The weather yesterday was grey and dreary, intermittent rain showers throughout the morning, and I found myself craving something warm & hearty for dinner. Out went the fajitas on the menu, quickly replaced by veggie chili.
I've been making this "recipe" for many years now, and despite it's simplicity it always gets rave reviews. I basically toss a couple cans of drained, rinsed beans (kidney, chili, black bean, whatever you like) and a couple cans of diced tomatoes (Ro*tel brand if you want a little extra kick) into my Crock-pot along with a chopped onion and a packet of chili seasoning. If I'm cooking for non-vegans who prefer a meatier chili, I'll add some veggie crumbles. Turn on low to cook all day, or high for a few hours, or if you're in a big hurry you can cook it on the stovetop for an hour or so. Like lots of veggies? Chop up some green peppers, mushrooms, etc. and toss them in. Corn? Sure, add a can or bag of frozen. This recipe really is infallible! I usually top with a dollop of vegan sour cream and soy cheese, maybe some scallions if I have them.
To round out the meal, I will either add a bit of cooked brown rice to the finished product, or serve a nice cornbread alongside. Yesterday I chose the latter.
I've been searching for a good vegan cornbread, stumbled across this one by IsaChandra at Post Punk Kitchen. I made a few tiny changes to her recipe to use what I had on hand and also lower the fat content; my version along with nutritional info is below.
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2 cups cornmeal
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 cups soymilk (I used Coconut Milk)
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
In a medium bowl, whisk together the soymilk and the vinegar and set aside.
In a large bowl, sift together the dry ingredients (cornmeal, flour, baking powder and salt).
Add the oil (or in this case, applesauce) and maple syrup to the soymilk mixture. Wisk with a wire wisk or a fork until it is foamy and bubbly, about 2 minutes.
Pour the wet ingredient into the dry and mix together using a large wooden spoon or a firm spatula. Pour batter into the prepared baking pan and bake 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Slice into squares and serve warm or store in an airtight container.
"This is a delicious basic vegan cornbread. It is moist and crunchy and corntastic. It is not a sweet bread, but a bread to be savored with soup or smothered with guacamole. For best results, use old-fashioned cornmeal."
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Serves 12; Per Serving (as calculated by Mastercook): 148 Calories; 1g Fat (7.8% calories from fat); 4g Protein; 30g Carbohydrate; 3g Dietary Fiber; 0mg Cholesterol; 176mg Sodium.
The verdict: As mentioned on her site, this bread is very dense and heavy, and I typically prefer a lighter, cake-like consistency. This was good for crumbling up and adding to the chili, but I didn't care for it on it's own. So, back to the drawing board for me but if a savory, heavier kind of cornbread is what you're after, this one's for you!
The best thing about this dinner is the leftovers. I'll have a serving for lunch today and then freeze up the remainder in individual portions for another rainy day.