for example.  Cheesy, spicy, sweet, and big on flavor, there is a lot going on in this square of black-bean-mango-mole-covered-polenta.  And though the ingredient list is long, with three different components that must be made, the time it takes to get them done and out of the oven is short.  Definitely worth it for a healthy meal that the entire family will love.  And if you happen to pair it with a tequila shot (or five)…well, that’ll be our little secret.

Mango and Black Bean Polenta Casserole Recipe

Serves 6, adapted from Vegetarian Times December 2011

Ingredients:

For the polenta:
2 (13.5) oz cans lite coconut milk
1 cup polenta
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
3 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp ground cumin

For the mole:
15 oz canned diced tomatoes
1 tbsp minced unsweetened chocolate
1 tbsp raisins, finely chopped
2 tsp honey
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

For the casserole:
1 tsp olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 cup dried black beans, soaked and cooked or 1 15 oz can black beans
1/4 cup slivered almonds
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 tsp lime juice
1 mango, diced
4 oz cheddar cheese, grated

Method:

  1. To make the polenta, bring 2 cups coconut milk, 1 cup water, and remaining ingredients to a boil in a saucepan.  Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 20 minutes, or until thick, stirring frequently.  Coat a 9×13-inch baking pan with cooking spray.  Smooth polenta mixture into pan.  Put in freezer while you prepare the remaining components.
  2. To make the mole, simmer all of the ingredients in a saucepan over medium-low heat for 3 minutes, or until sauce is smooth.
  3. To assemble the casserole, heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat.  Add the onion and bell pepper and cook for 5 minutes.  Add the black beans, almonds, fresh cilantro, lime juice, and mole.  Fold in the mango.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350.  Pour the black bean mix over the polenta.  Sprinkle cheddar on top.  Bake for 20-30 minutes or until cheese starts to brown.

Joanne Bruno is a food writer and third year MD/PhD student.  Find more of her delicious ramblings over at her blog: Eats Well With Others

Photos: Joanne Bruno

For more of Joanne’s vegetarian recipes, follow me on Twitter (@Marcus Cooks)

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