Friday, October 31, 2014

Cajun Cornbread Casserole




Peanut butter and jelly. Milk and cookies. Spaghetti and meatballs. Chili and cornbread. 

I love cornbread and chili and this casserole is the perfect combination of both.  Cajun Chili. A meatless one at that. The cornbread topping was perfect and soaked some of the delicious juices.  I am so glad I doubled the batch! This made for perfect leftovers the next day.  I do that on purpose.  I make extra just so I have leftovers.  Chili and Cornbread.  Gotta love it.





Cajun Cornbread Casserole
Adapted from Forks Over Knives

15 ounces diced tomatoes (undrained)
1 small onion, diced
2 celery stalks, minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 bell pepper, seeded and diced
2 tablespoons Cajun Seasoning Recipe (recipe below)
15 ounces kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup cornmeal
1½ teaspoon baking powder
pinch salt
1-2 tablespoons sugar
¾ cup nondairy milk
¼ cup unsweetened applesauce


Preheat oven to 400˚F. Grease a square 8 or 9-inch baking pan or casserole dish.
Drain tomato juices into a skillet and chop tomatoes into smaller pieces, and set aside.
Add water as necessary until a thin layer of liquid covers the skillet.
Sauté onion, celery, garlic and bell peppers over high heat until onions are translucent, bell peppers are tender and all of the water has evaporated, about 4 minutes.
Turn off heat and mix in 1-2 tablespoon(s) Cajun Seasoning, tomatoes and kidney beans, stirring to combine, and set aside.
In a small mixing bowl, whisk cornmeal, baking powder, salt and additional Cajun Seasoning if desired (several dashes so the flour looks speckled You can also add 1-2 tablespoon(s) of sugar for a sweet cornbread topping. 
Then stir in nondairy milk and applesauce. It should be thick, but spreadable like hummus and not dry.
Pour bean mixture into your baking dish and pat down firmly with a spatula. Spread cornbread mixture on top and bake 30-35 minutes, or until the cornbread is a deep golden, cracked and firm to the touch. Let sit out for about 15 minutes before serving (it continues to firm as it cools).
Serve with hot sauce, such as Tabasco, on the table.

Cajun Seasoning

2 tablespoons sweet paprika
2 tablespoons garlic powder 
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon dried oregano or majarom
1 tablespoon onion powder 
½ tablespoon ground nutmeg or mace (optional)




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