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Sweet and Spicy Crock Pot Chili with Maple Skillet Corn Bread

What you need: 

Chili:
1 (14 ounce) package vegan sausage, crumbled (I use Gimme Lean)
2 (28 ounce) cans crushed tomatoes
1 (3 ounce) can tomato paste
1 cup barbecue sauce
1 red onion, diced
4 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon cayenne
2 teaspoons sugar
2 (15 ounce) cans chili beans, drained
1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained Maple Skillet Cornbread:
2 1/2 cups cornmeal
2 cups whole wheat flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups nondairy milk
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1/2 cup oil
2 cups corn kernels

What you do: 

1. Brown vegan sausage in skillet. In a large crockpot, combine all chili ingredients. Cook on desired "smart pot" setting or at medium high for 3 hours.
2. For cornbread, preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients and mix well. In a smaller bowl, do the same for the wet ingredients. Mix in corn.
3. Pour the wet into the dry, and stir until just mixed. Set aside for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, take a well oiled skillet and heat over medium heat until hot. Pour in the batter and smooth. Drizzle with more syrup for pretty browning.
4. Bake for 30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

Preparation Time: 
30 minutes
Cooking Time: 
Servings: 
12
Recipe Category: 

SO HOW'D IT GO?

I made the chili and the cornbread on separate occasions. The chili was ok-- the barbecue sauce flavor was overwhelming, even after my husband added an entire extra can of diced tomatoes to try to dilute it a bit. The cornbread recipe made a *ton* of batter, and I had at least two cups' worth left over after filling my cast-iron skillet. The cornbread was quite crumbly-- perhaps an egg substitute would help it stick together better?-- and the flavor, while not bad, was definitely not as good as other vegan cornbread I've had.

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