Monday, January 21, 2013

Tamale Skillet Supper; (Could Be) Meatless Monday

I wanted to make this a vegetarian meal, but I was caught in the act (by a certain husband of mine...) when trying to buy the vegetarian "meat crumbles", and caved under pressure and went for the real stuff instead (aka: beef).  Oh well.  To be honest, most of the vegetarian meat replacements aren't good for my IBS because they contain FODMAPs, but if you want to make this vegetarian just swap the meat for your favorite meatless product (or possibly even tempeh).  

I found this recipe on Cabot's website, but made a few modifications, as I always do.

Tamale Skillet Supper
Slightly Modified from This Cabot Cheese Recipe
Can be made Low FODMAPs and Gluten Free
Serves 6

1 pound 93% lean ground beef
1/2 cup chopped onion **
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
1 (15-ounce) can kidney beans, drained **
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can Mexican-style stewed tomatoes (low-sodium if possible) **
Cooking Spray
1 (16-ounce) tube prepared polenta, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
4 ounces reduced fat cheddar cheese
Chopped fresh cilantro or parsley (optional)

1. In large skillet over medium-high heat, combine ground beef, onion and bell pepper; cook until beef is browned, about 5 minutes, breaking it up with spoon. Drain well. Stir in beans and tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture is thickened, about 10 minutes longer.

2. Preheat oven to 375°F.

3. Coat 1 1/2-quart baking dish with cooking spray. Line bottom and sides of dish with some of polenta slices, leaving enough to cover top. Spoon in beef mixture, then sprinkle with cheese. Top with remaining polenta slices.

4. Bake for 25 minutes, or until lightly browned and bubbly. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving. Sprinkle with cilantro or parsley, if desired.

**NOTE:  If you want this recipe to be lower FODMAPsomit the onion, and use regular stewed tomatoes instead of the Mexican-style variety.  You may or may not tolerate the beans well, but I took a Beano with this meal and was fine (Beano, or any off-brand of Beano helps you digest Galactans, which are found in beans).  If you are lactose intolerant you may need to use a lactose-free variety of cheese.

The meal tasted great, and the fact that it left very few dishes to be cleaned was a nice bonus.

Estimated Nutrition Facts for 1/6th of recipe

The C+ rating has a lot to do with the sodium content, most likely.   I did not use low-sodium tomatoes, which is why that number is so high.  Also, cheese has a lot of sodium.  You could reduce the cheese and use a low-sodium tomato product and this number would be significantly less.  IF you want to reduce the fat you could use ground turkey breast instead of lean ground beef, or you could use a 96% lean ground beef variety.

Nutrition Highlights:  Excellent source of fiber, and vitamin C.  Good source of vitamin A and Calcium.

If you try this recipe with a meatless product, or something like tempeh, please let me know.  I'd love to hear how it turns out.  

Enjoy your Monday everyone.  Thanks for reading!

The Candid Rd


  1. oh this looks like such a great winter meal!

  2. This looks awesome-- I love the taste of tamales. I'd love to make a vegetarian version!

  3. This looks great. My husband used to hate "vegetarian" meat replacements too. I hid a BUNCH in our food and finally he came around. Tempeh works great b/c its very "meat like" in texture. Keep trying tho! This looks like a great meatless dish - I'm excited to try it!

    1. I love how you think :) Hiding things in Nick's foods is one of my favorite past times. I always tell him eventually, or he'll never learn to enjoy new foods, but it's so fun!

  4. Oooo! This sounds good and I think I'd like polenta this way - not on its own but with lots of goodies and just that cornmeal finish. I love that we both posted nearly meatless Mondays...great minds think alike! ;) Hope OH weather isn't quite as chilly as it is here!! Brrrr!!

  5. love the polenta bake, I'm thinking do you need the meat/meat subs at all?

    1. Yeah, it needs it (or tempeh...something for texture and extra flavor!)

  6. Oh my gosh, that exact situation happened with me and Peter. It was back when I first began studying dietetics, and I reached for TVP at the grocery store and Peter was like "I'm not eating that, noooo way". Fortunately, he's come around somewhat ;) Love this recipe, especially the polenta - very creative! I have a hard time finding low sodium tomatoes, too. It's amazing how much is in canned/boxed tomatoes!