Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Black Bean Cornbread Pie

Sorry, but before I get to the recipe I'm gonna get all political on you again. This is probably in part because we may have some Vegetarian Times readers lurking here at the moment and also because of my mom - who just told me she doesn't understand what the problem is with eating eggs. Our phone conversation then went in another direction but to answer the question I'll cut and paste from the FAQ section on vegan.com:
Some vegetarians believe their choices don't hurt laying hens and dairy cows. However, vegetarians who eat eggs contribute to the death of 200 million male chicks each year. Since there is no such thing as a "layer rooster," these animals serve no purpose in the egg industry and are killed shortly after hatching. Most layer hens are kept five to a tiny battery cage, where they must stand and sleep on a wire floor 24 hours a day. Living under these horrendous conditions, a hen needs about 30 hours to lay just one egg. Even though a chicken can live five years, most hens are killed before their second birthday because their egg production declines with age.
There's also some info, complete with references and pictures, on the Vegan Outreach site.

So that's why there aren't any eggs in the cornbread topping on this black bean-veggie pot pie. This is something we used to make fairly regularly but it's obviously been a while since we've done it since it hasn't shown up here yet. It's easy to tweak to your liking but this is what we did this time. It's adapted from the Beyond the Moon Cookbook by Ginny Callan.

2 Tbs. canola oil
3 1/2 c. cooked black beans (or 2 cans, drained and rinsed)
1 medium onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 carrot, diced
1 jalapeño, minced (or more to taste)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbs. chili powder
1 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. salt, or to taste (depends on how much salt is in your tomatoes)
fresh ground black pepper
1/2 c. fresh or frozen corn kernels
1 14-oz. can crushed tomatoes (or use a large can if you want it more tomato-y)
1/2 c. chopped fresh cilantro

For the cornbread topping:
3/4 c. all-purpose flour
3/4 c. cornmeal
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2/3 c. plain soymilk
1/4 c. corn oil or canola oil
1 Tbs. agave or maple syrup
2 scallions, finely minced

In a large oven-proof pot, cook the onions, bell pepper, carrot and jalapeño in oil until the veggies start to get soft. Add garlic, chili powder, cumin, salt & pepper and cook another minute or so, then add tomatoes and corn, mix well and bring to a simmer. Turn the heat to low, preheat the oven to 375° and make the cornbread topping. Mix the flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt together in a bowl, then mix together the soymilk, oil and agave in another bowl. Add wet to dry, mix until just combined, then fold in the scallions.

Now mix the cilantro into the black beans, turn off the heat on the stovetop and carefully spread the cornbread batter on top of the black bean mixture. Pop the whole thing into the oven and bake for 25 minutes. We served ours with a little guac on top.

Note that you can also pour the black bean mixture into a casserole dish, spread the cornbread batter on top and bake it that way.


Cherie said...

I agree - no need for eggs. Black beans and corn are a good combination.

the pleasantly plump vegan said...

eggs were the easiest things to not eat when i went vegan. especially if you love to cook and bake at home. plus with all the allergy labelling now, its easy to spot eggs in store bought products.
my hubby eats something with black beans and corn every week! loves that combo.

bazu said...

I'm a little late catching up to blogs, but I just want to congratulate you guys on the Veg. Times mention! Woo!

I think the question of eggs is one of the most misunderstood out there- people think that it's natural for chickens to lay hundreds of eggs, and don't realize the conditions of battery farms and the stunted lives that these chickens lead. Eggs are probably a crueler thing to eat than meat, if you could quantify that sort of thing. It's pretty sad.

Melisser; the Urban Housewife said...

That sounds delicious!

VegBanger said...

I love this kind of no-eggs brilliant recipes! Thanks for sharing it. I promoted it on VegBang:


Veg-a-Nut said...

I get the same question all the time. I tell them if it had a mother or a face I do not eat it! They just don't understand.

Your dish looks delish! I have made a similar dish before, but I like your version with black beans. Thanks for sharing.

VeggieGirl said...

here's to egg-free, dairy-free, cruelty-free, VEGAN cornbread pies!! looks delicious!!

Vegan_Noodle said...

Glad you posted that information. So many people ask me "what's wrong with free range eggs and organic milk?". I should just tattoo that response to my forehead for future reference.

Cornbread and black beans together sounds like perfect harmony....

alexanderkahn said...

I think it would be useful for you to go into the meaninglessness (in terms of animal cruelty) of organic and cage-free eggs. Cage-free has a very limited definition, and certainly doesn't mean cruelty-free. Buying eggs locally from small farms, on the other hand, is another story altogether.

Anonymous said...

I'm just curious what your opinion on free run eggs are... or eggs obtained from small-scale neighbourhood farmers whose chickens lead long, free lives...?

Chris said...

I agree that eggs from local small farms are different from those at your local mega-mart, but I wouldn't eat such eggs myself. I've been living quite well for many years now without eggs so I see no reason to use them even if they are from "happy" chickens.

For us it's pretty easy to avoid using eggs at home and we really don't miss them at all. It's slightly more difficult avoiding the eggs that are in baked goods that someone brings to work, or when eating out, etc. but those certainly aren't "humanely" raised, so when I think about the ethical basis for my veganism then again, it becomes easy to avoid such things.

SallyT said...

I was trying to decide what to have for dinner this evening when I looked at your blog--there it was! My family all liked it and no one asked about eggs. Thanks for the recipe.

springsandwells said...

Hoorah for no eggs. I stopped eating eggs years before I became vegan. I was so excited to discover the world of egg-free baking.

I've had my eye on a very similar recipe to this one for a while. I'm not sure if I'll get around to making it before I leave for India, but sometime soon!


THANK YOU! I got my special booklet in the mail today, I love it! The color pictures are awesome. That alone is a great reason to do it on the computer. It looks fantastic. I"m so old-school that it seems easier to me to do with all my pens and pencils and white out and such. :) The recipes look so good - I can't wait to try them out! also, I loved that you reused the envelope. Tres cool!

jogs6000 said...

Thanks for the recipe! Because I don't have an oven, I adapted your recipe and made the beans just the way you say. Here's a photo!

Tracey Townsend said...

Thank you so much for writing this blog. I am a struggling vegan myself--it's much easier for me to be vegetarian--but aftering reading Jonathan Safran Foer's evidence of animal cruelty and just plain health concerns in eating any animal products, I would love to try to be vegan. This blog should help me do that! Thanks!