Welcome to BEETNIK Recipes

20 05 2010

Welcome to BEETNIK Recipes, your source for gritty, grungy, taste-good, feel-good vegetarian cooking!

BEET is a modern vegetarian philosophy and lifestyle. At it’s core is the same fundamental philosophy of the Beat movement: bettering ones inner self above superficial and materialistic matters.

BEETNIK Recipes takes a look at a wide range of vegetarian ingredients and recipes, in hopes of discovering and sharing feel-good food for all tastes and occasions. While this website focuses on bringing diversity and quality to the reader, the posts will tend to feature dishes that defy traditional cooking standards of beauty – you will see a lot of browns and gritty textures. One of the strengths of vegetarian food is that it is of the earth. I want to highlight that connection in my cooking, celebrating the earth as much as possible.I think the best way to describe the food featured on this website is to quote Jack Kerouac in describing the Beat movement:

“ragged, beatific, beautiful in an ugly graceful new way.”

To learn more about this website, check out About BEETNIK Recipes. 


Tamale Pie

20 05 2010

This is a casserole-style, tamale-inspired dish, fusing fresh vegetables with earthy spices and a mild polenta crust. This recipe is based on one I came across in Vegetarian Times (view it here), but I have tweaked it some (namely the filling and proportions) to make it more veg-centric and gritty.

tamale pie


•1 Tbs vegetable oil
•5 cloves garlic, minced
•1 large yellow onion, diced
•1 medium zucchini, diced
•1 1/2 peppers (a combination of red, yellow and/or green), diced
•1 Tbs chili powder
•1 Tbs ground cumin
•1 tsp oregano
•1 15-oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
•1 15-oz can tomato puree
•3/4 cup frozen corn kernel
•1/4 cup chilled water
•2 tsp flour

•2 cups water
•1 cup dry polenta or corn grits
•1/2 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese


1. Heat oil in large sauce pan over medium heat. Sautee garlic and onion for 5 minutes.
2. Add zucchini, bell pepper, chili powder, cumin and oregano. Stir and cook an additional 5 minutes.
3. Stir in beans, tomato puree and corn. Cook for 1 minute.
4. Mix cold water and flour and add to vegetable mixture. Cook 3 minutes; sauce will thicken slightly.
5. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
6. Preheat oven to 375ºF.
7. Bring 2 cups of water to boil. Stir in polenta and simmer on medium-high heat for 5 minutes.
8. Remove from heat and stir in cheddar cheese.
9. Coat 9×13″ casserole dish with cooking spray.
10. Spread vegetable filling into dish. Spread polenta topping evenly on top, making sure it touches the edges.
11. Bake 30 minutes. The filling should bubble slightly and the top will become golden brown.
12. Let stand 5 minutes or more and serve.

Recommended Serving Instructions:
Serve with fresh salad greens, avocado and sour cream.