Spicy Black Bean Polenta Pie

by Holly on June 26, 2012

in dinner,gluten-free,Healthy Living Summit,lunch,PROJECT CLEANOUT,rambling,recipes,vegetarian

Now is probably a good time to tell you two very important things:

(1) I accidentally used coriander instead of cardamom in yesterday’s buckwheat granola recipe. I guess that’s what you get when you have eight unlabeled baggies of bulk spices hanging out in your pantry. So…technically I haven’t tasted the cardamom granola but the coriander-laced version is still good, which makes me think the cardamom version will be AMAZING. And yes, this isn’t the first time I’ve done that.

(2) I am going to be speaking at the Healthy Living Summit in August!

But not just speaking…moderating a panel to help bloggers get involved in their local community!

For those of you unfamiliar, Healthy Living Summit is a weekend conference for bloggers and readers interested in healthy living, focusing on topics like nutrition, exercise, social media, blogging ethics and general wellness. It’s a fun weekend of activities, breakout sessions and speeches, and somehow, I made the agenda. Crazy talk, I know.

Anyways, there is this recipe contest going on for the summit using Wild Harvest Organic products, and well…between cleaning out my pantry and having lots of their products on hand, I decided to give it a shot. Who knows? If someone is courageous enough to let me speak at a conference, then maybe they’ll be courageous to let me win the contest too? Let’s hope.

First things first: polenta.

Cook one cup of quick-cooking cornmeal in four cups of water until it comes to a boil and starts to thicken. Then comes the good stuff: 1/2 stick of butter, garlic powder and salt, to taste. Pour half the polenta in a greased pie pan or oven-safe skillet and lick the rest of the polenta from the pot.

In a saucepan over medium heat, saute 1/2 diced onion in olive oil until clear and translucent. Add 1 can of drained black beans, minced garlic and about 1 teaspoon each cumin, cayenne pepper and paprika. Season with salt + pepper, and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add as much spinach as you can fit into the pan and let it cook down, stirring occasionally.

Spread 3/4 of the veggie mixture over the layer of polenta.

Top it with the remaining polenta.

Now, the best part.

Pour enough of the mango peach salsa to cover the polenta pie, top with remaining 1/4 of the veggie mixture and sprinkle feta cheese liberally (I repeat, liberally) over the top. Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes or until top is golden brown. Resist the urge to devour it all.

And that, my friends, is what I call another Project Cleanout recipe success! (props to Spoon Fork Bacon – one of my current favorite blogs – for the inspiration)

This is a recipe that, yet again, does double duty: a recipe contest entry and pantry cleanout in one. Cornmeal, black beans, butter and feta cheese no longer inhabit my kitchen, leaving me time to get started on my PowerPoint panel presentation. Should I start out my very first conference speaking engagement with a song & dance number or a rousing game of heads-up 7-up?


P.S. This blogging consecutive days thing is hard. I feel like I have nothing funny to say.

P.P.S. I take that back. Jessica Simpson: wear a scarf.


Stacie@ Snaps and Bits June 26, 2012 at 10:04 pm

Are you kidding? You used to blog daily all the time. You can do it! Plus you don’t have to be funny if your ideas and recipes are beautiful! I love how you are posting these healthy things while I’m eating and drinking my way through CA Wine Country. I’ll have to come back later when I’m ready to get back on track :-)

Heather @ Fit Mama Real Food June 27, 2012 at 3:32 am

That’s so exciting you being a speaker!!! And this dish looks amazing. I love anything with mango salsa and feta!

Lauren June 27, 2012 at 5:43 am

So I’m still trying to come up with my recipe for this but I think you have just raised the bar! This sounds fantastic! I would not be sad in the least if this is our breakfast on Sunday. :)

amanda June 27, 2012 at 7:07 am

i saw your name on the healthy living summit speaker list. i got really excited for you. you deserve that spot, girlfriend! and i’m definitely bummin’ i won’t be there to hear you chatter! i know your insight is going to be incredible! just like youuuu.

Hillary June 27, 2012 at 7:14 am

If I was coming to HLS, I’d say we could do a tap dance number. Because that would be phenomenal.

Meister, Running While Smiling June 27, 2012 at 7:29 am

Man, I sure don’t make polenta often enough. (Read: I NEVER make polenta, how silly!) This just made it on my To Do / To Eat list.

PS: Selfishly so into your daily blogging kick. Yours has always been one of my faves!

Julia H. @ Going Gulia June 27, 2012 at 10:02 am

Haha, your cardamom-coriander mix up reminds me of a time when I was little & accidentally used salt instead of sugar when making a giant pitcher of lemonade. My babysitter tasted it, looked at me, & was like, “Uhmmmm..Julia..?” Apparently I couldn’t remember the difference between salt & sugar when I was a kid!
Anywho, this polenta dish sounds good. I bet a greek version of it with tomato sauce & kalamata olives or something would be good, too!

Christina June 27, 2012 at 11:16 am

I’ll eat almost anything with mushrooms and black beans in it, but this looks delish.

And yay for speaking at HLS!! I really want to go!!

Megan (Braise the Roof) June 27, 2012 at 12:42 pm

Hahaha, my favorite part of that J Simpson photo is that it’s a SELF PORTRAIT! Hilarious. I mean, God bless, I’m a little envious over here with my small B’s. The pie, however, looks delicious. :)

Eileen June 27, 2012 at 2:02 pm

Polenta and black beans sound like the perfect combination to me–especially with tangy feta! Love it. :)

BroccoliHut June 27, 2012 at 8:44 pm

Congrats on the HLS gig! I wish I could come hear you speak! I haven’t been able to attend since the first one in ’09 due to that annoying thing called grad school and now my dietetic internship. Someday I hope to attend again!

Alysha @ Shesontherun June 27, 2012 at 9:19 pm

Congrats on talking at the summit – you’ll kick boo-tay. And yes, I am obsessed with polenta. This looks awesome.

joelle (on a pink typewriter) June 28, 2012 at 9:20 am

Bahaha that Jessica Simpson comment.. amen.

That’s great about the Summit – I want to come!

uncle tommie timbertoes June 28, 2012 at 2:58 pm

It all looks like chip dip to me.

Frances June 29, 2012 at 9:41 pm

Congratulations on the speaker-spot! Also– thanks for reminding me that I like polenta. Whether or not Wild Harvest can dig it, you’ve won over a panel of one. Yeah!

Heather July 3, 2012 at 10:43 am

glad you will be at healthy living summit, see you there!

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