Chili and Cornbread Shepherd’s Pie
Last week’s Corn Chowder came out so good, I wanted to stay in the corn mode. My latest creation consists of a layer of cornbread, a layer of chili and another layer of cornbread topped with shredded Daiya cheese, that I baked in in a cast iron skillet in a hot oven. The Daiya “cheese” topping actually did harden and get a bit crusty, which I found to be a nice contrast to the moist delicious chili within the crust.
I wound up topping the whole thing off with some guacamole. It reminded me so much of the whipped potato topped meatloaves I’ve made in the past, that I named this recipe Chili and Cornbread Shepherd’s Pie. It may sound like a lot of work, but it goes together quickly if you have all the ingredients, and none of the steps are complicated. I hope you like this one as much as my family did. Betayavon!
Ingredients for the Chili
- 1 Can Organic Black Beans or 1+1/2 cup beans sorted, rinsed, soaked and boil
- 1 Can Organic Dark Red Kidney Beans or 1+1/2 cup sorted, rinsed, soaked and boiled
- 1 Can Organic Pinto Beans or 1+1/2 cups sorted, rinsed, soaked, and boiled
- Two small or one large onions, chopped
- Two small or one large yellow pepper, chopped
- Olive Oil, 2 Tablespoons
- 1 1/2 cups of Crumbled Soy Protein (I used Gardein Brand)
- One large can tomato paste
- One box Pomi Crushed Tomatoes
- Chili Powder, 2 Tablespoons, or to taste
- Salt and Pepper, to taste
- Additional seasonings to taste: crushed red pepper flakes, minced poblano or chipotle peppers, hot sauce, cayenne pepper
- gloves so you don’t hurt your hands, if you’re going to chop peppers
Instructions for the Chili
For the Chili: Open the cans of beans or else sort, rinse, and soak beans by placing them in a bowl or pot and cover with cold water for several hours or overnight. You can use all the same type and color of beans, or go for variety, as I like to do. After soaking the beans, change the water, cover the beans with water since they will expand when cooking, and bring them to a boil in a large pot. Lower the light to simmer for 35 minutes. Drain and rinse the beans. It’s important to skim all the white and grey foam that forms and floats on top of the water in the pot when cooking dried beans in order to remove the gas producing quality of the beans. Try not to skip this important step.
In a large pot, sauté chopped onion and yellow pepper til soft, about 7-8 minutes. Add crumbled soy protein and cook ten minutes. Add chili powder, salt and pepper, and mix to combine seasonings with crumbles and vegetables. Add in the beans, tomato paste, chopped tomatoes, and stir. If too thick to stir, add water, one or two tablespoons at a time. Add additional seasonings is you want to “turn up the heat” on the chili. Possibilities are crushed red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper, hot sauce, chopped poblano or chipotle peppers.
Ingredients and Instructions for the Cornbread
Here’s a great vegan gluten free cornbread recipe I created.
Combine in a large bowl:
- 1 Cup White Corn Meal
- 3/4 Cup Brown Rice Flour
- 1/4 Cup Coconut Flour
- 3 Teaspoons Baking Powder
- 1 Teaspoon Sea Salt
- 1 Packet Organic Stevia, 1 gram
In a separate bowl:
- Make one egg substitute by combining 1 Tablespoon of flax seed meal and 3 Tablespoons of water. Let it congeal.
- Add 1/4 cup grape seed oil or some other mild tasting oil
- Add one cup almond milk. Stir all liquid ingredients together to combine.
- Mix Wet and Dry Ingredients together, just until combined, and press into an oiled baking pan.
- Bake at 425 for 20-25 minutes.
To assemble the chili and cornbread, simply alternate layers of fillings. Start by pressing a layer of crumbled cornbread into the bottom of a well oiled pyrex dish or cast iron skillet. Layer with chili and then another layer of cornbread. You could also use polenta in place of the cornbread to layer beneath and on top of the chili. This works equally well with either polenta you make yourself, or the type that comes ready made in a tube. If you use polenta, start with a layer of that, then a layer of chili, and a final layer of polenta. Whether you’ve opted to use cornbread or polenta, bake in a hot oven for at least 30 minutes. You can sprinkle Daiya shredded vegan cheese substitute, if you like, before the casserole goes into the oven. I also added guacamole to the finished product.