Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Crafty Vegan Food Adventures

I read a lot of vegan food blogs mostly because I think almost constantly of food. A lot of my favorites, including The Voracious Vegan, do regular posts of everything they've eaten that day (called Everyday Nums on her blog). I think it's interesting, so I have decided to do the same thing on my little writing corner. My plan is to do this weekly, but I am committing to nothing at this point. Tomorrow I will feature all of today's yumminess. For the moment, though, I wanted to share my new favorite quick, easy, delicious dinner: cornbread with chile beans.

I will be the first to admit that dried beans taste a lot better than canned ones. They're also a lot more work and require planning, so I always keep some canned beans around just in case. We'd had a thing of Whole Foods brand seasoned chile beans for, well, I have no idea how long. I was cold and cranky and tired Monday night, but seeing them in the pantry gave me a little (read: very, very small amount) of cooking energy. The result:

The cornbread is one of my favorite vegan baked goods. It takes minutes to prepare, and it is every bit as good as dairy-filled recipes I've made. Borrowed lovingly from The Joy of Vegan Baking, here it is:
1.5 cups non-dairy milk (I used rice)
1.5 Tbsp white vinegar
1 cup cornmeal
1 cup unbleached white flour
3 Tbsp granulated sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 Tbsp canola oil
.5 to 1 cup whole corn kernels (optional -- I skipped them this time)

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Grease an 8x8 baking dish.
2. Combine milk and vinegar in a bowl, set aside.
3. Mix together the cornmeal, flour, sugar, salt, baking soda and baking powder. Add the milk mixture and oil (and corn, if using), stirring until just combined.
4. Pour mixture into the baking dish. Bake 25-30 minutes. Makes 9 servings.

To make the chile beans, open the can and pour into a saucepan. Heat them. Add spices if you'd like. Yep, that's all I did. I put cayenne, black pepper and some chile powder on them. They were fine by themselves, but served on top of the cornbread, they were amazing. Divine convergence.

Look for more food from me tomorrow!


Early Bird Special said...

Mmm! I love simple meals like beans and cornbread. Looking forward to more of your yummy goodness!

samann1121 said...

When you do cook your own beans, have you tried cooking them in vegetable stock? I know they're great cooked in chicken stock, so I assume they'd be good in veggie stock. I usually cook a whole bunch at once and freeze them in 2-cup portions (about a can's worth). I mean, if you're gonna make some, you might as well make a lot.

Sandy said...

Sounds yummy brigid...I'm making homemade cream of spinach soup at the moment (I too, think constantly about my next meal :-) and am puzzling over whether to use port or brandy as a substitute for the sherry, which I don't have. I suppose you could substitute other liquids for the cream as well but I choose to leave it in! Buon apetito!

Heather said...

I have a recipe called 'taco pie' that is much like this...but you put your chili in a pan, pour the cornbread on top, and bake it all together. you could probably do that with your recipe too!

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