Recipe Review: Cajun Cornbread Casserole

2 Jan

I love all things Cajun food and one of my specialties in the kitchen is cornbread, so when this recipe for Cajun Cornbread Casserole caught my eye, I knew that I would try it as soon as possible.  This recipe is vegan and very easy to make.

*Today’s recipe is care of Fork Over Knives/Everyday Happy Herbivore.

 

Serves 4

Ingredients:

•    15 oz diced tomatoes (undrained) •    1 small onion, diced •    2 celery stalks, minced •    3 garlic cloves, minced •    1 bell pepper, seeded and diced •    2 tbsp Cajun seasoning (*I used one in the skillet mixture and two dashes in the cornmeal mixture) •    15 oz kidney beans, drained and rinsed •    1 cup cornmeal •    1 ½ tsp baking powder •    pinch salt (I omitted the salt) •    1-2 tbsp raw sugar (optional; I used 1 tbsp., but would use more next time) •    ¾ cup nondairy milk (*I used silk soy milk) •    ¼ c unsweetened applesauce

Note: Any bell pepper will work here, but green bell peppers will provide the most authentic experience since they are a key part of the “holy trinity” in Cajun cuisine.

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 400F. Place non-stick or parchment paper on a square 8 or 9-inch baking pan or casserole dish.

Drain tomato juices into a skillet and chop tomatoes into smaller pieces, and set aside.

Add water as necessary until a thin layer of liquid covers the skillet.

Sauté onion, celery, garlic and bell peppers over high heat until onions are translucent, bell peppers are tender and all of the water has evaporated, about 4 minutes.

 

 

Turn off heat and mix in 1-2 tbsp Cajun seasoning, tomatoes and kidney beans, stirring to combine, and set side.

In a small mixing bowl, whisk cornmeal, baking powder, salt and additional Cajun seasoning if desired (several dashes so the flour looks speckled when stirred). You can also add 1-2 tbsp of sugar for a sweet cornbread topping. Then stir in nondairy milk and applesauce. It should be thick, but spreadable like hummus and not dry.

 

 

Pour bean mixture into your baking dish and pat down firmly with a spatula.

 

 

Spread cornbread mixture on top and bake 30-35 minutes, or until the cornbread is a deep golden, cracked and firm to the touch.

 

 

Let sit out for about 15 minutes before serving (it continues to firm as it cools). Serve with hot sauce, such as Tabasco, on the table.

 

 

Nutrition Information (per serving): 269 Calories, 1.9g Fat, 54.3g Carbohydrates, 10.9g Fiber, 11.1g Sugars, 11.6g Protein

 

Result:  This recipe is very simple to make and includes easy to find ingredients.  It is also very delicious and absolutely has a “Cajun” flavor.  This dish gets points for including the “Holy Trinity” of Cajun cooking without sacrificing on taste.  I also like that this is a very healthy casserole and low-calorie.  However, if you are watching your sodium intake, do not add the salt (I did not) and watch how much Creole seasoning you add because it is very sodium-rich as well.  This is a perfect meal for colder nights and is one of the better healthy comfort foods I’ve ever made.  I would make this again and again.

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