Friday, January 19, 2007

Cornbread Chili Pie

Another item in our Lightlife box was their Smart Ground, which as you might expect is sort of a ground beef substitute. I'm not sure if you could do burgers or meatballs or the like with this stuff but I figured it'd be good in a chili or bolognese sauce or something like that. In fact I may have used this product or something like it a long time ago to make a shepherd's pie. And I guess that's sort of what we ended up with tonight - but a Tex/Mex version. Winter is finally here with a vengeance (and it looks to be hanging around a while) so I figured chili and cornbread would make for a hearty, warming meal. Then I figured I could combine the two and off I went. We had a little bit of cauliflower that we needed to use up so I chopped that into small pieces and put it in a cast iron skillet with some canola oil and a diced onion and carrot. Then I added some garlic, then the smart ground and some chili powder and cumin. By this point things were starting to stick to the pan so I loosened everything up with a little veggie broth before finishing it off with a small can of diced tomatoes.

Meanwhile I had mixed up a cornbread batter using a slightly tweaked version of the recipe in Peter Berley's The Modern Vegetarian Kitchen. I gently spread the batter on top of the mixture in my skillet and put the whole thing into a 350° oven for about 25 minutes. The result was very good indeed - a little like a chili and a bit like a shepherd's pie.


springsandwells said...

Hi Chris!
Oh yummy. That MexiPie looks very good. So good I might even make one myself! I think it's neat that you are trying all these different Lightlife products. I have tried a few of their different things, and pretty much always found them to be quite tasty and a worthy substitute. I hardly ever use fake meats, but it's fun every once in a while, especially if you find a neat looing meat recipe that you could veganize or something. Anyhow, thanks for all the reviews, and especially for this tasty idea!

Chris said...

Hi Amey! I agree with you on the faux meats - not a staple in our kitchen but fun every once in a while.

Mike said...

Since I still crave meat, even after years of a mostly vegetarian diet, I lean heavily on meat substitutes. The Smart Ground is definitely one of the best substitutes available. I love it in chili, meat sauce, and shepard's pie and when we serve it meat eaters, they're perfectly content.

Chris said...

Thanks for the comment Mike. I craved meat occasionally for a year or two after giving it up but now I find it thoroughly revolting. Maybe you'll get there eventually but in the meantime I'm glad the Smart Ground works well for you. It's good to have that option available.