Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Fall Harvest Bake

First, I must say that I did not come up with this recipe on my own. I got a little inspiration from the freezer section of the grocery store...

And, after doing a Google search on Kashi's Mayan Harvest Bake, I am not the only person in the world who loves this frozen dinner. Nor I am the only person on this planet who has tried to recreate this savory, vegan dish. It is tough to find in the grocery store anymore. Tonight I will be adding my hand to the 27,800 results.

My recipe is not vegan, though it could be with a few modifications. I caved and had to add a little cheese in order to get my husband to want anything to do with my meatless Monday attempt. Otherwise, I would be eating a lot of my Fall Harvest Bake. Not a bad thing, but I need a little more variety to my weekly lunches and dinners. My harvest bake is also not short on color or flavor. I am totally enamored by the lighting in my photo...

I had to wait until today to share this recipe because I missed my photographic lighting opportunity yesterday:) While this recipe does have a few more steps than what I would like, it is fairly simple to put together and can be made ahead. I actually put everything together Sunday afternoon and then popped it in the oven yesterday when I finally got home from the gym. Packed full of veggies and smoky chipotle flavor, this dish is not only gluten free, but also very calorie friendly. According to My Fitness Pal, this Fall Harvest Bake only clocked in at 160 calories per servings and we are talking pretty big servings. You will not go hungry my friends.

Fall Harvest Bake
inspired by Kashi

4 cups vegetable broth
1 cup corn meal
2 cups shredded 2% cheddar cheese (divided)
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 yellow or white onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
1 large sweet potato, chopped
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can diced tomatoes
4 cups kale, cleaned, stemmed, and chopped
2 chipotle peppers, finely chopped plus 1 tablespoon adobo sauce
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon cumin
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9' x 13' baking dish with non-stick cooking spray and set aside. In a sauce pan, bring the vegetable broth to a boil. Stir in the corn meal. Lower the heat to a simmer and continue stirring constantly until the corn meal thickens. Stir in 1 cup of the cheddar cheese until incorporated. Spread the corn meal into the baking dish and set aside.

While the corn meal is cooling, bring a large stockpot to medium heat. Drizzle the olive oil and add the onion. Saute and stir occasionally until the onion begins to become translucent (about 4-5 minutes). Add the garlic and sweet potato. Saute and stir occasionally until the sweet potato begins to soften (about another 4-5 minutes). Add the remaining ingredients, stirring occasionally until the sauce begins to thicken. Remove the mixture from the heat. Top over the corn meal. Sprinkle the remaining 1 cup cheese and bake in the oven until the cheese begins to bubble and turn lightly brown along the edges (about 20-25 minutes). Cool for 5-10 minutes before slicing and serving.

* On a side note, I originally wanted to make this recipe using Swiss chard; however, could not locate any in my grocery store. Thus, I used kale. I would like to make this again using the Swiss chard as it is more tender and does not have quite as strong a flavor as kale. Any green you have on hand will work.

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