Around our house, it's a guarantee that half of us are coming as the other half are going. Work, school, sports schedules,church activities- and 5 of us with social lives- makes putting a healthy, hot dinner on the table a little complicated. We rely a lot on tacos- which transition into taco salad, taco soup, and finally what ever scraps of leftovers remain, into burritos. The timing was perfect, when one child sighed "I'm so sick of tacos!" that the weather changed, and tacos could be put away (sort of) for the fall, and chili could make its entrance.
The beautiful thing, too, is that even the man of the house makes a killer chili. The kids beg for it. It goes in lunches the next day, and on nachos the day after that. Because everyone needs a go-to chili recipe, I'll share ours with you- but the star of the show here is the side dish. Cornbread.
We've taken it up a notch, and made a pumpkin cornbread- rustic, homey, comforting, delicious. It's slightly sweet, using molasses (any excuse to use molasses is a good one- yum), and though no one would know it, this recipe is vegan and gluten free.
It makes me happy to bake the cornbread in a cast iron skillet, because it just feel so much more... homemade... as if that skillet imparts a tiny bit of Little House on the Prairie and all it's goodness into my kids. And sometimes we need a little extra goodness!
Our favorite way to gobble this cornbread up is with a smear of butter and drizzle of honey- I know people that like to put theirs in the bottom of their bowl and ladle chili on top! Whichever way you like it, we know you'll love it!
Pumpkin Molasses Cornbread - serves 8
1 1/4 cups cornmeal
1 cup gluten free flour (or white whole wheat)
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ginger
3/4 cups pumpkin puree
1 flax or regular large egg (flax egg = 1 tablespoon flax + 3 tablespoons water)
1 cup milk (your choice)
3 tablespoons blackstrap molasses
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
1. Preheat oven to 400
2. Combine cornmeal through ginger in a large bowl. Stir or whisk to combine.
3. Combine pumpkin through coconut oil in a bowl. Stir to combine.
4. Add pumpkin mixture to cornmeal mixture. Stir until just combined.
5. Pour into a cast iron pan or lightly oiled 9x9" baking dish.
6. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Let cool on a wire rack briefly before serving.
225 calories, 5g fat, 41g carbohydrates, 2g fiber, 4g protein