My friend Bianca introduced me to a website called The Kitchn (yes its spelled that way) the other day, and while I was reading it I stumbled upon this idea for chili topped with cornbread baked in mason jars.
I have a TON of jars, and I like all the other things so I figured I’d try to make them into a vegan and Jake suitable version.
I figure everyone has their own chili recipe, I kind of make mine up as I go along. But the basics of mine is a can each of black, kidney, and pinto beans, tomato paste, canned diced tomatoes, chili seasoning, and for this one I added chopped onion, garlic, bell peppers, and yellow and green squash.
For Jake, I sautéed ground turkey with some chili seasoning in a separate pan then scooped some of the vegan chili and mixed it in, so it was super easy to make the veggie version into a meat-eaters version!
After I made my chili, I made a cornbread batter. I was originally just going to make it from a boxed mix, but I only had time to go to a conventional grocery store and they only had the standard Jiffy brand and Betty Crocker. Personally I like to only buy organic corn because corn is one of the most genetically modified foods that we eat and I try to avoid GMO’s. On top of that did you know that the Jiffy mix had LARD in it!!! um ew. It also had hydrogenated oils and a ton of other gross things so I left that on the shelf and walked away. While I was at the store I googled for recipes and came up with an easy vegan recipe that I of course tweaked. hehe
- 2 cups Organic corn meal
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 2 cups unsweetened almond milk (even better if its your own)
- 1/3 cup melted coconut oil
- 2 tsp raw apple cider vinegar
- 2 tsp aluminum free baking powder
- 1/2 tsp of salt
- 3 tbsp of maple agave nectar or raw agave nectar
- 1 cup of organic corn
First you want to add the apple cider vinegar to the almond milk and whisk it until it is foamy and set it aside, then sift the dry ingredients together in another bowl. Once you have sifted the dry ingredients add the coconut oil and agave to the almond milk mixture whisk again then add it to the dry ingredients and stir them together. Add the corn if you like corn bits in your cornbread and mix enough to get them mixed but be very careful to not over mix as it will make your cornbread tough.
Once you get the cornbread batter mixed, fill the mason jars (i used 16 oz jars) a few inches under the mouth of the jar then top with the cornbread batter, just make sure that you leave about an inch of space for the bread to rise a bit. After all, part of the cool thing about these is that you can just put the lid on the jar and take these to go so you you want to make sure the lid fits!
After I filled my jars, I placed them on a baking sheet and baked them in the oven at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes or until they were lightly browned. Also make note, this batter makes more than what is needed for the 4 jars, so either make more chili jar, or just make muffins or a pan of the rest of the cornbread!
One thing is because the cornbread doesn’t have eggs in it, its not going to brown as much as a normal recipe would. Jake liked it, but he did say that they were missing a bit of the creamy-ness that the lard gives to it. Either way, he better get used to a lard-free life because thats just gross and bad for you. I think if I make this recipe again I will make the salt 1 full teaspoon as I felt it was lacking a bit of seasoning.
I made 2 for each of us so we each had lunch for the next day. Jake took his to work and heated it in the microwave which is safe to do, just make sure that you take the lid off of course since its metal!
I have to say that I am a little obsessed with these now and I am already brainstorming what other jar dinners I can make.