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Debra’s Tamale Pie (An Old But Goodie)

From 1989. It fell by the wayside, until Roxanne and Alyssa resurrected it and suggested we serve it this year at Tastes of Concord. Not only was this dish a hit, but meat eaters couldn’t believe it was vegetarian!

TVP is a high-protein product made from soybeans used in lieu of meat. Is soy in favor or out of favor? Adam called my attention to an article written by Ray Sahelian, who said, “Breast cancer survivors, have, for years, been advised to avoid soy foods and supplements because of estrogen-like effects that might theoretically lead tumors to grow. This has never made sense to me since I have followed the research on this topic for a couple of decades and have not seen any proof that this is advice is warranted. A new study of more than 18,000 women shows that consuming soy foods does not increase risk of breast cancer recurrence, and that soy has anticancer properties, antioxidants, nutrients, micronutrients, or vitamins that may contribute to its beneficial effect on health.”

“Data was reviewed from four large studies of women with a history of breast cancer who had consumed soy foods. After an average of nine years post breast cancer diagnosis, women who consumed the highest amount of soy had a slightly lower risk of dying from any cause and a 15% reduced risk for breast cancer recurrence, compared to women who consumed little or no soy.”

Serves 6-8 make in a deep 9×12 pan; bake at 350 degrees

¼ C extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) 2 Tbsp chili powder & 2 Tbsp cumin
3 C diced yellow onions 1 can Eden pinto beans or 1 ½ C cooked
2 Tbsp minced garlic 2 Tbsp cilantro, chopped fine
1 minced jalapeno(removed seeds for mild taste) 8 oz organic unsalted corn chips
1 C textured vegetable protein (TVP) ¾ pound cheddar cheese, shredded
3 C diced tomatoes (we use Eden canned) ¾ pound pepper jack cheese,
shredded
1 tsp good salt & ½ tsp black pepper

Gently warm EVOO. Add onions, garlic and jalapeno. Sauté 5 minutes, until onions are soft. Add TVP, tomatoes with juice, chili powder and cumin. Simmer for about 10 minutes, or until TVP is thoroughly moistened. Stir in beans and bean liquid and cook another couple of minutes. Add cilantro.

Spoon half the tomato-bean mixture into the pan (lasagna type pan is perfect). Top with ½ of the crumbled tortilla chips and half the grated cheese. Layer with remaining tomato bean mixture. Top with remaining tortilla chips and then cheeses. Bake uncovered for about an hour. Serve with a green salad.

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