Thursday, January 12, 2012

Three-Bean Chili and Cornbread

As part of Vegan Thursday, I decided chili and cornbread sounded perfect since it's cold here in the Dallas area. In case you're curious about what vegan cooking is all about, it's meat-free, dairy-free, and egg-free. I am embracing the challenge of having one day a week that's all vegetable based.

I will probably make some mistakes along the way, but I'm sure I'll also learn as I go. Here is my meal plan for today.

Breakfast - Ezekiel bread toasted with peanut butter and sliced bananas

Lunch - Tahini Rotini with Broccoli and Lemon (Rotini pasta in a sauce made with chickpeas, tahini, garlic, lemon juice and vegetable broth)

Dinner - Three Bean Chili and Skillet Cornbread with Smoked Chiles

Both the chili and cornbread had quite a bit of heat which was great for this cold day. The chili was really easy to make using organic canned tomatoes and beans.

Three-Bean Chili
Adapted from Vegan Planet Cookbook

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1/2 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small, fresh hot chile (optional), seeded and minced (I used a serrano)
3 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons chili powder
one 28-ounch can crushed tomatoes
one 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
one 15-ounce can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
one 15-ounce can dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Vegan Monterery Jack Cheese (optional as garnish)

Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and bell pepper, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and chile (if using) and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the tomato paste, chili powder, and tomatoes until well blended. Add all the beans, the water, salt, and pepper and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the liquid is reduced and the flavors are blended, 30 to 40 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasonings, then serve hot.

Serves 6

Skillet Cornbread with Smoked Chiles
Adapted from Vegan Planet

1 1/4 cups yellow cornmeal
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup soy milk or other dairy-free milk
3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1 cup fresh, canned, or frozen corn kernels, cooked and drained
1/4 cup corn oil
2 tablespoons finely chopped canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, and salt and set aside.

In a medium-size bowl, combine the soy milk, maple syrup, corn kernels, corn oil, and chiles and set aside.

Heat a well-oiled cast-iron skillet over medium heat until hot. While the skillet is heating, add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix well with a few quick strokes. Transfer the batter to the hot skillet and bake on the center oven rack until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Serve hot or warm.

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