When I moved to the south, I learned that how you like your cornbread reflects which side of the Mason-Dixon you’re from. I’ve always thought of cornbread as sweet and cakey, but many southerners prefer theirs unsweetened and fried.
Regardless of where your tastes lie, if you need a dairy-free cornbread, this is a good starting point. It is quite crumbly, but tasty nonetheless. If/when I figure out how to make it less crumblesome, I’ll gladly let you know – or perhaps you have some tips? I’m going to try using some of the ingredients that I use as dough conditioners in my whole wheat bread, so I’ll update this if I find something that works!
1 cup flour (soft white or AP)
1 cup cornmeal
1/2-3/4 cup sucanat
1 tsp salt
3 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 egg, beaten
1 cup coconut milk (I use Whole Foods 365 organic – don’t shake it and use the creamier portion)
1/3 cup olive oil (to offset the coconut)
Combine all ingredients and bake 25 minutes at 400 in a greased/floured round pan.
Here’s a piece…
…just make sure to let it cool completely before cutting, or else it is especially crumblesome!
I don’t normally throw together a bunch of packaged things and call it dinner, but I’m still climbing out of the ditch from last week. I also totally forgot what I had planned tonight, so this was not on Monday’s menu plan. Impromptu dinner: chili, cornbread, and sauteed chard. This is how we did it…
Whole Foods has cans of chili beans (meaning they’re already seasoned) on sale for 37 cents, and I bought some a few weeks ago just because. I also bought a bag of Trader Joe’s Chard of Many Colors last week, because I knew I didn’t feel like doing a lot of prep work. So those were my prepared foods.
Husband’s been craving a chili made with beef, so I sauteed a shallot, some bell pepper, and tomatoes in a pot and then browned half a pound of ground beef. Just add the canned chili beans, and there’s the main dish. These were all items I just happened to have on hand.
The chard is easy to prepare, even if you don’t buy the washed/cut/bagged variety. This mixture from Trader Joe’s was really good, though, because it had a few different types of chard and kale. Just prepare this the same way you would spinach — put a tablespoon (or more, if you prefer) of olive oil in a skillet, throw in some minced garlic once it’s hot, then wilt the chard. I just dump it all in and use tongs to evenly distribute the hot oil over the leaves.
Isn’t that pretty? I like to cook it down a bit so it’s not too crunchy, but not so much that it’s like canned spinach. You can taste test it while it cooks to find the perfect texture for you. This cooks pretty quickly, so you do have to watch it so it doesn’t get too mushy.
Earlier in the day, I made some cornbread to go with all this. I always have the cornbread ingredients on hand, and it’s incredibly simple to make.
I finally got around to making the cornbread I SHOULD have made last week, plus a batch of vegan brownies — all to skirt around the fact that I’m almost out of my actual sandwich bread that I use everyday. My everyday whole wheat bread is made in batches of six, which I split with my friend CF. You may remember that a while back we bought some heavy-duty equipment — she bought a Nutrimill grain mill, I bought a Bosch Universal mixer — so we get together roughly once a week to mill grain and bake a bunch of REAL bread. Maybe I’ll share more about that, once we feel like we’re pros. 🙂
The cornbread is incredibly easy, but the best part is that the ingredients are all things from the pantry. We substituted soy milk, of course, but that didn’t affect the texture at all.
And as a special treat for my daughter, we also made Vegan Brownies! The only substitution we made was with the oil, opting for coconut oil on account of it’s sweetness and texture. I have about ten pounds of white sugar to use up (thanks to Publix’s penny item!) or else we could’ve made substitutions there, too. Here’s my daughter, proudly displaying her goods:
The brownies yield enough for a crowd, so I think we’ll freeze half of them. The cornbread really only yields enough for one meal, so make a double or triple batch and freeze those for future use, as well. I try to make large batches of baked goods so I can cut down on my work later on!
Dinner was very simple, since Husband had school: we made a version of this Slow Cooker Citrus Black Bean Soup, making substitutions according to what we had on hand. Everything we made today was with “pantry ingredients,” so it was, in fact, a very healthy and frugal day. I didn’t have the Tabasco or Liquid Smoke that the recipe called for, but I added a *small* pinch of asafoetida to give it a unique flavor. A little side note about asafoetida: it smells absolutely DISGUSTING in the bottle. So horribly so that when you smell it, you’ll wonder, “Who ever thought that eating this was a good idea?” It mellows out quite a bit with cooking, though, and tastes much better than the wretched uncleanness of that initial whiff. In fact, it’s used in Indian cooking as a sort of substitute for garlic and onions. The best part of it all: if you’re prone to the indigestion caused by beans, then that little pinch will pacify a lot of that. So plug your nose when you’re opening the bottle and give it a try! (For real, though — plug your nose.)