This is the easy version of making those labor-some tamales that are oh so delicious. It’s essentially a three bean chili with a polenta crust. This inspired recipe came out of my new cookbook Color Me Vegan by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 large bell pepper (or two smaller), seeded and chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 1/2 cups water, divided
1 can of diced tomatoes (I used Adobe Fire Roasted for extra flavor)
1 can (15 oz) pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (15 oz) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (15 oz) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 1/2 cups frozen corn
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 pinch cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon salt, or as needed, divided
1 cup coarse cornmeal
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
- Heat the oil in a large sauté pan over medium high heat.
- Add the onion, bell peppers, and garlic and cook until softened--about 5 to 7 minutes.
- Stir in 1/2 cup of water, tomatoes, beans, corn, chili powder, cumin, cayenne, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
- Cover and cook for 10-15 minutes until the vegetables soften.
- Pour the mixture into a 9 x 13-inch baking dish.
- Meanwhile, in a 3-qt saucepan, bring the remaining 3 cups of water to boil.
- Add the cornmeal and 1/2 teaspoon salt and whisk to combine.
- Return to a boil over medium-high heat and then immediately reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring often, until thickened--about 5 minutes.
- Add the nutritional yeast and stir to combine. Taste for seasoning and add more salt if needed.
- Spoon and spread the cornmeal over the bean mixture.
- Bake for 30 minutes or until the mixture is hot and bubbling. Cool for 10 minutes before serving.
Serve as is for a delicious vegan meal or with a sprinkle of cheddar cheese and a dollop of sour cream if you feel like indulging.