Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Chili & Cornbread Casserole (Vegan potluck)

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I have been making this recipe for over 20 years for my family. It started out as a cheap meal for us right after we got married. I was a server and my husband delivered pizzas back then, so, money was tight. We always had rice, cans of chili, and the cheap (2 for $1) boxes of cornbread muffin mix. I used to make this with hamburger, eggs and milk, but I have adapted it easily to a vegan recipe. 

I decided this Sunday that I would be brave and go to the once a month potluck at my church. I always skip it because I figure there is nothing for us to eat. (We are the the rural country area of North Carolina where everything is cooked in ham or covered in gravy). This time we decided to take a meal for our family and just enjoy seeing everyone and the program that followed the meal. I decided to make this recipe because it had always been a hit in the past. People had ate it many times as a omni dish and even as a vegetarian dish and never knew the difference ( I just used veggie chili). I also made my delicious Banana Pudding Pie topped with coconut whipped topping. If there was nothing else there, we could have a good meal still.

 Turns out, there was a hummus and veggie tray there that no one else really touched, but we loved it. That dish stood out here in this town...looked far too healthy to taste good I guess. Funny part was, the actual healthy dish (mine) was cleaned out. People went back for seconds! My dish was a hit. I kept hearing the cornbread topping was amazing and the dish was delicious. My pie was all gone except 2 slices, but that was a surprise too on a desert table full of southern classics like coconut custard pie and homemade chocolate cake. Definitely a success! No one even knew it was vegan!

I'm sharing this EASY vegan casserole with you all in hopes you will take it to a potluck or just share it with your family. It's a meal that won't seem "too healthy" or "odd" to share with everyone.

Chili & Cornbread Casserole: 

2 (8.5 oz.) packages of cornbread muffin mix 
2/3 cup unsweetened plant milk
6 Tbsp. aquafaba (chic pea juice )*
1 (15 oz ) can of corn, drained
2 (13 oz )cans vegan chili
1 package frozen veggie crumbles**
1 package frozen onions and peppers
3 cups cooked rice
1 tsp. Paprika
1 tsp. Cumin
1 fresh chopped jalapeño (optional )
Salt& Pepper

Preheat oven to 400°.

Cook veggie crumbles ,onions& peppers with cumin, paprika, salt and pepper over medium heat.

Mix cornbread muffin mix, plant milk, aquafaba, and 1/2 cup of corn together in a mixing bowl.

In a large mixing bowl, combine chili, rice, remaining corn, and veggie crumbles mixture. Mix well.

Spray a 13x9 casserole dish with non stick spray.

Pour chili mixture into casserole dish and top with Cornbread. Spread cornbread out evenly across chili.

Cook for 25 minutes, until cornbread is golden brown.

Serves 8

*If you don't have aquafaba, use same amount of applesauce.

**If you don't like to use "fake meats", just add 1 (15 oz.)can of drained and rinsed chic peas 

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