Chili and Cornbread

You know, sometimes I think I set my standards too high. Take this blog, for example. I seem to have got it into my head that the recipes shared here must be original or, at least, greatly adapted from other recipes. It’s not a bad idea … in theory. What actually happens, in reality, is that I don’t post anything for ages because I don’t have an original recipe to share. In the meantime, I’m researching, making, eating and enjoying all kinds of delicious and interesting vegan food. So, today, while I was cooking another delicious meal, I thought, “I really want to share this with others” and I realized I have a way to do just that … using this blog. Duh! So here you have it … chili, greatly adapted from a chili recipe in Appetite for Reduction, and cornbread muffins, direct from Isa Does It. (Both of these cookbooks are by Isa Chandra Moskowitz).

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Adaptable Chili

(based on Classic Black Bean and Veggie Chili in Appetite for Reduction by Isa Chandra Moskowitz)

The reason I call this “Adaptable Chili” is because it’s, well, adaptable! Lots of vegetables, your choice and amount of beans, vary the spices, change up the toppings, include corn or not …

½ medium to large onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

½ red bell pepper, diced

½ large carrot, diced

½ cup diced zucchini

1 cup corn – thaw if frozen

1 ½ cups veg broth

2-3 tbsps chili powder OR 1 tsp chipotle paste

2 tsps cumin

1 tsp oregano

¼ tsp cayenne

½ tsp salt

1 398 ml can diced tomatoes

1 ½ cups black beans

1 ½ cups kidney beans

½ 398 can tomato sauce

2 tbsps tomato paste

2 tsps agave nectar

2 tbsps fresh lime juice

finely chopped cilantro

diced green onion

sliced avocado

Put the diced onion in a large pot like a Dutch oven over med-high heat. Once the onions start to sizzle, add a tbsp. water and dry saute. Keep adding a little bit of water while sauteeing the vegetables to prevent sticking. Once the onion is a bit softened, add the garlic and cook, stirring, for a couple of minutes. Add the pepper, carrot and zucchini and saute for a few minutes until vegetables release their juice and start to soften. Add the thawed corn if using. Pour in the veg broth, bring to boil, turn down to a simmer, cover and let simmer for about 10 minutes. Stir in the chili powder, cumin, oregano, cayenne and salt and stir to coat the vegetables. Pour in the tomatoes and the tomato sauce along with the beans. Stir everything together and add the tomato paste. Stir again. Cover and simmer for about 10 minutes. Just before serving stir in the agave and the lime juice. Ladle into bowls and sprinkle on (0r not) some cilantro, green onions, avocado slices. Serve with cornbread or muffins and salad.

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Cornbread Muffins

(from Isa Does It by Isa Chandra Moskowitz)

1 cup almond milk

2 tsps apple cider vinegar

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour

1 cup medium-ground cornmeal

1/3 cup granulated sugar

2 tsps baking powder

½ tsp baking soda

½ tsp salt

2 tbsps coconut oil, melted

2 tbsps unsweetened applesauce

1 cup corn kernels (thawed if using frozen)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease muffin pan.

Combine milk and vinegar and set aside to curdle.

Mix together flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and add the milk/vinegar, coconut oil and applesauce. Stir these wet ingredients into the dry. Be careful not to overmix. Fold in the corn kernels.

Fill the muffin tin about 2/3’s full. Bake for 18 to 22 minutes. The muffins are done when the tops are firm to the touch and a sharp knife, when inserted into the middle of a muffin, comes out clean. Let cool for about 10 minutes in the pan, then remove muffins from pan and finish cooling on a cooling rack.

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