Cornbread is a silly and deceptive name for such an indulgence—it sounds like it’s a vegetable, with the “bread” part as an afterthought.  Of course, cornbread—oozing with butter and honey, mmmm–is about as far from a vegetable as you can get while using mostly plant-based ingredients.  I’m sure you can guess where this is going—to an easy, low-fat, much more healthful version, with even more flavor than the indulgent original.  The result is both sweet and savory, and equally delicious topped with honey or hot sauce.

I found the inspiration for this recipe on 101 Cookbooks, which is a great site for recipes (both vegan and not).  The original uses caramelized onions and parmesan, which would be delicious.  Next time, I’ll caramelize some onion and enhance the sweet aspects of the bread.

Crunchy Sweet and Savory Cornbread

1 1/2 cups cornmeal (I used Bob’s Red Mill polenta)


1 red bell pepper, diced

1 green bell pepper, diced

2/3 cup frozen corn kernels

Cinnamon, cayenne, salt

Splash olive oil

3 cups water

  1. Preheat oven to 400
  2. Combine 1.5 cups water with the cornmeal and a dash of salt; set aside.
  3. Heat splash of olive oil in a pan.  Add peppers and cook on medium-high heat, until the peppers start to soften and char a bit.  Add corn and heat through.  Set aside.
  4. Heat remaining 1.5 cups water to a boil.  Add the cornmeal mixture and return to a boil, stirring and cooking until it thickens quite a bit (like a heavy batter).
  5. Combine cornmeal and veggies in a bowl.  Add spices like cinnamon, cayenne, additional salt, until it smells delicious.  If you want to enhance the sweet side of things, you could try adding a tablespoon or two of brown sugar.
  6. Pour into an oil-sprayed 9×12 casserole, smooth the top, and bake for 40-50 minutes, or until the bread is browning and getting crispy on the sides and edges.  Expect the bread to be thin–only 1/2″ thick or so–which makes each piece seem like a thick cookie, crisp on the outside and soft on the inside.  YUM!

I treated this as a dessert and topped it with honey.


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