It was super cold outside…again. I know it’s only March in Ohio, but still…it was like 70 degrees here a couple of weekends ago. Cold weather calls out for warm bowls of chili. I have actually improved upon my Mom’s chili that I have been eating since I was a child. Over the last decade I have streamlined the recipe, of course now made vegan, with no burger meat. It’s an easy meal that you can have bowled up, piping hot in about 30 minutes by opening various cans of beans, sauce, and chili spices. For me it was always a bit of a dance to get the paprika, chili pepper, et.al. spices just right, but recently I discovered a secret ingredient: Whole Foods Spicy Black beans! A can of these beauties gives the perfect amount of spice and smokiness. I add just a few spices, top with Fritos and…warm, comfort food dinner! With 3-Bean Vegan Chili with Classic Cornbread, I decided to get out of my ‘chili box’ and try something new.
By new I mean make cornbread from scratch. I also mean drizzling peanut butter over the top of my chili. Add some chopped green onions and voila! Don’t judge. It’s spectacular.
So I started with the Classic Cornbread…
I did some researching to try and find a cornbread I might like and ended up finding a really cool classic cornbread recipe. It’s actually Chef Marc Matsumoto recipe I found at PBS.org. The reason it peaked my interest was because he replaced butter using a mix of coconut oil and nutritional yeast. Had to try it. I made this recipe almost as he wrote it but swapped out the chia seeds for my usual Ground Flaxseeds. I have chia seeds that some day I am going to use, but Marc’s recipe called for grinding the chia seeds in a ‘clean spice grinder’ and that meant cleaning the coffee grounds out of mine. (read: lazy) So ground flaxseeds and I also used Trader Joe’s Original Almond Milk. Here is Marc’s recipe with my changes:
The Vegan Cornbread You’ve Been Waiting For
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds (I swapped for Ground Flaxseeds)
- 5.5 ounces grams cornmeal (about 1 cup)
- 4.4 ounces all-purpose flour (about 1 cup)
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup soy milk (I swapped for Trader Joe’s Original Almond Milk)
- 1 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil (melted)
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
Coconut oil mixed with nutritional yeast to replace butter. Genius!
Classic cornbread baked in a Lodge Enameled Cast Iron Skillet. It even looked good raw, sizzling away in the hot pan coated in hot coconut oil. Into the oven while I start my chili.
OK now for the 3-Bean Vegan Chili:
Heat a large stock pot over medium heat and then drizzle in the olive oil. Chop up a white or yellow sweet onion. Depending on your love for onions, I usually use a medium onion or half of a large one. Begin slowly browning the onions while your prepare everything else, about 5-10 minutes. Start the opening of the cans. This chili goes together really quickly, so go ahead and open all the cans you plan on using. I use 2 cans of dark kidney beans, drained and rinsed and 1 can of undrained chili beans. Last of the bean trio is those maaavelous 365 Organic Spicy Black Beans. There is always a sort of clear liquid on top of the spicy black beans and I drain that off.
Into the browned, sautéed onions, I begin pouring in the beans to brown up a bit, not long about 5 minutes. First the kidney beans, then the chili beans and finally the spicy black beans. Stir to mix with each other and the onions.
Tip in a large can of tomato juice. When I was little, my Mom used Campbell’s and then graduating to V-8 in my teens. I have discovered that Red Gold tomato juice is a richer, darker red color that I love. Up to you, your preference and budget on what you use.
These are the only spices I add now: Penzey’s Roasted Garlic, Penzey’z California Paprika, and Penzey’s Medium Hot Chili Powder. Of course a good amount of salt, start with a 1/2 teaspoon. I will also occasionally after tasting, add some of the adobo sauce from a can of La Preferida Whole Chipotle Peppers In Spicy Adobo Sauce. Just about 1/8 teaspoon of only the adobo sauce as adding more than that or any of the chipotles makes the chili just too spicy for me. Call me a wimp. Go ahead. I like spicy food, just not to the point of pain.
Ok. So that’s about it. Now you can simmer covered for hours (as the hubs likes to do). If you want to get dinner on the table, then about 20 minutes before eating, add 1/2 cup of rice. Please do not under any circumstance add more than a 1/2 cup as the chili will become like cement. I’ve learned this lesson more than a couple of times – once at a friends chili cook-off. A vegan chili going up against all that meat chili in a house full of meat eaters! What can I say? I panicked. I did come in second place btw!
Anyway…1/2 cup of rice and no more. Stir and bring to a low to medium simmer for 20 minutes, just long enough to get the rice done. If you wanna, add a bag of frozen corn when you add the rice. I love the sweetness that the corn adds to the spicy chili.
While the rice is cooking, let’s pull the skillet of classic cornbread. Beauty.
It slid right out of the skillet onto a cutting board. It had a gorgeous browned crust. I have to be honest, this is not my kind of cornbread. Apparently there is the classic kind of cornbread such as this one and then the more cake than cornbread type. The cake type is more me. With corn in it. I had to make this kind of sweet, corny cornbread and it’ll be on an upcoming post later this week.
But don’t count this cornbread out. It was beautiful and the flavor was wonderful. Yes, this cornbread was drier than I prefer, but the flavor and crunchy crust was amazing. Warm slices topped with vegan butter, I had to stop myself from eating it so there would be something for the photos of chili.
Oh cilantro…my love affair continues. It was so incredibly good in this chili.
Then the peanut butter. Now come on now. You’ve eaten peanut butter sandwiches with chili before, right? Well, this is just saving some carbs. I spooned on some 365 Creamy Peanut Butter (my absolute fav!) and it melted into the hot chili. I topped it with some chopped green onions and a side of crunchy crusted Classic Cornbread.
I wasn’t hungry when I set this up to grab a few shots in the afternoon sun. With each shot, I had to keep stopping my urge to take a bite. I finally just gave in and decided I had enough photos. So amazingly good.
There’s that cornbread…
How did I make 3-Bean Vegan Chili with Classic Cornbread…healthier?:
- This vegan chili is low in fat with only 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil used adding up to only 3 grams of fat per 1 1/2 cup serving.
- This same serving brings you 12 plus grams of fiber and 14.6 grams of bean fueled protein.
- The 3-Bean Vegan Chili is only about 300 calories and the Classic Cornbread is about 150 calories per serving.
- This recipe is just for the 3-Bean Vegan Chili as the Classic Cornbread recipe ingredients and link can be found above.
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium white or yellow sweet onion, fine to medium chop
- 2 cans dark kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 can chili beans
- 1 can spicy black beans (I love Whole Foods which has organic cayenne pepper, organic cumin powder, organic coriander powder, organic oregano, but Bush's also has a spicy black bean as does the Kroger brand)
- 1 48 oz can of tomato juice - I like Red Gold
- 1 tsp paprika
- ½ tsp Roasted garlic,
- ½-1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp medium hot chili powder
- ½ cup white rice
- 2 cups or 1 entire bag of frozen corn
- Chopped chipotle with some of the adobo sauce or for me, just about ⅛ tsp of adobo sauce if you need a bit more smoky spicy flavor
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast, it adds a great depth of flavor kind of like Chili-Mac
- Fritos scoops are my fav!
- Try the drizzle of creamy peanut butter and smattering of green onions!
- Or this great corn bread I made to go with it!
- Heat a large stock pot over medium heat. This recipe makes 7 - 1½ cup servings of chili.
- Add 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil.
- Chop your onion and begin sautéing until browned, about 5 minutes.
- You can add a sprinkle of salt to sweat the onion.
- While your onion is sautéing, begin the opening of the cans of beans and tomato juice.
- Drain the kidney beans and rinse in a colander. Add these to the pot and brown just a bit.
- Add the entire can of chili beans and then the spicy black beans.
- There may be a clear liquid on top of the spicy black beans, so drain just this clear liquid if you wish.
- Add the can of tomato juice and stir.
- Add the roasted garlic, paprika, chili powder, and salt. Stir.
- When the juice begins to bubble reduce the heat to maintain a simmer.
- Taste for seasonings and adjust if needed. If additional smokiness or spice is needed you can add some chopped chipotle and adobo sauce.
- When satisfied with the spice, then add the rice and corn.
- **Optionally you can add a couple tablespoons of nutritional yeast.**
- Cook covered for 20 more minutes until the rice is cooked.
- Serve hot with cornbread.
- Or topped with Fritos corn chips.
- Or drizzled with creamy peanut butter and chopped green onions.
The post 3-Bean Vegan Chili with Classic Cornbread appeared first on Designing Vegan. If you make this chili and cornbread, I’d love to see any changes you made to suit you. Post to Instagram or Facebook and tag it with #designingvegan