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© 2012 Jessie Kaufman. These photos and content are protected by US Copyright laws. It is unlawful to reproduce, publish, or edit this content without permission.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Vegan Friendly Corn Casserole & Food Network's Virtual Thanksgiving

One of my grandma Ginny’s great joys in life (and mine), is gifting me her small town community’s semiannual cookbook. Compiled by the residents in Lovells, Michigan, her social group, “The Cheerful Givers,” donates the funds raised by the cookbook to the town’s volunteer fire department.

This dinner entree, which I recommend incorporating into your Thanksgiving menu if you have any vegetarians or vegans joining you, is adapted from Barbara Loar’s recipe, which calls for a tortilla-based crust with chicken and pinto beans. For my family’s tastes, I reduced the onion, added red pepper, and made this into more of a pie, with a cornmeal crust.

When I told my husband what we were having for dinner, he politely said he he trusted my cooking skills, but couldn't see this turning out good.

And then he ate what would've been the leftovers along with his words. He would now like me to make this every week for the rest of his life.

Vegan Friendly Corn Casserole
Serves 8

2 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium red pepper, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1.5 cups of corn
1.5 cups of kidney beans
1.5 cups of chopped tomatoes or 1 14.5ounce can of diced tomatoes
1 tbsp oregano
2 tbsp Mexican chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp kosher salt

Cornmeal crust
1 1/4 cups of white corn meal
1 tsp salt
1 cup of grated vegan Jack or Cheddar cheese
5 cups of water

Heat the oil in a large skillet, add the onion and saute until translucent. Add bell pepper. Continue to saute until onion is golden brown. Add the garlic and saute for an additional 30 seconds.

Add the corn, beans, tomatoes, and all seasoning. Stir and simmer for 15 minutes.

Bring 5 cups of water to a boil. Slowly pour the cornmeal into the water, stirring continuously to avoid lumps. Once smoothly incorporated, cover and simmer for 20 minutes. If you taste this it is going to taste salty. Don't worry, it all comes together.

Preheat the oven to 375.

Coat a 2.5 quart casserole dish (I used a deep pie dish) with cooking spray or butter. Line the bottom with half of the cooked cornmeal. Ladle the skillet mixture and sprinkle with cheese. Top with remaining corn meal, making a smooth top.

Bake 45 to 50 minutes, or until the cornmeal is golden brown and crusty. Let stand for 15 minutes. Cut an serve.

This recipe is a part of Food Network's Virtual Thanksgiving. Browse the links below to get more great Thanksgiving recipes from participating food bloggers:

Cocktails, Appetizers, Soups and Salads:
Eat Be Mary: She's Mulling It Over Wine
Cookistry: Bread With Ancient Grains
Celebrity Chefs and Their Gardens: The American Hotel Peconic Clam Chowder 
Picky Eater Blog: Butternut Squash Soup With Thyme and Parmesan
Good Food Good Friends: Mushroom Soup
The Macaron Queen: Macaron Tower
Poet In The Pantry: Amaretto Apple Crisp
Farm Girl Gourmet: Pumpkin Coconut Panna Cotta
That's Forking GoodCinnamon Chip Pumpkin Blondies
Out of the Box Food: Out of the Box Food Maple Pumpkin Pie
Cake Baker 35Orange Spiced Pumpkin Pie
Lisa Michele: Pumpkin, Pecan, Cheesecake Pie
Food For My Family: Buttermilk Custard Pear Pie
Simple Bites: Black-Bottom Maple Pumpkin Pie
A Cooks Nook: Swedish Apple Pie
Yakima Herald: Pretzel Jell-O Salad
How Does She: Three of Our Favorite Desserts
Dollhouse Bake Shoppe: Thanksgiving Candy Bar Name Plates
Sweet Fry: Pumpkin Latte
Tasty Trials: Spiced Apple Panna Cotta With Caramelized Apples and Caramel Sauce
An Uneducated Palate: Puff Pastry Apple Tart
Frugal Front Porch: Mini Cheaty Cheesecakes
Even more:
Kitchen CoursesThanksgiving for Six People Under $60
A Curious Palate: The Communal Table


  1. i made this last night. Surprised how good it was. My husband loved it too. So did I, and so did the baby. I can't wait to read more of your recipes and try them! You have inspired me!!!

    1. Very nice post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to mention that I've truly enjoyed browsing your blog posts. After all I will be subscribing to your feed and I hope you write again very soon!

  2. I am definitely going to try this. We have two vegans coming.

  3. What a great looking side dish - would be a fantastic vegan addition to any Thanksgiving day menu! Nice sharing the virtual Thanksgiving table with you today! :)

  4. I've been trying to switch my diet to healthier choices. This dish is perfect. Thanks for sharing.

  5. I'm situated in between two dishes I'm lusting over - the sweet potato gnochhi below, and this amazing corn casserole. Every T-Day I try to incorporate some kind of corn dish, whether it be fritters, corn puding etc. This is it this year! It look fantastic!

    If you run into any problems with baking time with my pie, just remember, firm, but slightly jiggly in the middle, before you top with the pecan pie :)

  6. Thanks Lisa! I hope you enjoy it. I have never made corn pudding. I should try it. I love that stuff.

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