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?

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