In the never-ending effort to create good, hearty comfort foods that are vegan, I thought I would combine two of the heartland's most prized recipes: chili and cornbread. I know this sounds entirely not-vegan by nature, but with the help of a standout meat substitute (soy chorizo) and by keeping the cornbread old-fashioned (sans eggs), what we have is a devilish casserole with the capability of making you a local celebrity.
- 3 Cups cornmeal
- 3 Cups all-purpose flour
- 2 Tablespoons baking powder
- 2 Cups soy milk or other milk substitute
- 1/4 Cup vegetable oil
- 1/4 Cup maple syrup
- Cooking spray
- 3 Cups soy chorizo or other ground beef substitute, crumbled
- Three 15-ounce cans red kidney beans, drained
- One 15-ounce can corn, drained
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- One 24-ounce can tomato sauce, preferably organic
- 2 Tablespoons chili powder
- 1 Teaspoon salt
- 1 Teaspoon cayenne
- 1/2 Teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 Tablespoon butter, melted (optional)
Vegan Chili and Cornbread Casserole
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
In a large bowl, combine the cornmeal, flour, and baking powder. Steadily whisk in the soy milk, vegetable oil, and maple syrup. Coat a large casserole dish with cooking spray and pour in 1/3 of the batter. Spread evenly. Place in the oven and half-bake the mixture, for about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, mix the soy chorizo, beans, corn, red bell pepper, tomato sauce, and spices.
Remove the half-baked cornbread from the oven, and add the chili mixture to the casserole dish. Pour the remaining cornbread batter over the chili and spread evenly. Drizzle melted butter across the top of the batter, if using.
Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, for 25-30 minutes.