Tamale Pie


Gluten-Free Casserole: Tamale Pie

I recently discovered a 1953 Better Homes and Garden cookbook, filled with retro pictures and fantastic recipes I’ve never heard of. These kind of cookbooks really got me into cooking. When I was 10 or 11, I found my mom’s cookbook from her childhood and was delighted with the magic I could create in the kitchen.

What I love about this cookbook is that it has a entire section on 1950’s nutrition. It’s interesting to see the simple nutritional wisdom that was given, with no indication that an individual should lower fat intake; however, the cookbook says you can use hydrogenated vegetable oils, which we now know carries a heavy burden of trans-fat.

This tamale pie was quite easy to make into a gluten-free casserole. In fact, many of the recipes I found seem as though they can be easily converted to grain-free, gluten-free and sugar free dishes. I am very glad that this tamale pie came out well–in both look and taste–and packs a heck of a lot of nutrition, from protein to fiber, to antioxidants and healthy fatty acids.

Enjoy this gluten-free casserole dish on a cool autumn night (it’s just around the corner!), with a little organic sour cream and salsa, if you prefer. Nutrition analysis per serving is detailed below. I am using my mock cornbread recipe to replace the high carb corn bread found in the original recipe, but you can feel free to use any grain-free quick bread recipe you prefer in this gluten free casserole dish.

Tamale Pie

Mock CornBread Recipe (times 2)

1 lb grass-fed ground beef
2 TBSP. coconut oil
2 medium onions, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 tsp. himalayan sea salt
2 TBSP. chili powder
2 cups chopped tomatoes
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1 cup chopped black or green olives (or both)
2 tsp. himalayan sea salt
1 1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 cup raw cheddar cheese, shredded

In a bowl, prepare the “Mock CornBread” batter, doubling the recipe. You might need to add an extra egg and another 1/4 cup of milk to make the batter a bit thinner, for pouring consistency. Stir in salt and chili powder and set aside.

Over medium heat on the stove, heat the coconut oil. Cook the ground beef until no longer pink. Add the onion and garlic, and cook until golden and fragrant.

Stir in the sea salt, chili powder, tomatoes and tomato sauce, stirring well to incorporate all ingredients. Add olives and cook for 2 to 3 minutes.

In a greased 2 quart baking dish, pour 1/2 of the mock cornbread batter on the bottom of the dish. Pour the beef mixture on top, layering the top with the other 1/2 of the mock cornbread.

Bake casserole in a 325 degree preheated oven for 1 hour. Sprinkle shredded cheese on top and bake for another 15-20 minutes, or until melted. Turn off oven, crack open the door and let sit for another 5-10 minutes and serve.

Makes 6-8 servings.

Nutritional Analysis for “Tamale Pie” (1/8 serving)

6 grams fiber (8 grams net carbohydrate), 4 Glycemic Load (very low), 21 grams of protein, 37% DV of Vitamin A, 20% DV Calcium, 300 mg lauric acid, moderately anti-inflammatory

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