Jalapeno Rosemary Cornbread

Cornbread always offers a warm familiarity. Sweet, grainy, and crispy around the edges. Sturdy enough to hold it’s own against a big bowl of chili, and stable enough to be a breakfast in and of itself. For vegans, it’s usually something that is missed- who makes cornbread without bacon grease? I know, I know, it’s almost blasphemy to do this- but I did. And I don’t regret it. As a matter of fact, I didn’t even use a cast iron skillet (because I don’t have one.) I adapted my recipe from Closet Kitchen’s Jalapeno Cornbread by switching out the buttermilk for full-fat coconut milk and the grease for some extra virgin olive oil. In vegan baking, I like to use coarse sea salt. When combined with coconut milk, it offers a buttery richness in vegan baking- a factor that is usually lacking. My goal in vegan culinary adventures is to make things taste as not vegan as possible, because as someone once put so eloquently- vegan food is gross.

One of the biggest questions I’m asked about vegan baking is how is it done without eggs? There’s tons of options, and eggs aren’t the key ingredient in non-veggie baked goodies for the finished product to rise- they’re simply there for binding. One of my favorite egg replacements in savory baked goods is the flax egg. Flax eggs provide a good dose of omega-3’s and they provide a nutty, almost almond-y taste to whatever you’re making- and they’re so easy to make! I’ll provide directions on the flax egg with the recipe below.

cornbread

So, what inspired jalapenos to go with rosemary? I suppose in my case, creativity comes when you’re running out of options. You never try anything interesting right after you go grocery shopping. The clever ideas start flowing when you’re running out of food and you have to use whatever you have left. This afternoon, I had a few sprigs of fresh rosemary I wanted to use before they dried up, and I have several jalapenos leftover from the falafel I made on Saturday. Combine those with the bulk amount of organic corn meal I have lying around, and the only viable option is to make cornbread! On to the recipe:

What you’ll need:
For the corn bread:

  • 1 c whole wheat flour
  • 1 c corn meal
  • 3/4 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tbsp plus 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 c full-fat coconut milk
  • 1/4 c extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 flax eggs
  • 2 medium jalapenos, diced
  • about 3 tbsp of fresh rosemary. If you’re using dried, reduce to a teaspoon or two.
  • 1/2 tsp or 1 clove minced garlic

To make flax eggs:

Avoid buying flax meal- it never keeps as long. Once the oils from flax seeds is let out, it can go rancid very quickly. Instead, buy your seeds whole and store them in the freezer or refrigerator and use as needed.

To make ONE flax egg, you’ll need:

  • 1 tbsp whole flax seeds (whatever color you have on hand will be just fine)
  • 3 tbsp warm water

Put the flax seeds in a magic bullet, blender, coffee grinder, mortar and pestle- whatever is available to you- and grind the flax seeds into a fine powder. Add the warm water and use a fork to whisk the flax powder and water together and then put it in the refrigerator for no less than 15 minutes to allow it to set. It will become a gel consistency. For this cornbread recipe, double the flax recipe as you’ll need two eggs.

To make the corn bread:

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees fahrenheit. If you have a cast iron skillet, I recommend using it (a 10 inch pan would be best). To make cornbread with it, put a little olive oil in the pan and heat it up on the stove top while you get everything ready. If you’re not using a cast iron skillet, get your 9×5 bread pan or 8×8 pan, or 8 in. cake pan oiled up and set it aside. Whisk together in a large bowl your flax eggs, coconut milk, garlic, jalapenos, rosemary, and olive oil. In another bowl, combine your corn meal, flour, salt, sugar, baking soda, and baking powder. Add your dry ingredients to your wet ingredients, and combine until everything is wet. Skillet users- now is the time to turn the burner off, if you haven’t already. Regardless of what your choice of pans is- pour the batter into the pan and spread it evenly, then pop it in the oven for about 35 minutes or until when poked in the center with a knife, it comes out clean.

*Note: If you’re using a very coarse grind corn meal I recommend adding about two more tablespoons of coconut milk and adding 5 minutes to the bake time to help soften those little grains up a little better.

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Filed under Baked Noms, Baking, Vegan Baking

Welcome! And a Falafel Recipe!

I’ve been sitting on this post before making it live for almost a month now, but it’s time that I actually bite the bullet and do what I’ve set out to do- create a web presence to make me feel more productive while I’m in between jobs. What I want to do with this blog is rant and rave about what healthy living means to me, happenings and goings on in my daily life, and my deepest love- food. I’ll get straight to the point today and dive right into a favorite of many: falafel with tahini sauce. To those who don’t like falafel: keep trying it until you love it, because it’s magical. Writing down my recipes is going to prove to be a bit of a challenge. I never measure anything. Even when baking I’ll add more as I go along and I’m big on taste testing. It’ll be a learning adventure for everyone! The measurements here are approximate, but maybe I’ll be able to help you become more “instinctual” with cooking. Apologies for my photography, it’s a subject I’m not exactly up to par in yet. We all have to start somewhere!

Anyway, on to the falafel. It blows my mind how anyone could be apathetic towards or actively dislike something so delicious.  


falafels

 

What you’ll need:

For the falafel:

  • 1 bag of dried garbanzo beans/chick peas (or you can use 2 cans)
  • 2-3 tbsp of flour (I used whole wheat- to make gluten free use garbanzo flour)
  • 1-2 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • about 3/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1-2 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 medium red onion, diced (I used yellow, it was fine, red is just more authentic.)
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • chili powder (optional, to taste. I usedabout a half teaspoon.)
  • 1/4 of a medium jalapeno, diced (optional. if you like the heat but want to turn it down, remove the seeds and ribs. Always use gloves or a plastic bag        on your hands when handling jalapenos!)

For the tahini sauce:

  • 1/4 cup tahini paste
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 fresh lemon
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt

To make the falafel: If you’re using dried chickpeas, soak them overnight in cold water. Make sure to submerge them in enough water to give them room to double in size and pop them in the fridge. You can allow them to sprout, just be sure to change the water twice a day to prevent bacterial growth. They should be sprouted by the second or third day. After you’ve allowed them to soak, boil them for about 90 minutes or until they’re tender all the way through. Once they’re soft, drain and rinse the beans, then allow them to cool.

Now you canned folks can join the party:

Add all ingredients to a food processor, or if you’re like me and don’t have one: a big bowl. If you’re lucky enough to have a food processor, pulse the ingredients and scrape down the sides to chop up all the chickpeas. If you’re using the old-fashioned bowl method, just take a potato masher and have at it until all the ingredients are mashed together to form a consistency that will hold itself together in patty form. Once all of your ingredients are of a chunky-paste consistency, it’s on to the patty formation. I find making flat patties about two inches across gives the best results for pan frying or crisping in the oven, but do whatever your falafel-loving heart desires. This recipe makes around 2 dozen patties, so to store them- place patties in a single layer on a cookie sheet and freeze before frying, then transfer them into airtight containers. When you’re ready to eat them, just put the frozen patties directly on the skillet- no thaw time required.

To pan-fry, get your non-stick skillet nice and hot over medium-medium high heat, then drizzle about a tablespoon of olive oil. Let it heat up, then gently (and lovingly) add your patties and fry them until they’re a nice, deep golden brown- about 6 minutes. Flip them over and give the other side the same amount of love. 

To make your tahini sauce, add equal parts of tahini paste and water. Add your sea salt and the juice of one lemon and whisk it all together until it’s a yogurt texture. The color will lighten up once you incorporate the water into the tahini paste. Taste test and if you need more salt, add a little.

Once your falafels are golden and your tahini is ready, you can put them on top of some steamed kale tossed with your tahini sauce like I did; you can put them on a slider bun with avocado, tahini sauce, tomato, and lettuce; you can put them in a pita; or you can just eat them as they are. Be creative and enjoy them!

**After making this recipe once, I wanted to try something a little different. I switched out the flour and replaced it with milled chia seeds for some extra omega 3’s, and I changed the olive oil for coconut oil. There results are delicious, and I would definitely recommend giving it a try if you’re feeling you need some healthy justification for eating falafels 🙂

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Filed under Meals, Vegan Meals, Vegetarian Meals