Recipe Round-Up: Panini, Jambalaya, & Enchilada Polenta “Stew to Bake”

Posted: March 24, 2011 at 12:40 pm

I’ve had a few requests to share some of the recipes of meals I have shared in recent posts, like my Ode to Trader Joes. I originally didn’t think to share them because they are a) more just throwing things together or b) turned out tasty, but different than expected. I’m still happy to share, though! So, here you go…

Roasted Eggplant & Hummus Panini


Preheat oven to 425. Cut a large eggplant into 1/2” rounds and place on a baking sheet. Spray the eggplant with cooking spray and roast for 25 minutes, flipping halfway.

Layer up your favorite bread with your favorite sandwich toppings. I used pesto, TJ’s White Bean Basil hummus, tomato, sautéed mushrooms, olives, the eggplant, and spinach.

paninipestopaninitomatopaninimushroomsolivespaninieggplant paninispinachpaninihummus

Press in a panini press or cook on the stovetop until the bread gets toasty and crunchy.


Spicy Jalapeno & Veggie Jambalaya


Prepare a package of Spicy Jalapeno (or other spicy variety) chicken sausages, according to package directions. Slice into rounds when finished.

While sausage cooks, take the “kitchen sink” method and toss your favorite vegetables or what you have on hand into a pan with a small amount of oil or coated with cooking spray. I used squash, zucchini, onion, mushrooms, and broccoli. Cook 5-10 minutes.

Add one 15 oz can no-salt-added diced tomatoes. Add Louisiana Cajun/Creole seasoning (or other spice component) to desired spice level. Let simmer an additional 5 minutes.

Serve the vegetable mixture over cooked brown rice and top with the sausage.


Enchilada Polenta “Stew to Bake”
(adapted from the Vegetarian Slow Cooker cookbook)

  • 1 small onion, diced small
  • 1 1/4 cups cornmeal
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups boiling water
  • 2 cups salsa
  • 1 can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/3 cup sliced black olives
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen corn, thawed
  • 1/4 red onion, diced small
  • cilantro, for garnish

Combine the diced onion, cornmeal, chili powder, and salt in a crockpot. Pour the 4 cups boiling water over and stir to combine. Cook on low 6-8 hours.

30-60 minutes before ready to serve, combine the remaining ingredients (besides cilantro) in a medium bowl. Mix together.

enchpolenta1 enchpolenta2

Spread atop the polenta base in the crockpot. Allow to cook 20-30 minutes, until bean mixture heats through.

Here’s where things got crazy. The polenta mixture should have “set to firm” while cooking. It never did for me, so I ended up serving the meal in bowls as a soup that night. I garnished it with the cilantro and a sprinkle of cheese and it still tasted great.


Then, the next day when I went to have leftovers the polenta had firmed up while in the fridge overnight. It ended up more like a casserole or bake. Interesting, no? I just served it as such for my lunch and it actually turned out really well.


I preferred it in the casserole/bake form, but only got there through the minor “kitchen fail”. Now, I have to find a way to recreate the recipe to just produce the casserole. I tell ya not to trust me in the kitchen…but I promise it is still very tasty!!!

Questions of the Day -

  • Have you ever had a recipe “fail” actually turn out pretty good?
  • Any ideas on fixing my recipe?

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37 Comments to “Recipe Round-Up: Panini, Jambalaya, & Enchilada Polenta “Stew to Bake””
  1. That panini looks fantastic. I’ve definitely had fails that ended up being pretty darn good. Happy accidents.

  2. Okay, I think I just died and went to recipe heaven!

  3. Rach says:

    I love jambayla so much!

  4. I definitely want to try the polenta recipe! I wonder if it set up by cooling? So if you made it, let it cool and set, then reheated it with the other toppings? But that seems like a lot of work.

  5. YUM! That eggplant and hummus panini looks fantastic!!! And that enchilada polenta looks amazing, too. I think the polenta probably soaked up the liquids, which is fine by me. 🙂

    If a recipe flops, I usually eat it anyway. As long as it tastes good, that is, lol.

  6. I have recipes turn out badly all the time — but usually it is because I try to be creative and I end up forgetting a crucial ingredient!

    I think the casserole (and the soup) look really good!

  7. Meg says:

    I’ve never tried polenta. What’s it made from? Is it tricky?

  8. I love paninis–so warm and crunchy and satisfying!

  9. Yum! I’m glad your fail turned into a success, and it sounds great!

  10. Angela says:

    YUM! Love the stew-to-bake! My recipes are often just combinations of random leftovers that I throw together as well. Often times, if something veggie- or grains-based fails, I’ll just add a can of diced tomatos and seasoning and call it a stew! 🙂

  11. Yum these meals look so good! I love when I can change a meal into something new the next day. It’s nice to use up left overs in a fresh way. It tends to happens a lot with just 2 of us.

  12. I can’t wait to try your panini and the polenta stew bake. I think I would like the casserole better than the soup so make sure you let us know if you discover a fix!!

  13. I don’t even really like eggplant, but that panini looks fantastic. Turning a regular sandwich into a panini can be magical! 🙂

  14. emma says:

    I wish I could beam you over here to make that panini for me. It looks so yummy! Might have to copy that one!

  15. Maren says:

    Im definitely making that jambalaya!

  16. Mmm, that panini looks so good! I haven’t had a veggie panini in so long-thanks for reminding me! 🙂

  17. You can’t go wrong with that panini! YUM! I am all about happy accidents! I love discovering great tastes from things that did not turn out the way I expected them to.

  18. mmm I am loving your panini! Can you make me one tonight? haha

  19. Kelly says:

    Okay I know this is going to sound CRAZY but one day my cravings were all over the place and I made myself an almond butter and swiss cheese sandwhich on untoasted bread. I died. It was so good. I made my mom try it and now we regularily rock out AB and swiss cheese sandwiches. You have to use real cheese though…not the low-fat kind. Real swiss! Out of this world! 🙂

  20. Presley says:

    I *need* that panini! 🙂

  21. No ideas on how to fix your recipe, but really liked the multiple step by step pics you had on there for each one and how it was formatted. 🙂

  22. I think the polenta might “set” if you use less water. Maybe try 3 cups?

    I’m a HUGE fan of polenta and go through a tube (the pre-cooked stuff) about once or twice/week. It’s quick and delicious, especially with melted cheese on top!

    Love all these recipes!

  23. Allie says:

    Your recipes look delish! Does little M like eggplant? I used to LOVE spinach when I was her age LOL

    • Tina says:

      She wont really do eggplant but she does love lots of other veggies, than goodness. Especially zucchini and broccoli.

  24. Lori Lynn says:

    When I was in High School, I was actually making my birthday cake, and it was a 2 layer one, and when I was taking it out of the pan, something happened, and it crumbled. I ended up mixing it was vanilla pudding and it turned out really good!

  25. LauraJayne says:

    Earlier this week, I thought I’d burnt the sauce for my stir-fry – but it turned out kind of caramel-like – totally delicious! I think I have a “fail” moment in my cooking at least once a week!

  26. umm cheese and bread Iwould like that NOW! gahh it looks so good!!!

    well this is more of a total flop but when I made cookies for my mom for her birthday I used salt instead of sugar!! haha it was quite an experience biting into one of those for the first time 🙂

  27. I love the idea that the polenta thickened up overnight, sounds really yummy!

  28. jobo says:

    YUM! These look awesome. I just bought polenta and haven’t made it before and need recipes. This one looks like a keeper 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

  29. […] all of my eats. I will share current obsessions (like that whole goat cheese phase). I will share recipes/meals I mix up that I simply cannot keep to myself and believe you may find worth reading. I will share […]

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