Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Tamale Casserole, Revisited and The Beck Diet Solution, Day 9-Select an Exercise Plan

About a week ago I prepared Lindsay S. Nixon's Tamale Casserole from her book The Happy Herbivore. My husband and I definitely thought it was GOOD, but I knew that it could even be better with a boatload more veggies. So I went to town this past weekend and set about making a Tamale Casserole that even Dr. Fuhrman would love.

If you are expecting the cornbread topping to taste like cake, the way an old fashioned cornbread usually does, you will probably be disappointed. This cornbread is made with no fat, so it is a little bit dry, but on top of the moist vegetables, I think it's a great compliment.

HGK's Vegetized (is that a word?) Tamale Casserole
serves a crowd

approx. 1/2 cup low sodium vegetable broth
1 large chopped onion
6 garlic cloves, minced
10 ounces mushrooms, chopped
4 cups medium dice zucchini
4 cups chopped greens (kale, collard, beet, etc. or a mix)
1/2 cup of your favorite red salsa
1 1/2 Tbsp Mexican or Southwest spice blend
OR 1 Tbsp chili powder + 1 tsp dried oregano + 1 tsp ground cumin
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup frozen corn (I prefer the Fire Roasted from Trader Joe's)

for the cornbread top:
1 1/2 cups cornmeal
1/2 cup whole wheat flour, either white whole wheat or whole wheat pastry flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup unsweetened almond or soy or rice milk
1/4 cup unsweetened apple sauce
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 cup frozen corn kernels
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Place a large saute pan or dutch oven over a medium high flame and coat the bottom of the pan with vegetable broth. As soon as the vegetable broth is bubbling, add the diced onion. Turn the heat down to medium and cook the onions, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes. If onions get too dry, add a touch more vegetable broth as necessary to prevent burning. Add chopped garlic and stir. Cook for two more minutes.

Add mushrooms and stir. Cook until mushrooms begin to release their water.
Add zucchini and stir. Cook for approximately ten minutes.
Add chopped greens and stir. Cook for three minutes. Add salsa and stir.
Add either 1 1/2 Tbsp spice blend or chili powder, oregano and cumin. Stir well.
Add black beans and corn. Stir.

Take vegetable mix off of the heat. Now it's time to mix the cornbread.

Place all dry cornbread ingredients in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together all of the wet cornbread ingredients (except for the corn kernels). Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir to combine. Fold in the corn kernels.

Now assemble the casserole. Pour the vegetable mix into a greased 9"x13" pan. Top with the cornbread mix and spread evenly over the vegetables. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the cornbread topping at the center comes out clean. Serve immediately.
If you are serving Vegetized Tamale Casserole as a main course, I think it looks especially professional stacked in two layers.

And now for a Beck update! I am stuck here on Day 9, Select and Exercise Plan. Not because there is anything particularly difficult about this step, but just because my life has been busy as of late! The old me would have been a little agitated, thinking that I wasn't working through the steps fast enough. But now I realize that it is more important to really master the steps, slowly if you have to.

So in that vein, I have a confession to make: I'm not reading my Advantages Response Card twice a day like I am supposed to be doing! Every time my cell phone reminder goes off I think of how busy I am and that I don't have the time to do it. So I am going to reset the timer to go off at two totally different times a day--times where I know I am not going to be in the middle of a lot of other things.

As far as exercise goes, I believe that what Beck says is totally on point. Number 1, we have to schedule exercise like everything else in our lives and make it a major priority. And Number 2, we have to lead active lives and not just rely on the gym to take care of our exercise needs (like parking far away from an entrance to a building and taking stairs).

I know that I have been my most consistent with exercise ever since setting a schedule. In fact, I had a recent schedule change (really a temporary elimination of one form of exercise) and I thought I would make up for it by walking. Well, guess what? I have walked sometimes, but not nearly with the consistency as I would have worked out with a scheduled class. So I'm starting again with more scheduled classes a.s.a.p.!

It's all a learning process and I am a willing student.

How do you get in the most exercise possible? Do you schedule exercise like an appointment? 

What are you struggling with on The Beck Diet Solution? What day are you on right now?

What are you having success with on The Beck Diet Solution?


Bonnie said...

In the winter when the leaves are off the trees we can see the parking lot of our local rec center from our bedroom window. When it opened eight years ago we started going to the gym at 5:30 am when it opens - five days a week - and we haven't stopped since. It's part of our daily routine now. Listening to NPR podcasts or books on tape helps me through a 90 minute daily workout. In the summer it's more fun to run outside with a running partner.

Ginger said...

I schedule exercise like an appointment. Each morning weekday morning, I get up between 5 and 6, make my bed, drink a quart of water, T.Tapp for 15 minutes, and walk for 30 minutes. Afterwards, I have a little devotional, drink a green smoothie, shower, and get myself to work by 8. I work from home, as a teacher and writer, which is very sedentary work. At lunch, I eat a huge salad and a bit of lentil soup, clean up, and walk for 20-30 minutes. At dinner I eat steam fry with black rice and tofu or some other vegan delight, clean up, and walk for 20-30 minutes. TV doesn't exist in my home. If I don't care enough about my health to make it a priority, nobody will.

Amy said...

I also schedule my exercise like an appointment (writing it in my agenda) and I have become very good about not allowing other things to take priority over it, as I did in the past. I really wish I could be as disclipined about eating as I am about exercise! Still working on that, I guess!

liz said...

wendy, remember when you used to take those long walks in the mornings at work? do you still do those? I have started doing hour long hikes in the Metroparks on the weekends and am loving walking as exercise. when I dont feel like exercising i tell myself that all i have to do is 10 minutes and then I can stop if i want to. and i never want to!

Ruchi Koval said...

I try to run 3 times a week. It's a catch-as-catch-can proposition, which means if I see I have a chunk of time when my husband or teenage daughter can hold the fort, I bolt. Also, lately, if I want to catch up with a friend, we schedule a walk instead of a coffee or lunch. I love that.
Your vegetized dish made me think of my dinner tonight. I love chinese food and made chicken stir-fry for my fam for dinner with brown rice. Decided to make myself a vegan stir-fry and it was so good, I didn't even miss the chicken. Lots and lots of veggies. Celery, corn, snap peas, onion, yellow pepper, peas...

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Kim said...

I live near a wonderful family run health club, the class instructors are great and I love the camaraderie of the classes. I do a couple free weight classes and as many Zumba classes as I can. I don't even think of Zumba as exercise it is so much fun. Two nights a week I go straight from work (my husband makes dinner) I have Friday's off so I go Friday morning and then I go to the Saturday and Sunday morning classes. I am home before my kids even get up. So I guess you would say I schedule my exercise and after doing it for so many years it is part of my life. Now if I could just be as disciplined about eating as my exercise. It is a constant struggle but your blog has been very helpful. Thank you. I love your recipe posts. I just bought two new books "Forks over Knifes" and "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Plant Based Nutrition". Lots of new recipes to try!

kneecap said...

Hey, I'm popping in to see your blog. I think the Beck solution is a great plan. Glad you are working through it. I am still working on eating while sitting down and not eating during food prep and eating mindfully. I think if I can just master those, I will curb my overeating.

katshealthcorner said...

Scedualing in my exercise really helps. I make it a priority and make sure I do it. I like to read a book while I'm on the bike (I'm reading Pride and Prejudice right now -- I'm almost done!), listen to music, and change it up to keep things interesting. I try to sceduale it in the morning -- I'm more likely to get it done when I sceduale it in the morning - first thing.

That Tamale Casserole looks AMAZING!

Dawn said...

Wendy--I have been following your blog for a while now and have been inspired to keep on with my plant-strong lifestyle! Thanks very much. I made this Tamale Casserole last night. Didn't have any corn so I just left that out. Also had yellow squash instead of zucchini. This was so, so, so good. Really. The salsa I had was pretty spicy but the cornbread topping balanced it nicely. I think this is a dish I would make to share. Thanks for the recipe!--Dawn

Healthy Girl said...

Oh, Dawn, you are so very welcome! I feel really good now . . .

Chef AJ said...

I am so going to make this you blogging genius!!!

Love & Kale,
Chef Aj

Jenn S said...

I made this for dinner on a rainy Thursday night and it was perfect! Very easy to make and so tasty. Husband even loved it.

Michelle said...

Had this for dinner with with your Mexican slaw. One of my best dinners yet! Thanks for sharing and keep them coming!!

Wendy said...

So happy you liked this Jenn and Michelle!

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