Tag Archives: tamale casserole


It’s Soup Season!  My latest Delivered Dish of the Week menus feature soups nearly every week. The great thing about soups — and all my autumn & winter dishes in general — is that you can freeze them in small containers to enjoy later. Furthermore, ziploc bags of soup, frozen flat, can be stored vertically to save freezer space.

You can order online right here for any weeks you wish.  Easy peasy.  If you’ve never ordered before, do please read the full description of Delivered Dish of the Week service first.


Week of Oct 27th

Beautiful Beet Soup (my photo)

Beautiful Beet Soup (my photo)

Blood Red Beet & Lentil Soup w/ Ginger
Vegan GF, soy-free, no added sugars. A satisfying fiber-rich soup for Halloween, to counteract any candy.  Very popular with beet-lovers plus a natural source of iron.

Fried Brown Rice w/ Shredded Cabbage & Carrots flavored with Coriander, Mustard & Fennel Seeds.
Vegan GF, soy-free, no added sugars. One of a hundred easy variations on fried rice.  I add stronger spices here to spark up organic brown rice. A great way to use up left-over rice, too. Sauteed cabbage w/ fennel seed is a lovely, mild side dish by itself and, so easy to make at home –– try it.

Week of Nov 3rd
Squash Soup w/ Red Chile & Mint
Vegan GF, Paleo, soy-free, no added sugars. Spicy red chile & cooling fresh mint adds a nice twist on a classic autumnal soup. Dollop with queso fresco or yogurt to dress it up.

Butternut Squash Soup w/ Red Chile & Mint (Splendidtable.com)

Butternut Squash Soup w/ Red Chile & Mint (Splendidtable.com)

Beans & Greens Tamale Casserole w/ Tomatillo Sauce
Vegan GF, soy-free, no added sugars; contains corn. Clients voted this an all-time favorite!  I always add chopped dark greens to beans for added nutrition and fiber. The mild tangy sauce disguises the taste of greens, too, if you have fussy eaters. It comes in a mini-loaf foil pan.

Week of Nov 10th
Minestrone w/ Rice Pasta
Vegan GF, soy-free, no added sugars, Paleo option. Rice elbow noodles, kidney beans, green beans and other veg in a light tomato broth. I like Tinkyada brand rice pasta. You can request no pasta & no beans for Paleo diets.

 Roast Ratatouille w/ Lentils
Vegan GF, soy-free, no added sugars, Paleo option. I adore ratatouille. Period. Especially when made of garden-sourced veg. I roasted & froze this in Sept for a wonderful infusion of summer days gone by. And it’s incredibly versatile: plop it on mashed pots for shepherd’s pie, spread on pizza, fill burritos, add to pasta sauce, et al.  You can request no-beans for Paleo version.

Week of Nov 17th

Ripe, medium ripe and green plaintains (web photo). Called the pasta of the Caribbean.

Ripe, medium ripe and green plaintains (web photo). Called the pasta of the Caribbean.

Caribbean Coconut Curry
Vegan GF, Paleo, soy-free, no added sugars. From Isa Moskowitz’s Appetite for Reduction cookbook and featuring naturally sweet steamed plantains. Mildly spiced. Really yummy.

 Quinoa Pilaf w/ Spinach & Cilantro
Vegan GF, soy-free, no added sugars. A nice green pilaf that complements the curry.

 Week of Nov 24th: Impress your guests! Terrific with turkey.
Polenta w/ Sage
GF, soy-free, no added sugars; contains corn and dairy unless you request no dairy. Smooth polenta makes a great gluten-free side. For a stuffing substitute, brush slices w/ olive oil and broil til crispy on top, then chunk it up. Yes, it’s fab with turkey & gravy on top.

Wilted Kale & Roasted Beet Salad in Tahini Dressing
Vegan GF, soy-free, no added sugars, Paleo. Two super foods in one dish to complement (and dare I say, counteract) starchy holiday meals. Creamy tahini softens raw kale’s texture while sweet roast beets balance its flavor. Sprinkle seeds or nuts on top, and/or go more even gourmet w/ dollops of goat cheese.

Week of Dec 1st
Smoky Split Pea Soup
Vegan GF, soy-free, no added sugars. I always add chopped collard greens and puree the whole thing to hide it. Sometimes I add nori seaweed as well for extra umami (savoriness); it melts away. Smoked paprika provides that “ham” flavor.

Puerto Rican Rice
Vegan GF, soy-free, no added sugars. Another easy variation on rice w/ green bell peppers, sweet peas , tomatoes and some tumeric for color. However, it won’t be exactly the national dish of Puerto Rico as I’m omitting the grandule verde (pigeon peas) and using brown basmati instead of white.


The Stomachs Have Spoken!

… and the Yums carry the day. I have never had so many unsolicited positive reviews of any one dish than for last week’s Green Tamale Pie! Some people tell me they love XYZ and, I think generally most people like most dishes, but the feedback for this was unprecedented. Thank you!  I really appreciate feedback, for one thing. And it does help me choose menus. The casseroles are always popular so obviously I should offer more. Look for more tamale pie this winter!

Btw, you’ll notice the casserole did not contain cheese and since it’s made with only corn flour, was gluten-free as well. Given everybody’s comments, I don’t think anybody missed cheese. We use more cheese than necessary w/ Tex-Mex, or I should say, Midwest-Mex.

Clockwise from top: "Dino" Lacinato kale, collard greens, turnip greens. Photo by Brad Dahlgaard.

The Green Tamale Pie (casserole in loaf pans) was filled with black beans & chopped collards in a tomatillo sauce. Smushy bean dishes are an excellent place to use these hardy green veg. Think burritos and enchiladas. Braising with seasoned beans softens them up and takes away the bitterness. Use black beans and chop or mince the greens finely. Then they disappear visually. Those picky eaters won’t even notice.

Similarly, I put 8 lg bunches of fresh collards, minced in a food processor, in the Super Green Split Pea soup this week. I’m not sure you can tell by the taste that’s it’s fresh, since the beany flavor dominates. (Let me know.) But at least we get some karma points. Of course, you can use frozen greens, and I will do so later this winter. That wonderful convenience makes cooking either of these 2 dishes easy & fast. For soups & stews, use a slow cooker. Everybody should have one. It will change your life.

In other news:

Introducing a coaching client to Yu Choy, a tasty Chinese green related to Bok Choy. (Photo Brad Dahlgaard)

  • Next week I am teaching a cooking lesson to a family who wants to go gluten- and dairy-free, for behavioral/medical reasons.
  • The following week, for the 4th year in a row, I am serving as executive chef for a church auction event. Many volunteers and I will cook dinner for 175 people! More in my next post.
  • Show and tell with samples of whole grains (me on the right). (Photo Brad Dahlgaaard).

Lean & Green

Lots of lean & green dishes on offer this coming month!  The Green Tamale casserole this week was very green due to tomatillos, collards & spinach mixed into the black beans. You see how you can put collards into everything? It is a super food, remember, so half a cup is more nutrient-dense than other veggies. More of these greens coming this week and throughout winter.

Oh and btw, I put diced choy sum, a type of Chinese green related to Chinese broccoli (gai lan) in the Lentil Stew (2 weeks ago). Choy sum has thinner stalks and yellow flowers. Like many green leafy veg, it’s a cool weather plant and is plentiful at the market right now. Steam or stir-fry it and drizzle with sesame oil & soy sauce.


Succulent roast beets and sweet potatoes. Try them w/ a simple squeeze of lime juice or orange juice.

OCT 22 – 28

1) Roast Beets & Parsnips in Orange-Balsamic Vinaigrette. Vegan and gluten-free. Rutabagas too if they’re at market. Did you know that beets have 6 times more iron than carrots?
2) Super Green Split Pea Soup. Vegan and gluten-free. Chopped kale & collards add mega vitamins to this comfort soup, while smoked paprika adds a meaty flavor. This thickens as it sits. Add a little water when you heat it up.

OCT 30 – Nov 6

1) Sauteed Cabbage & Edamame w/ Fennel Seed & Cranberries. Vegan and gluten-free. Yummy side dish that is both pretty to look at and easy to make. Kids should like this mild, sweet & sour dish.

2) Barley Pilaf w/ Leeks, Mushrooms and Thyme. Vegan; contains gluten.  When it’s autumn I think “Barley”. Another comfort food.

Nov  7 – 13

1) Pumpkin & White Bean Soup. Vegan and gluten-free. You knew pumpkin was coming. Cumin & coriander will dominate seasoning of this pureed soup. Sprinkle with roast pepitas. I don’t usually puree soups, but I got a new immersion blender!  :^) Btw, this is a very low-fat high fiber dish.

Spicy Cactus & Rice Salad w/ Lime & Cilantro Dressing. Vegan and gluten-free. Spicy pickled nopalitos come in jars or cans in the Hispanic aisle. Think pickled peppers. Celery & purple cabbage will add crunch.

Considering for the holidays:  Sauteed Collards w/ Cranberries & Red Peppers is a gorgeous dish that will convert those who’ve had negative experiences with collards, and Israeli Sweet Potato “Rainbow” Salad.

If you’re curious about past menus, click on the Dish of the Week Menu Archive page! It lists all DDoW menus from the entire year.