Polenta Bake

Okay I'm just gunna say it. This is not the prettiest meal, but it's tasty.

 I love mexican food. Like I really love it. I could eat it every day and be one happy girl. Guacamole, queso, burritos, tacos, nachos...yum! But sometimes making it all at home can be a little bit of a mess. I feel like every time I make tacos I've got pans everywhere and little bowls with all the fixin's strewn about and it's just messy. So I came up with this casserole to satisfy my mexican cravings but with less mess and no fuss. It doesn't look like much in the picture above, but top it with some sour cream, guacamole, fresh tomato and cilantro and it really brightens it up! This is not a fancy meal by any stretch of the imagination and that is why I love it. It's simply delicious!

So, here it goes!

Polenta Bake

1 can petite diced tomatoes
1 can refried black beans
1 packet of mccormick's taco seasoning (and 3/4 cup water)
1 lb lean ground beef (or ground turkey for you health nuts :) jk)
1 package of ready-made polenta
1 cup shredded mexican cheese blend (optional)
Tortilla chips (optional)
guacamole (optional)
sour cream or plain greek yogurt (optional)
fresh diced tomatoes (optional)
fresh cilantro (optional)
tums (optional, but recommended for pregnant ladies)

1.) Preheat your oven to 350. Then just brown the meat in a skillet. Add the taco seasoning and water and cook according to the package directions. Then dump in the tomatoes and black beans and stir until combined. You could be all fancy and layer the meat and beans and tomatoes in the dish but I don't have time for that! Put the meat mixture in a glass 8 x 8 dish.

2.) Slice the polenta into 9 equal sized discs, about 1/2" to 3/4" thick. Place the 9 discs on top of the meat mixure. You could also make your own creamy polenta here and just pour it on top but I just buy the premade stuff 'cause, well, its easier. And it's organic so I feel good about that. Maybe it balances out my non-organic, non-grass-fed beef. Meh probably not. Oh well.

3.) So, you have the meat and beans, the polenta, now just lightly sprinkle this little concoction with the cheese. Or don't if you are dairy-free. But do if you want a nice little bubbly crust on top of everything. Or don't if you don't. Your call. I think it's good either way.

4.) Bake it for about 30 minutes or until you have that nice little bubbly crust or until heated through. Then, here's the key...see all those options up there? They all add so much to this dish to make it really really yummy. So, spoon it out over some tortilla chips and top it off with homemade guacamole and some sour cream. Sprinkle with tomatoes and garnish with some fresh cilantro. It's basically nachos for dinner. Oh so good, and did I mention, completely gluten-free? I mean, it tastes so good it's hard to call it healthy, but if you use ground turkey, omit the cheese and use greek yogurt instead of sour cream I'm pretty sure the health nuts would approve.