A homemade version of Kashi’s Mayan Harvest Bake! This vegan + gluten-free casserole has layers of polenta and quinoa with roasted sweet potatoes, plantains, kale and black beans all in a rich ancho chili sauce.
Back when I first started my healthy eating journey I wasn’t as confident in the kitchen and I gravitated towards convenience foods like frozen meals and canned soups. I looked for healthier options and I had a few favorites — Amy’s Mattar Tofu and Kashi’s Mayan Harvest Bake. Anyone else a fan?
After eating them for a while I decided to try making homemade versions. Mattar Tofu recipe is absolutely delicious so definitely check that out too!
I created the copy-cat Mayan Harvest Bake back in 2010 so the pictures were pretty terrible and the recipe needed a little tweaking/testing. Maria and I tested it twice last month and I feel like it’s absolutely perfect now — ready to be re-shared with new photos and the updated recipe.
This tasty bake combines sweet, ripe plantains, roasted sweet potatoes, black beans and kale with a spicy ancho sauce and pumpkin seed garnish — all the served over a base of polenta and quinoa. It’s got a kick to it, but not overly spicy and the flavors of the sweet potato, plantain, and ancho sauce pair together nicely.
The recipe makes a full casserole dish so it’s a great meal prep recipe. Cook once and have the bake on hand for quick lunches and dinners all week or eat a portion for dinner and freeze the leftovers and reheat a few weeks later for a quick meal.
Mayan Harvest Bake
- 2 sweet potatoes, washed and diced into 1/4 inch cubes (about 4 cups)
- 1 ripe plantain, peeled and diced into 1/4 inch cubes**
- 2 Tablespoons avocado oil, divided
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 15 oz. can tomato sauce
- 1/2 cup water or vegetable broth
- 1 Tablespoon ground ancho chile powder/pepper (or regular chili powder)
- 1 teaspoon coconut sugar
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 4 cups finely chopped kale
- 1 15 oz. can organic black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 1/2 cup cooked quinoa
- 1 18 oz tube polenta, sliced into 1/4 inch slices
- 1/4 cup roasted pepitas
- avocado, for topping
- cilantro, for topping
- Preheat oven to 400° degrees.
- Toss chopped sweet potatoes and plantains cubes in 1 Tablespoon oil. Sprinkle with sea salt and spread onto a baking sheet. Roast for 20 minutes or until sweet potatoes are tender.
- While the potatoes and plantains are roasting, heat remaining 1 Tablespoon of oil on medium-high in a large skillet. Add onion and garlic and sauté until soft and fragrant, about 5-7 minutes. Add tomato sauce, water, chile powder, coconut sugar, paprika, sea salt and cinnamon into the skillet and let sauce simmer on low heat for about 10 minutes. Add black beans and kale into the skillet. Stir kale into the sauce, allowing it to wilt. Once kale has wilted down, remove sauce from the heat.
- Meanwhile, spray a 9x13 or 11x7 casserole dish with non-stick spray. Line the bottom of the dish with polenta slices, overlapping if needed. Top with the cooked quinoa. Then add the roasted sweet potatoes and plantains. Pour the saucy black bean and kale mixture over everything and use a spoon to create an even top layer.
- Bake casserole in the 400° oven for 20 minutes. Remove from oven, sprinkle pepitas over the bake and serve warm. Top each portion with sliced avocado and fresh cilantro.
** The plantain should be very ripe -- yellow and covered with large black spots. Mine had a ton of black spots and worked great.
Be sure to let me know if you try this recipe. Leave a comment here or share a photo via social media and tag me (@eatingbirdfood) or use the hashtag #eatingbirdfood in the post. Seeing you try my recipes makes me all warm and fuzzy inside and it’s honestly what keeps me posting. That and your comments. I simply love connecting with you!