Monday, February 25, 2013

Rice, Bean, & Polenta Casserole

I don't know about you but I am so ready to have fresh local produce again.  I feel so much more inspired to eat and cook with good, quality local produce.  I have been in a cooking slump lately.  I feel like I have no creativity or energy in the kitchen.  I have been throwing meals together at the last possible minute, including a fair amount of PBJ.  It might be a bit of winter blahs or being in the midst of a pregnancy that hasn't been quite as vibrant and glorious as my previous two pregnancies.  Whatever it is I am trying to get back on track for the sake of our health and our budget (take-out has been one of my dear friends as of late!) 

My new goal is creating a weekly menu.  I used to do this and it made everything run much smoother.  I knew exactly what food items I needed when I went to buy groceries and I knew exactly what I was going to make.  There was a good structure to meals and grocery budgets, and a whole less take-out!  Perhaps there are some of you out there that will also benefit from menu planning?

Now onto the recipe.  This recipe was created at 5:30 one evening when I realized I had no idea what I was going to make for dinner and the girls were declaring their hunger.  I happened to look in the fridge and it was one of those glorious days where I actually had some things in there I could quickly toss together for a meal.  Due to the increasing hunger cries from my children, I didn't even think about measuring out ingredients but instead just tossed everything together, all the while keeping my fingers crossed that it would turn out to be something edible.  As it turns out both of my girls loved it and requested more. Whew. Success was found in a moment of panic!   I will list what I used and then just play around measurements. 

Rice, Bean, & Polenta Casserole

*1 tube of polenta, cut into thin slices
*Cooked Rice
*Cooked/Canned Black Beans
*Frozen Corn
*Baby Spinach, finely chopped
*Cheese of choice (optional)

1)Layer cut polenta on the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish

2)In a large bowl mix together rice, beans, corn, spinach, and salsa (It looks like a naked burrito)

3)Spread the rice mixture on top of the polenta.

4)Sprinkle the top with cheese, if using. (We used goat cheese but I didn't get a chance to snap a picture of the final cooked product due to the insisting of my girls that it was time to eat!)

5)Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes.

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