When I told my husband a couple of days ago that we would have chili, guacamole and cornbread for dinner, he enthusiastically told me that that was exactly the kind of comfort food he had been longing for all day. Without knowing, of course. It was that kind of need that first emerges when its fulfilment is already presented as a certainty, if you get what I mean.
Anyway, he was happy, I was too, and the children were, well, they were just being a bit fussy the way children sometimes can be after a long day at school (especially at the exhausting end of a term). The cornbread muffins were an immediate hit (they were, truth be told, the best I had ever made, thanks to butter-flavoured rapeseed oil I bought at Shavt, a nearby vegan store), but eating the chili took quite a bit longer. But they did finish dinner; not the guacamole, however (though this time at least my daughter, the more culinary adventurous child of the two, did actually taste some for the very first time).
Tex-Mex Trio: chili, guacamole & cornbread.
- 2 small onions
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 cup finely chopped walnuts (which is what I used here) or vegan mince of your choice (seitan, soy or tempeh)
- 2 – 3 medium carrots
- 1/2 yellow bell pepper
- 1/2 red or green bell pepper
- 4-6 large TB tomato paste
- 2 cups water (add more during the cooking process if necessary)
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1/2 tsp cayenne (or more, if you really want to spice up this dish)
- optional: a minced hot chili pepper (I usually do not include hot peppers, as I do not think my children would be that appreciative)
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 TB agave syrup (or another sweetener of your choice)
- Sauté the onion and add the walnuts and garlic. Keep in mind that when you use walnuts here, it will take some time for them to soften (which is not the case when using seitan or soy mince). After some more minutes, add the carrots, and then the bell peppers.
- When the vegetables have somewhat softened, it’s time to stir in the tomato paste and the water (or stock, if you prefer), and the seasonings. Let the chili simmer until its aroma has penetrated each corner of your dwelling. Add the agave syrup during the last step, so you can gradually add sweetness to taste.
- I like to serve this with a dollop of vegan sour cream or plain unsweetened soy yoghurt (with an added splash of lemon juice and a pinch of salt) on top.
- 1 ripe avocado
- 1/2 onion or 1 shallot
- 1/2 to 1 tomato
- a small handful of cilantro
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/2 TB lemon juice
- a dash of salt, and optionally also sweet paprika
- Add all ingredients to a food processor (with an S-shaped blade) and process until mostly smooth (you can leave in some tiny chunks).
(yields 8 muffins)
- 1 cup cornmeal
- 1 cup flour (I always use spelt, but you can use whichever type of flour you like)
- 1 cup plant milk (I mostly use soy milk for baking, or sporadically almond milk)
- 1/3 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup agave syrup
- 1/4 cup oil (I used rapeseed oil with a buttery aroma, and the result was awesome and just perfect. These cornbread muffins tasted more amazing then ever before. Usually I use sunflower oil, but lately it’s become difficult for me to ignore a sunflowery taste in my baked goods, and have therefore recently shifted to this rapeseed oil.)
- 3 TB aquafaba (the liquid from canned chickpeas)
- 1 TB corn starch (maizena) or arrowroot
- 2,5 tsp baking powder
- Optional: finely chopped chili peppers, corn kernels.
- Mix all dry ingredients in one bowl and all liquid ingredients in another. Then gradually mix in the liquid ingredients in the bowl with dry ingredients. Mix the batter until smooth and pour into a muffin pan.
- Bake for 17 minutes in a preheated oven on 180 degrees C.