Mexican Black Bean & Cilantro Polenta Bake

1 onion, cut in thin slices

1 red bell pepper, sliced

1 jalapeno or serrano pepper (optional), diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp chili powder

1 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp paprika

1/4 tsp ground coriander

pinch of cinnamon

2 cans of black beans, no salt added and BPA-free can

1 cup of organic corn, fresh or frozen

3 cups of water

1 cup polenta

1/4 cup oat milk or non-dairy milk of choice

1/2 cup nutritional yeast (optional)

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/2 cup cilantro, chopped

salt and pepper, to taste

1. Sauté the onion in 2 tbsp of water in a skillet over medium-high heat for about 3 minutes.

2. Once onions start to soften add the red bell pepper and jalapeno and sauté for another 3 to 5 minutes.  If the pan starts getting dry add a little more water.

3. Add minced garlic, chili powder, cumin, paprika, coriander,  cinnamon and salt and sauté for about 2 minutes.

4. Add black beans with the liquid (also known as pot liquor) and the corn.  Stir well to combine all the flavors and remove from heat.

5. In a medium sauce pan bring 3 cups of water to a boil.  Very slowly add the polenta to the water while whisking constantly.  Turn heat to low.

6. Whisk frequently for 5 minutes.  

7.  Remove from heat and stir in oat milk, nutritional yeast, garlic powder, salt and pepper.  Once everything is combined fold in cilantro.  

8.  In an oven proof casserole dish (either 9x9 or 9 inch round) pour the bean mixture into the dish.  Spread the polenta evenly over the beans.

9.  Bake in the oven at 400° for 15 to 20 minutes or until starting to brown on top.  

Note:  If you want to serve this as a make ahead meal follow steps 1-8 and then store in the refrigerator.  When you are ready to eat it cook in the oven at 400° for around 30 to 35 minutes.   

Serves 4  |  crystalvaughn.com