How to: Vegetarian Chili & Jalepeno Cheddar Cornbread

Beans beans the magical fruit…the more you eat, the more you…

add plant-based protein and fibre to your diet!


The intention of todays post was to share a delicious and easy recipe for a meatless main using beans.  (Shout out to my colleague and dedicated blog follower Lynn who inspired this recipe with her ‘What can I do with beans?’ question).

On a whim, instead of popping a slice of whole grain bread in the toaster for a side, I decided to try and whip up a cornbread.   I’ve previously described my baking talent (as in none) so I figured this would be a miss. I also assumed it wouldn’t be blog-able because I found a recipe to try and essentially changed the entire thing.

Well… let me tell you.  Miss it WASN’T! So today is two recipes for the price of one day! (um yes, they are both free to begin with.)

side note: this very rarely works, so please do not take your baking cues from me.

I really like this combo of veg – the celery adds a little texture since the other ingredients get quite soft during cooking.

If you’re looking at this and thinking ‘chickpeas AGAIN!?’ don’t fret, please use whatever type of bean or legume you like.  Kidney beans are a classic chili choice, i just didn’t happen to have any.

I like a kick of heat in my chili, but it’s not for everyone.  Buying a mild chili powder will allow you to add any type and level of heat you like: fresh or pickled jalepenos, sriracha, cayenne pepper, red pepper flakes, rocket fuel, whatevs.

Tomato paste is the secret to a richer tomato flavour.

Most recipe for cornbread that I found were made with buttermilk.  I made my own since I’m not in the habit of buying it.

Without a doubt, these are the hottest pickled jalepenos I’ve ever tasted.  I made a big batch of them this year and haven’t made it through the first jar yet.  In total, I used 6 slices for both the chili and the cornbread. You read right, slices.

I used my naturally non-stick cast iron skillet for the cornbread. A 9″ square baking dish or loaf pan would work well too, but would have to be greased (mmm, an opportunity for butter), and the cooking time will likely vary.

Vegetarian Chili

Serves 6-8
Prep time 15 minutes
Cook time 30 minutes
Total time 45 minutes


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 Medium onion (chopped)
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 2 stalks celery (chopped)
  • 1 Medium green pepper (chopped)
  • 2 Medium zucchini (chopped)
  • 3 cups mushrooms (sliced)
  • 1 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 19 ounce can chickpeas/ kidney beans (undrained)
  • 1 19 ounce can black beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2-4 tablespoons chili powder


  • fresh/pickled jalepenos, chill flakes, cayenne pepper or hot sauce (to taste)


1. Heat olive oil over medium heat in a heavy bottomed pot or dutch oven
2. Add onion, celery, garlic and sauté until softened. About 5 minutes
3. Add mushroom, peppers and zucchini and cook for another 3-5 minutes.
4. Add the remainder of the ingredients, reduce heat to low and simmer, covered for at least 15 minutes and up to an hour.

Jalepeno Cheddar Corn Bread

Serves 8
Prep time 10 minutes
Cook time 25 minutes
Total time 35 minutes


  • 1 and 2/3 cup corn meal
  • 1/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 2 Large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 and 1/2 cup old cheddar cheese (finely grated)
  • 1 tablespoon pickled jalepeno (finely minced)


To make your own buttermilk add 1 Tbsp white vinegar to 1 cup of milk (anything but skim) and wait 5 minutes. voila!



1. Preheat oven and cast iron pan to 375F
2. Add dry ingredients to a medium bowl and combine well
3. In a separate bowl or large glass measuring cup, whisk together buttermilk, eggs and honey
4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredient bowl and stir to combine. Add cheese and jalepenos and stir again to combine.
5. Pour batter into preheated cast iron pan, and bake for 20-25 until top is very slightly golden and toothpick barely comes out clean.




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