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Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Simple Cast Iron Cornbread and Chili

This has been my favorite go-to winter meal, for two years in a row. You can easily double the chili recipe to feed a crowd, which makes it the perfect take-along for parties. The chili also freezes well, so it’s a great meal to have ready any time.

Dairy Free Cornbread
Prep: 5-10 mins
Cook: 19-22 mins

This is intended for a 10 inch cast iron skillet. However, a cake pan would likely work just fine. Do not attempt the preheating method in Step 1 with a cake pan.

1 cup corn meal
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 1/2 tsp. Baking Powder
4 Tbs Sugar
1/4 tsp. Salt
2 eggs
1 cup dairy-free milk (almond, oat, rice, or coconut)
1/4 cup melted coconut oil

1. Preheat oven to 400° F. If a crispy crust is desired, preheat your skillet in the oven for 10-15 mins, with 1 Tbs of vegetable oil in the pan. Before pouring in batter, swirl the oil around to coat the pan well.

2. Combine all ingredients in medium mixing bowl and stir well to combine.

3. Pour batter into oiled cast iron skillet and bake for 19-22 mins

To make Gluten Free: Substitute your favorite Gluten Free flour blend for the all purpose flour. My favorite is King Arthur's Measure-For-Measure. To make Vegan: Omit the eggs and add 1/2 of a mashed banana

Weeknight Chili
Prep: 15 mins.
Cook: 3-8 hours in slow cooker, or 30 mins in pressure cooker (Instant Pot)

16 oz each of the following beans (already cooked, canned works fine): black beans, pinto beans, and kidney beans
2 medium tomatoes, diced (or one can)
16 oz tomato sauce
1/2 small white onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced (or 2 tsp garlic powder)
1 Tbs Cumin
1 Tbs Chili Powder (use less or more, depending on how much spice you like)
1 Tbs seasoned salt
3 Tbs brown sugar (seems weird but trust me)
Optional: 1-1.5 lb ground beef or turkey, browned and seasoned with salt and pepper

1. If using meat, brown it in a skillet or directly in your pressure cooker, drain any fat

2. Combine all ingredients in slow cooker or pressure cooker

3. Slow cook on LOW for 7-8 hours, or HIGH for 3-4 hours. If using a pressure cooker, cook on Medium for 30 mins

Other Delicious Variations of this Chili to Try:
-omit the sugar and add one small sweet potato, diced
-serve the chili over baked potatoes instead of corn bread
-garnish with avocado, shredded cheese, sour cream, and corn chips instead of corn bread
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