Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Spicy Pintos, Zucchini and Mushrooms with Jalapeno Cornbread Topping

I saw a mention of The Enchanted Broccoli Forest online recently while doing a little research on "Food of the 70's" for an upcoming potluck. Do you associate certain foods with that decade? It seems that the cookbook was actually published in '82, so no help regarding my quest for 70's food ideas, but it did lead me to Mollie Katzen's online collection of recipes. The Frijoles, Etc. Casserole sounded like my kind of dish. A Tex-Mexy, no kitchen gadgets necessary, comfort food entree. Life is complex enough. I'm a keep things simple in the kitchen kind of woman. Plus, I'd yet to make vegan cornbread!

I changed up the original recipe quite a bit, adding mushrooms, Rotel tomatoes and chiles, and nutritional yeast, for example. For the cornbread topping, I used Josh's Favorite Cornbread from No Whey Jose', with the addition of pickled jalapeno slices. We loved the result. The cornbread is just-right sweet to complement the heat of the jalapenos. For the veggie part, I would up the chili powder and cumin next time. Top with either green or red salsa and you're good to go.

Spicy Pintos, Zucchini, and Mushrooms with Jalapeno Cornbread Topping

2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons cumin
1 Tablespoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 Tablespoon chili powder
2 medium zucchini, sliced thinly into half moons
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
2 cups sliced mushrooms
10 ounce can Rotel diced tomatoes with chiles
2 Tablespoons nutritional yeast
3 cans pinto beans, rinsed and drained
freshly ground black pepper
cornbread batter with pickled jalapeno slices
salsa as a condiment

Preheat oven to 350. Lightly mist a 13x9 inch baking dish with oil. In a Dutch oven over medium heat, heat the oil then add onions and half the salt. Saute a few minutes until onions begin to soften. Add remaining salt and garlic through nutritional yeast. Cover and simmer for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Add the pintos and plenty of freshly ground black pepper. Spread in the baking dish and top with cornbread batter. Bake for about 40 minutes or until cornbread can be pierced with a toothpick and the toothpick comes out clean. Top your portion with salsa if you like.

15 comments:

  1. It's great fun to have a look into the history of cooking, even if it's only some decades away. I also saw one with German food from the sixties, which featured a lot of funny desserts.
    I've never had vegetables with a cornbread topping and I think I am going to try this soon.

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  2. Your recipe sounds delicious! I can't wait to hit the Farmer's Market and give it a try.

    I do associate certain foods with certain decades. My mom had quite the collection of charity cookbooks from the '80's. They make me think of broccoli cheese casserole (with, of course, uber-processed Velveeta). Thank goodness for real produce!

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  3. That looks good-comfort food at its best! Yum!

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  4. Theme cooking? I love it, that sounds like a fun potluck.

    I am loving your comfort food meal, this sounds spot on perfect to me. It looks so good, and the jalapeno cornbread topping, that really got me!

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  5. That...looks...delicious! I wanna come to your potluck!

    As for 70s food, I think casserole and one-pot meals. Did they have Crock Pots back then? Or was that the 80s? Also what about microwave cooking? That may be 80s too. But I know my mom has a ton of old microwave cookery books that look pretty darn retro.

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  6. oh, I think this meal is screaming BURRITOS! but maybe it's just me, haha

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  7. Jalapeno cornbread topping sounds great! Fondues were very popular in the 70's. How about that for the potluck?

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  8. I found a couple '70s food links.

    Here's an essay about food trends of the decade: http://www.leitesculinaria.com/writings/features/dining9.html

    And here's a list of 70s party food: http://www.robinsweb.com/70s/70s_party_foods.html

    A lot of it sounds really terrible. (Beef wellington, chicken liver in bacon, etc.)

    Thankfully Alice Waters popularized seasonal, natural cooking. Because of that, I bet you could do a brown rice casserole with lots of veggies.

    Or maybe a tuNO casserole. That sounds 70s-ish.

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  9. Oh, and "The Enchanted Broccoli Forest" was my first cookbook! Somebody borrowed it a long time ago and never returned it, and sometimes I still miss it.

    I remember that it was handwritten, not typed out, so it looked like something your grandmother had put together. I think the recipes were good, but it's been a while so don't trust me on that.

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  10. Mihl, I also like to check out old recipes, but unfortunately they usually don't sound very good to me!

    Lucyinstlou, I have a brocc casserole dish from the 80's too, but mine involves canned cream of mushroom soup, and an activist moment with my history teacher that I'll tell you about another time.

    Veg*n Chick and Jennifer, this is great comfort food! A satisfying one dish meal.

    Bianca, I think crockpots were in, as long as you had meatballs with jelly in them!

    Alice, great idea. I think this would make a great burrito filling.

    Chow Vegan, fondue would definitely be in theme! I haven't made vegan fondue yet. Time to take the plunge?

    Maggie, thanks for the links! I enjoyed the Leite's Culinaria article and didn't know that Alice Waters dated back to that decade. If you check out the Mollie Katzen site, they've scanned some recipes from Enchanted so you can see that handwritten style. It's cool. My first veg cookbook was a gift from a friend, Vegetariana.

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  11. this looks AWESOME! dan & i need to try it! thanks for the rock'n recipe, Lisa!

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  12. Thanks Jessy! Hope you guys enjoy it.

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  13. My mom cooked a lot from Recipes for a Small Planet, and Laurel's Kitchen-- they were definitely 70s cooking for the hippie, healthy family. Thank heaven that I didn't have THAT be my last experience of vegetarian/vegan food. (I particularly remember a lasagna in which tofu was substituted for ricotta cheese. Poor tofu. Poor lasagna.) Cafe Gratitude, it was not. So you could make something ridiculously healthy and terrible tasting as well. That'd be very 70's...

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  14. Victoria, I think I'm foregoing the 70's theme for good food after all. I plan to take a vegan potato salad. I've decided that good food beats in theme food!

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