Cornbread Casserole with Stewed Tomatoes

Though it sounds complex, this recipe takes about 15 minutes of prep work, then bakes for about an hour, leaving plenty of time to step away and (hopefully) relax before dinner’s on the table.

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Cornbread Casserole with Stewed Tomatoes

For the cornbread casserole:
3 3/4 cups (900mL) fresh corn kernels
2 1/4 cups (520mL) vegan “buttermilk” (see Note)
1/4 cup (60mL) nondairy buttery spread, melted
2 tablespoons (30mL) coconut oil, melted
1 tablespoon (15mL) agave nectar
1 cup (240mL) stone-ground cornmeal (I use Bob’s Red Mill, which is made in their GF facility)
3 tablespoons (45mL) arrowroot flour
1 tablespoon (15mL) baking powder
1/4 teaspoon (2mL) fine sea or Himalayan salt

Stewed Tomatoes
3 pounds (3161g) roma tomatoes, peeled (optional), and chopped
1 large green pepper, chopped
1 large yellow onion, chopped
Handful fresh basil
Sea or Himalayan salt to taste
Freshly ground pepper to taste

If desired, peel the tomatoes before using. To do this, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Insert the tomatoes and boil for 2 minutes. Put a colander in the sink and pour the tomatoes into the colander to drain. Rinse briefly with cold water. The skins will slip right off.

Put the chopped tomatoes, green pepper, onion, and basil in a large pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce to medium-low heat and simmer until vegetables are cooked through and the mixture has slightly thickened, about 30 minutes. If preparing with the casserole, I just simmer the mixture until the casserole is finished.

Note: To make the vegan buttermilk, put 2 tablespoons (30mL) cider vinegar in a measuring up. Add nondairy milk to total 2 1/4 cups (520mL). Let stand 3 minutes, until curdled.

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Corn, Kale, and Veggie Soup

Chilly weather means soup is on the menu… when I bother making it. I love soup but can definitely get repetitive in my soup making. Using up what was left in my CSA, this soup bridges summer and fall with sweet corn, kale, and autumn-inspired herbs.

Corn, Kale and Veggie Soup

1 tablespoon coconut oil
3 large stalks celery, finely chopped
1 large carrot, finely chopped
4 red pimento peppers (or any small red pepper, these were just in my CSA box), finely chopped
4 corn-on-the-cobs, husked and kernels removed; reserve the cobs
2 medium zucchini, chopped
1/2 teaspoon dried ground sage
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
6 handfuls chopped kale, chopped
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil
2 tablespoons coconut flour

Heat the coconut oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the celery, carrots, and peppers. Cook until softened. Add the kernels and continue to cook until they start to brown, about 5 more minutes. Add the zucchini, oregano, sage, and thyme, and a healthy dose of salt and pepper (if you are using broth, you might want to wait and just add a sprinkle). Mix well. Add the cobs of the corn and about 8 to 10 cups of water, until the mixture is covered. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer and cook, as long or as little as you’d like, but at least until the veggies are soft and tender. The longer it sits, the more flavorful it will be. This is where I shut it off and left my house for about 10 hours. Sort of like a slow cooker… sort of.

About 30 minutes before serving, remove the lid, remove the cobs, and use an immersion blender to pulse sections of the soup, depending how pureed you’d like it. Stir in the kale and basil. Adjust liquids if needed. Bring to a boil then simmer, covered, until the kale is tender. Stir in the coconut flour to thicken it up (adding more or less, depending on what you prefer). Cook about 5 additional minutes. Adjust seasonings to taste.