Black Bean Chilli & Vegan Cornbread Loaf


That title is surely stuff dreams are made of and yet I am even hesitant to post this two parter recipe for several reasons.

Remember when I said I was trying to chillax when it came to my blogging? Not putting myself under too much strain? Pffftt, who am I kidding! I'm fairly certain all my fellow perfectionists out there would agree that is easier said than done. Would I be right? Nod in agreement.

So, the lighting in my new flat is essentially pants. Couple that with having to shoot all my photies at night and you get a batch of pretty dreadful shots of food looking either anaemic or at the very least underwhelming - there's only so much my limited photography skills and fancy dslr can do!

Nether the less, I shall upload this anyway because, quite frankly, it's a little winner. The cornbread - which I am still perfecting - was a peculiarly massive hit, particularly with the Hubster and the chilli was made even more delectable with the addition of dark chocolate. Of no great surprise to many of you I am sure, chocolate and cocoa are magnificent additions to any great Chilli.

I hope then that you will forgive the below par photos and instead merely enjoy the food. After all, that's what really matters.

Black Bean Chilli

1 onion, diced

2 peppers (1 red, 1 yellow), roughly chopped

400g or approx 2 cups chopped canned tomatoes

1 tbsp tomato puree

400g/approx 2 cups cooked black beans

3 minced garlic cloves

1 red chilli, de-seeded, sliced and chopped finely

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp chipotle powder

1/2 tsp chilli powder

1/4 tsp smoked paprika

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

splash of vegan worcester sauce

few drops of tabasco

4-6 small squares of best dark chocolate

pinch of sugar

salt and pepper


heat a little oil in a heavy based saucepan. add the onion, season and allow to sweat for several minutes before adding cumin and then the peppers. clamp on lid.soften the onion and pepper for a few more minutes before adding the garlic and chilli.

stir in the tomato puree until everything is coated before adding the tomatoes. add a pinch of sugar and the remainder of the spices, worcester and tabasco sauces, season, stir to incorporate and simmer for around 20mins.

tumble in the beans, season, taste for spice and add a little more chilli powder is necessary. simmer for a further 15-20mins and then just before serving stir through the chocolate. the sauce will turn thick and glossy. close lid and allow everything to amalgamate before serving.

serve with freshly chopped cilantro (coriander), sliced avocado and cholula hot sauce. tortilla chips go well with this dish, as well as.....

Vegan Cornbread Loaf

1 cup finely ground polenta (this is crucial - it must be fine ground)

1 cup plain all purpose organic white flour

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

2 tsp salt

1 tbsp ground black pepper

1/2 cup sweetcorn puree

1/2 cup sweetcorn kernels (canned or frozen but obvs. thawed)

3 tomatoes, de-seeded and chopped

1 cup soya milk

1/4 cup water

1/4 cup maple syrup, agave or sweet freedom

1/4 cup canola( rapeseed) oil or oil of your choice

pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees celsius/390 degrees fahrenheit. grease a loaf tin with vegan margarine spread - or coconut oil?

mix the polenta and flour and stir through the baking powder, bicarb, salt and pepper.

in a separate bowl whisk together the sweetcorn puree (basically sweetcorn kernels whizzed in a blender with a little soya cream), soya milk, water, oil and sweet freedom (or whichever sweetener you favour).

make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet. using a spatula gradually incorporate ensuring not to overwork the mixture. gently stir through the sweetcorn kernels, chopped tomatoes and a good grinding of black pepper. immediately pour into the prepared tin. sprinkle over a little sea salt and fresh grind of black pepper. bake in oven for 40 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted into the middle.

cool for 20 mins before removing from the tin and allow to cool completely before slicing.

enjoy x