One of the earliest healthy staples I incorporated into my diet was vegetarian chili. I've become more creative in the kitchen over the years and have now expanded upon my repertoire of chilies, which include some oven baked variations. This Mexican-style baked cornmeal chili is a meal onto itself. I used kidney beans and black beans here, but feel free to use chickpeas and or/ pinto beans if desired.
Cornmeal-Crusted Kidney Bean and Black Bean Chili
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 large carrot, diced
6 mushrooms, sliced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 large Jalapeno, finely diced
1 green chili, finely diced
1 hot red chili, finely diced
1/2 teaspoon of paprika
1 tablespoon of chili powder
2 teaspoons of ground coriander
2 teaspoons of ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon of ground mustard
1/2 teaspoon of cayenne
3 large tomatoes, finely chopped
1 2/3 cup of cooked red kidney beans (2/3 cup dried)
1 2/3 cup of cooked black beans (2/3 cup dried)
1 - 2 tablespoons of fresh parsley, finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon of freshly cracked black pepper
1 cup of unbleached white flour
3/4 cup of cornmeal
1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder
1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
1/2 teaspoon of sea salt
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup of buttermilk
1/2 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup of sour cream
Grease a 13 X 9 glass baking dish.
In a large pot, heat the oil over medium heat. When hot, add the onion and cook for a few minutes. Add the carrot and mushrooms and cook for another 5 minutes or so. Now add the spices, garlic, Jalapeno, and chillies and stir and fry for 1 minute.
Add the tomatoes to the pot, along with the beans, chopped parsley and black pepper. Cook for another 5 minutes or so, or until the chili is nice and thick. Transfer the contents to the prepared baking dish.
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In another bowl, combine the eggs, buttermilk, cheese and sour cream. Stir into the dry ingredients until just combined.
Pour the batter over the vegetables, spreading it evenly with a spatula. Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for 25 - 30 minutes, or until the topping is golden brown.
Serves 6 - 8.