Vegan Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread

It just occurred to me today that this is a “Southern” blog and I’ve never posted a recipe for cornbread! Of course I’ve modified it, but if you want plain ‘ol cornbread (as seen below), just leave out the jalapeños and cheddar!

cornbread

My adaptation of Skillet Cornbread from Isa Moskowitz’s cookbook Veganomicon.

2 cups almond milk (you can use soy, but don’t use rice, flax, oat, or coconut as they don’t react the same way with the vinegar)
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
2 cups yellow cornmeal
1 cup all-purpose, unbleached flour
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup shredded Daiya cheddar
2 jalapeños, seeded and finely chopped

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. I like to make my cornbread in an iron skillet, so I spray it with a little non-stick spray and place it in the oven while it’s heating, but you can also make this in a pie plate or a cake ban too.

Combine the almond milk and vinegar and set aside to curdle.

Sift together the cornmeal, flour, salt, sugar, and baking powder. Use a spoon to create a space (called a well) in the middle of your dry ingredients and pour in the oil and almond milk mixture. Mix well and then fold in the cheddar and jalapeños, if using.

Pour into your prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes.

PS This is awesome served with Earth Balance Buttery Spread!

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Middle Eastern Salad

I love looking at beautiful food.  Bright colors and thoughtful plating are always appreciated.  I also enjoy making food with people I love, like my mother and sister.  My sister, who normally exists on things like chips, soda, pizza, and chicken nuggets, says that I can make anything healthy look good.  She’ll hesitate to try some of the stuff I make, but when she sees me eating, it makes her want to try it.

This past weekend we made a beautiful salad based on a recipe from an episode of The Barefoot Contessa.  If I had a garden, I would make this all the time.  Fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, basil, parsley, and mint.  Fresh-squeezed lemon juice brightens everything up and chickpeas add protein.  Next time I make this, I’ll probably add cooked bulgar as well, to bulk things up a bit.

When you chop the herbs and veggies, you can chop them as fine or as coarse as you want. I tend to leave the tomatoes and cucumbers a bit larger and chop the herbs more finely, but you don’t really want to mince them.

Ingredients:
1/3 cup fresh basil, chopped
1/3 cup fresh mint, chopped
1/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped
10 green onions, sliced
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
1 European cucumber (the kind that come wrapped in plastic), chopped
1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained (or 1 1/5 cups cooked from scratch)
juice of 2 lemons
1/4 cup olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
2 cloves garlic, minced

Put everything into a big bowl and toss together.  Serve with toasted pita points.  To make this into a more substantial meal, serve with homemade falafel!

Oven-Baked Onion Rings

I just can’t resist those crispy, deep-fat fried diner-style onion rings, but since I don’t fry anything at home, here is a baked version that’s much better for you!  The recipe makes about 24 rings, which should serve 4 people, unless you’re like me, and then you’re going to want at least 10 for yourself.

2 large sweet onions
1 ½ cups bread crumbs
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup non-dairy milk
½ cup + 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
vegan buttermilk (whisk together 1 cup cold non-dairy milk + 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar)
2 Tablespoons cornstarch

Preheat oven to 450 and line 2 baking sheets with foil or parchment paper, sprayed lightly with non-stick spray.

Cut the onions relatively thick into approximately ¾” slices.  Place the large and medium-large sized rings into a bowl and save the rest of the onion for something else.  In a second bowl, mix the flour and cornstarch.  Add the apple cider vinegar to the milk in a measuring cup and mix well, then pour into the flour mixture and stir until everything is mixed up well.  In a third bowl, mix the bread crumbs and salt.  Pour in the olive oil and mix with your fingers until everything is incorporated together.

Dip each onion ring into the milk mixture first, shaking off excess, and then toss it into the bread crumb bowl.  You can use your fingers to cover the ring in the bread crumbs, but I found it works easiest just to plop the onion ring right in and then pick up the bowl and shake it around until the onion ring is evenly coated.  Place each ring on the baking sheet and repeat until you’ve coated all of your onion rings. Lightly spray everything down with cooking spray (well not everything, just the onion rings!).

Bake 7 minutes, then flip the rings over and bake another 7 minutes.  Serve with ketchup  or vegan ranch (because you were so healthy for not frying these) for dipping.