Smokin' Hot Vegan Vaquero Chili and Vegan Cornbread
By Linda Shiue on January 06, 2012
Many of us are resolving to begin the new year with healthier diets. I have resolved to serve more vegetarian and vegan meals to my family this year and forever. Today happens to be National Bean Day, so what better meal to serve than a smoky, spicy chili with some special and beautiful beans?
I recently discovered the beautiful Vaquero beans from Rancho Gordo. For those of you unfamiliar with the brilliant products offered by Rancho Gordo, it is a Napa, California company owned by Steve Sando, who is dedicated to preserving heirloom beans from the New World/Latin America.
Vaquero beans, also known as Orca beans, are a playful black and white, looking to me like a cow. Rancho Gordo describes them as a cousin to the Anasazi bean. They’re fun to cook with, because even after cooking and giving off an inky pot liquor, they maintain their dappled markings. They're perfect for a meatless chili suitable for cowboys and cowgirls, and safe for cows, too. If you have trouble obtaining these lovely beans, pinto beans make a fine, though less exciting, substitute.
I serve this cow-friendly chili with cornbread, natch, and in keeping with my vegan, plant-based theme (sure to be unrecognizable by Texans), I am using an excellent recipe from Isa Chandra of the PostPunkKitchen.
* * *
Smokin’ Hot Vegan Vaquero Chili
8 oz dried Vaquero beans, soaked overnight
1 14.5 oz can diced fire roasted tomatoes
1-2 chipotles in adobo, finely diced
1/2 onion, finely diced
1/2 bell pepper, finely diced
1 carrot, finely diced
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp cayenne
5 cups water
salt to taste
optional garnishes: chopped cilantro, shredded cheese
1. After beans have been soaked, drain from soaking liquid and set aside.
2. Prepare all vegetables and fry in a heavy pot with a tablespoon of canola oil. Stir and fry for about 5 minutes until vegetables have softened.
3. Add cumin and cayenne and fry for another minute.
4. Add beans, tomatoes, water and oregano, and bring to a boil. Then lower heat and simmer for 1 hour, or until beans are soft.
5. Add salt to taste.
6. Ladle into bowls and top with garnishes, if desired. Serve with cornbread (recipe follows).
* * *
from The Post Punk Kitchen, by Isa Chandra
Makes 12 to 16 squares
2 cups cornmeal
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 cup canola oil
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 cups soymilk
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1. Preheat oven to 350, line a 9×13 baking pan with parchment paper or spray the bottom lightly with non-stick cooking spray.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the soymilk and the vinegar and set aside.
3. In a large bowl, sift together the dry ingredients (cornmeal, flour, baking powder and salt).
4. Add the oil and maple syrup to the soymilk mixture. Whisk with a wire whisk until it is foamy and bubbly, about 2 minutes.
5. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix together using a large wooden spoon or a firm spatula. Pour batter into the prepared baking pan and bake 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Slice into squares and serve warm or store in an airtight container.
-Linda, Spicebox Travels
Follow me on Twitter @spiceboxtravels
Join me on Twitter for #LetsLunch today for some other tasty and creative chili recipes.
More Like This
Recent Posts by Linda Shiue
Most Popular on BlogHer
All October, you can help support breast cancer awareness by rounding up your JCPenney purchases to the nearest dollar. Contributions will be donated to JCPenney Cares to directly fund programs supporting breast cancer awareness, including The Breast Cancer Research Foundation® and The National Breast Cancer Foundation®. Read more