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Mini Mango and Black Bean Casseroles

When longtime vegetarian Rhee Lightner cooks for her omnivorous family, her goal is "to make food that is so delicious they don't even think about what they're eating." She came up with this dish on a cold, rainy day when she wanted to eat "something sustaining, comforting, and wholesome–and the idea of making a nontraditional dish for the holidays appealed to me."

Ingredients: 

Ingredient Set Name: 

Polenta

Ingredients: 

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2 13.5-oz. cans full-fat coconut milk
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1 cup polenta
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¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
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2 Tbs. nutritional yeast
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3 cloves garlic, minced (1 Tbs.)
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¾ tsp. salt
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½ tsp. crushed red pepper
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½ tsp. ground cumin

Ingredient Set Name: 

Mole

Ingredients: 

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1 15-oz. can diced tomatoes
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1 Tbs. minced unsweetened chocolate
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1 Tbs. raisins, finely chopped
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2 tsp. honey
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1 clove garlic, minced (1 tsp.)
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1 tsp. crushed red pepper
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¼ tsp. cinnamon powder

Ingredient Set Name: 

Casseroles

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1 tsp. olive oil, plus more for ramekins and polenta
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½ cup diced onion
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½ cup diced red bell pepper
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1 15-oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
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¼ cup chopped toasted almonds
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¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
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2 tsp. lime juice
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¾ cup diced fresh mango
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6 slices Follow Your Heart Vegan Gourmet Cheddar Cheese
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2 Tbs. dried cilantro

Instructions: 

1. To make Polenta: Skim cream from top of coconut milk cans; reserve for garnish. Bring 2 cups coconut milk, 1 cup water, and remaining ingredients to a boil in saucepan. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 20 minutes, or until thick.

2. Coat 9-inch round cake pan with cooking spray. Smooth Polenta mixture into prepared pan. Refrigerate overnight.

3. To make Mole: Simmer all ingredients in saucepan over medium-low heat 3 minutes, or until sauce is smooth.

4. To assemble Casseroles: Heat oil in saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and bell pepper, and cook 5 minutes. Add black beans, almonds, fresh cilantro, lime juice, and Mole. Fold in mango.

5. Preheat oven to broil. Brush 6 1-cup ramekins with oil, and place on baking sheet. Scoop 1/3 cup black bean mixture into each ramekin.

6. Unmold Polenta from cake pan, and cut into 6 rounds with 3-inch round cutter. Sauté Polenta rounds in oil in medium skillet until browned on both sides. Place Polenta rounds over bean mixture in ramekins, top with cheese, and sprinkle with dried cilantro. Broil 3 to 5 minutes, or until cheese is melted.

Nutrition Information: 

Calories: 
380
Protein: 
10 g
Total Fat: 
19 g
Saturated Fat: 
4 g
Carbohydrates: 
45 g
Cholesterol: 
0 mg
Sodium: 
617 mg
Fiber: 
9 g
Sugar: 
10 g
Yield: 
Serves 6

Comments on this Recipe

Could this dish be made as one big casserole?

This was delicious! I cut the crushed red pepper in half, because I can't handle recipes that are too spicy. To keep the cheese from spilling out of the ramekins, I tucked the cheese into the ramekins themselves. You do not need to use ramekins for this, and when I make it again, I will create this in a casserole dish (as I did when I ran out of ramekins; I only had 8). If you make this in casserole: in step #2 you should refrigerate the polenta in the same size casserole dish you are going to use. In step 6 you can save yourself cutting the polenta rounds and jump to frying up the polenta (I used a griddle) and plop it right over the mix in your casserole dish. Also, I did not have time to refrigerate the polenta overnight, so I placed it uncovered in the freezer for 3-4 hours and went from there. Turned out great!

yumm

I want to make this recipe but I am concerned because my husband hates cilantro - he is one of those to whom it tastes like soap. To those who have made it - is the cilantro a big part of the flavor profile, or are you of the opinion that it could be left out? Or could parsley be substituted in your opinion? Thanks!

I would like to try this recipe and wondered if the dried cilantro needed is corriander?

Is this too weird?

I made this a few days ago. It is definitely weird, because I associate chocolate and cinnamon with sweet dishes, but it is very interesting and it is good. My husband asked for it to be placed in the regular rotation. For others, I left out the cilantro. To make up for the loss of acid/freshness from leaving out the cilantro in the polenta, I added the juice of one lime to the polenta, and it tasted great. I also used baking chocolate which is 100% cacao. I added a bit more than 1 Tbsp, and I would not do that again since the chocolate flavor was very strong.

I think there is a typo in Step 1 of the directions. Do you mean to bring two cans of the coconut milk to a boil for the polenta, instead of two cups? I looked up instructiosn for other polenta recipes and many of them called for more liquid. I ended up adding both the cans because the liquid was absorbed in the polenta after 10 mins. With that said, the casserole came out delicious! Definitely a crowd pleaser that I will make again. I couldn't find any mango as it's not in season, so I used papaya and it was still great.

This was delish! Threw in extra raisins and chocolate, used real cheddar instead of vegan cheese and used instant polenta so it took 5 minutes instead of 24 hours to set. Made it in a casserole dish which was easier and worked out just fine. Loved the complexity of the flavors, especially the coconut milk/cilantro polenta juxtaposed with the chocolaty sweet and spicy mole. This was good but too involved for a busy weeknight. My two-year-old thought it was too spicy and only ate the polenta and the mangos, but the adults gave it 4 out of 5 stars.