This week I bring you not one, but two tried and true dishes. While it’s nothing to boast about, I’ve made over a dozen different chili recipes (and somewhere around six or seven cornbreads) since going vegan to suss out a keeper. What I was looking for was a combination of great texture (not soup passing itself off as chili) and flavor (some balance of tomato, spice, smoke and a bit of sweetness). This particular chili recipe, posted by the lovely Lauren Ulm over at VeganYumYum, is everything I’ve ever wanted and more. TRUTH: I make this chili once a week, sometimes more because it has a mysterious tendency to disappear in this household.
P.S. The cornbread recipe below is the first veganized version I’ve made that doesn’t come out of the oven looking burnt with a gooey middle. Huzzah!
1/4 cup olive oil, for pan
2 sweet onions, chopped
4 – 5 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
1 15 oz. can of each: black, pink and pinto beans (drained + rinsed)
1 package Yve’s Good Ground (or faux ground beef of your choice)
1 – 2 Tablespoons cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 pinch of crushed red pepper (optional, adds a bit of spice)
1 – 2 Tablespoons of sauce from a can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
1 15 oz. can of diced tomatoes
1 Tablespoon of Veggie Better Than Bullion (or 1 bullion cube)
5 Tablespoons soy sauce
2 Tablespoons worcestershire sauce
1 – 2 teaspoons liquid smoke (I love this stuff, so I always add a bit more)
2 Tablespoons molasses
2 Tablespoons Earth Balance
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 cup flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups coconut milk (I ended up using the whole can)
1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup canola or vegetable oil
1/2 cup sweet corn
1 fresno pepper, diced
2 jalapeño peppers, roughly chopped
- Pour olive oil into a large pot and warm over low heat. Once it becomes fragrant, add onions and cook them slowly until they’re caramelized. Add the dry spices and give it a good stir to incorporate. Add chopped carrots and cook until they are tender / the oil begins to turn slightly orange.
- Add canned tomatoes and all remaining ingredients EXCEPT the beans and faux ground beef. Bring everything to a simmer on medium heat.
- Add the beans and faux meaty bits, stirring well to break up any large chunks of “beef.” Cover and allow the chili to simmer for about 20 to 30 minutes on low heat, stirring occasionally (otherwise the good bits will get stuck to the bottom and burn).
- While that’s cooking, preheat your oven to 400° and, into a small bowl, measure out the dry ingredients for the cornbread.
- In a larger bowl, whisk together the coconut milk and apple cider vinegar. Allow the mixture to sit for a while. In the mean time, whisk together your fake eggs and add the oil to them.
- Add the oil/egg mixture to the coconut milk/apple cider vinegar and mix. Whisk in dry ingredients, making sure most clumps of flour/corn meal have been worked out. Finally, fold in the peppers and sweet corn. Pour batter into a prepared square pan, tossing a few peppers on top for decoration (100% optional).
- Pop it in the oven for about 30 minutes, at which point you’ll probably want to cover it with aluminum foil (cornbread has a tendency to get rather burnt looking on top while remaining gooey in the middle), turn the heat down to 350° and bake for an additional 15 to 20 minutes.
- Serve both the chili and cornbread when they’re warm. You can add any number of yummies to the chili, but I usually prefer a generous serving of Daiya and one heaping spoonful of Better Than Sour Cream.