The Meatless Monday Project: Cajun Cornbread Casserole

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Okay. So I’m a horrible blogger. I get it. 

I’ve been taking the move sort of hard. I just don’t have the circle of friends I used to in Austin, and therefore less mouths to feed. I know the old saying, excuses are like —Holes, so I’ll spare you the gory deets, beyond saying that I’m rather a lonely lil vegan at the moment. Either way, I digress. 

 

So, my sister and I make jokes about the one time she tried to convert her brood to veganism (no seriously, I say brood with no sarcasm, it’s her, her husband, and SIX kids!!) anyway; they had a really hard time figuring out what to eat, and somehow decided to feel sorry for me and my (lack of) food choices. Either way, this was the seed that started the idea for the Meatless Monday Project, at least within our family. 

Basically, I try to figure out what to feed her and her family, in the hopes of changing their minds about veganism. 

So, we’ve done this a few weeks now, but I suck and haven’t written about it. I remember what I made, but I don’t have pretty pictures, so I’ll write those posts later.

So these recipes are based on the idea that…well.. southern food is delicious and filling. A storm or cold front or something has the weather slightly less sweltering hot, so I decided to make a more heavy meal.  The base for the casserole is pretty standard jambalaya, with extra meatyness and I threw beans in. Then I just made mexican style cornbread and baked it on top. What I like about this recipe is it’s totally modifiable. Use no-chicken or vegetable broth, use less meat, make regular cornbread instead of spicy, or alter as you see fit. I trust you~

Jambalaya base: Note* I’m baking for a large crowd like I said, so seriously, half this if you want.
2 cans diced tomato (I used rotel and then regular)
2 cans tomato sauc 1.5 packages of vegan sausage
2 packs chicken style seitan
1 package tempeh (just because I love the stuff)
1 onion
2 cloves garlic
3 tablespoons dried minced onion
1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes
1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
No-beef, no-chicken, or vegetable bouillon, enough to broth up the water!
salt to taste
3 bay leaf
2 c Brown rice

Cornbread topping (adapted from Isa’s theppk.com) recipe
2 c cornmeal
1.5 c unbleached all-purpose flour
3 teaspoon baking powder
2/3 c canola oil
3 tbsp agave
3 c soymilk
3 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
2 Jalapeno peppers, seeded
1 orange bell pepper, seeded
1 anaheim pepper, seeded

In a the largest saucepan you can find, sauté onion and garlic until translucent. throw in the rice, and let it get coated with oil and start to brown. Throw in your meat substitutes and let em sauté and soak up the onion and garlic flavor. Throw in your dried seasoning, and after mixing well, add water or vegetable stock. Stir well and let simmer while rice cooks. Image

This should be about the consistency your going for. Add liquid if you need to. Also, I threw some frozen okra in there because I love the stuff.

So let the rice cook all the way, about 45 minutes. Prep your cornbread topping. Add soy milk and apple cider vinegar and let it curdle for about 3 minutes. Meanwhile, mix dry ingredients. Cut peppers into small pieces and sauté until soft. Slowly stir milk mixture into dry ingredients, add agave. Fold in sautéed peppers. 

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If you’re anything like me, at this point you’re starting to get stoked. It’s okay. We’re almost there. Take your jambalaya mix, with fully cooked rice, and pour it in a greased casserole dish. 

ImageJust for perspective, in case anyone has any doubts about how huge this recipe is. That stock pot was SOOOOSOOO heavy!

ImageLooking good yeah?

Okay, so more fun pouring action. Take cornbread batter and pour it across soup mixture. 

ImageAwesome. So bake at 350 for 35 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. 

Let cool, and then slice and serve. I poured a million gallons of hot sauce on here, and it still wasn’t too spicy. 

ImageServed with southern style greens, fried okra, and some extra beans we had already cooked. Either way, it went over a lot better than I expected. 

So a couple of funny pictures taken along the way: 

ImageTold you it was a big pot! tiptoes! 

ImageTaking myself entirely too seriously while stirringImage

 

then laughing when it was pointed out.Image

The heathen way I close my oven.

 

 

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