Okay. So I admit it. I’ve been a liiiiittle lazy recently. You know, in the exercise department. I have always always loved a good workout. I asked for my first gym membership for Christmas when I was a freshman in high school and I have been working out faithfully 5 or 6 days a week ever since.
Well… If you don’t count the last six months, that is…
Then I had a never-before-seen earth shatteringly radical New Years resolution.
Wait for it….
TO EXERCISE MORE.
Original, I know, but its popular for a reason, right? It’s necessary in our lives. When I exercise I feel so much better all around. I feel healthier. I have more energy. And I even have the extra willpower to resist a morning and afternoon dark chocolate snack.
It doesn’t all start out as rainbows and butterflies though.
Last Monday I confidently sauntered into a TRX class at a new gym I had just joined. I was ready to go all-out and get back into my fitness groove. I was going to show these fellow resolutioners a move or two. I was going to add in an extra rep here and there. Ten minutes into the class I was huffing and puffing like I had never seen a pair of weights before. By the 15 minute mark, I thought I was going to hurl. At 20 minutes, I was humbly rolling up my exercise mat and making a beeline for the restroom all while trying to slip out without notice. The instructor yelled after me in his bright and encouraging fitness-instructor tone – “I’ll see you next week!” So much for being inconspicuous…
Sometimes we need a good dose of humility.
Two weeks later, I dragged myself back to that class. Despite my pride, I was going to get back into shape. I did my best. I went as hard as I could and made it the whole hour long. Afterwards the instructor high fived me and said I really looked like I knew what I was doing today. I just laughed and told him I only sat down when he wasn’t looking this time ;)
The best reward for that strenuous workout (I am still sore 2 days later!) was this delicious Tamale Pie recipe that was waiting for me at home. It is similar to my Enchilada Lasagna recipe, but has a tender and moist cornmeal topping instead of tortilla layers. It is filled with Mexican flavors, warm, filling and so so comforting. The sweet potatoes and cornbread topping pair perfectly with the earthy black beans and spicy tomato filling.
After a long day at work and the gym, digging my fork into this dinner was exactly what I needed. Knowing that I am coming home to this dinner, just might motivate me to workout more often :)
- For the Filling:
- 2 teaspoons avocado oil OR coconut oil
- 1/2 large yellow onion , chopped
- 2 cloves garlic
- Roughly 2 cups cubed sweet potato
- 1/2 cup water
- Tomato paste
- 14.5 oz . diced fire roasted tomatoes with green chilies
- 1 cup corn
- 1.5 cups or 1 (15 oz. can, drained) black beans
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 2 cups cornbread mix - I use this brand
- 2 tablespoons avocado oil
- 1 1/4 cups water
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Heat the avocado oil in a large skillet until hot. Add in the onion and sauté until translucent, about 5-7 minutes. Add in the garlic and sauté until fragrant, about another minute. Add in the sweet potato and 1/2 cup water and bring to a simmer. Simmer until the sweet potatoes are tender and the water has evaporated, about 10-12 minutes. If the water is evaporated and the potatoes need more cooking, feel free to add in another 1/3 cup water and simmer.
While the sweet potatoes are cooking, whisk together all of the topping ingredients and set aside.
Once the sweet potatoes are tender, add in the tomato paste, fire roasted tomatoes, corn, and black beans. Cook, stirring occasionally, until all the ingredients are warmed through, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and add in the cilantro and honey.
Pour the mixture into a 9x9 baking dish and spread it out evenly. Next, top with the cornbread mixture, making sure to spread this out evenly as well. Bake for 30 minutes or until the topping is cooked thorough and the filling is warm and bubbly. Let the pie rest and cool for 10 minutes before serving. Then dig in.