Cooler weather calls for the ultimate dynamic duo – chili and cornbread. All you need is a large pot and a baking pan to get started making this super simple meal.
- For the Chili:
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion finely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 1 jalapeño pepper finely chopped
- 1 pound 85% lean ground beef
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 (14.5-ounce) can petite diced tomatoes
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- For the Cornbread:
- 1 cup fresh yellow cornmeal
- 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
- 1/2 cup white all-purpose flour
- 4 1/2 teaspoons aluminum-free baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 cup, plus 2 tablespoons organic soymilk or rice milk
- 2 tablespoons organic canola oil
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- To make the chili: Heat the oil in a 5-quart Dutch oven over medium. Add the onion, garlic and jalapeño pepper; cook, stirring occasionally, until starting to soften, 1-2 minutes. Stir in the beef, chili powder, cumin and oregano; cook, breaking up into smaller pieces, until no longer pink, 4 minutes. Add the diced tomatoes and tomato paste, bring to a simmer, cover, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, 25 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper; keep warm.
- To make the cornbread: Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 425º F. Oil a 9-inch round cake pan.
- Place a wire mesh strainer over a medium bowl. Add the cornmeal, whole wheat pastry flour, white flour, baking powder and salt to the strainer and sift into the bowl. Mix with a wire whisk.
- In a small bowl, whisk the milk, maple syrup, oil and vanilla until well blended. Pour into the dry mixture and whisk only until the batter is smooth. Pour into the prepared pan.
- Bake for 14 to 15 minutes until the sides have started to pull away from the pan and the top looks set. Do not over-bake or the cornbread will be dry. A tester inserted into the center will be clean or holding just a few moist crumbs. Cool the pan on a wire rack for 8-10 minutes before cutting.
NOTE: Use vanilla soymilk for a slightly sweeter cornbread. This cornbread is best eaten the day it’s made, but it’s also good toasted and spread with jam.