Forget everything you know about cornbread. That’s probably not a lot, but whatever it is, forget about it.
My roommate had this crazy brilliant idea (inspired by Pinterest, of course) to put cornbread mix into our waffle iron. Game changer. Instead of having a bowl of warm vegan chili with a side of cornbread, we made cornbread waffles topped with vegan chili.
It was the perfect meal for a cold winter day in Boston, of which we’ve been having a lot recently.
To make the cornbread waffles, my roommate and I used the cornbread mix from Trader Joe’s and simply veganized the process. Instead of adding milk and eggs, we added regular, unsweetened almond milk and chia eggs. Though you can use flax eggs instead, the chia eggs were a perfect binder and tasted delicious. If you want to make cornbread from scratch, vegan goddess, Isa Moskowitz offers a delicious recipe.
After spraying the waffle iron with olive oil spray, we used a spatula to spread the cornbread batter. Then, we closed the top and waited. The key to making cornbread waffles is not to open the waffle iron too quickly, or else it will fall apart. The minimum time is 2-3 minutes. In the words of my lovely roommate, Annie, “You’re going to see the waffle iron begin smoking, which would normally mean you should take the waffle out. Not so.”
While we waited for the waffles, always keeping a mindful eye on the iron, we opened two cans of Trader Joe’s vegan chili and poured them into a small saucepan. TJ’s vegan chili is surprisingly good, seasoned with just the right amount of spice. Full of beans and tofu, the chili packs a serious protein punch. It’s filling, delicious, and ridiculously easy to make, which is why us college kids love it.
Of course, if you have the time and energy, you can make your own with this delicious recipe from Oh She Glows. When I have more foresight and resources, this is my go-t0 vegan chili recipe. My mom has made it for multiple family gatherings, which means it’s also omnivore approved.
After both our waffles were done, we poured some warm chili on top of each one and dug in. We deconstructed and then destructed chili and cornbread. While I’ll always love a good bowl of chili, I loved it even more slathered across a giant piece of cornbread. (The more cornbread, the better, am I right?)
Even if you’re making cornbread just to make cornbread, making cornbread in a waffle iron instead of a bread pan saves a ton of time. Instead of taking thirty minutes, this takes about five. Though not every cornbread waffle will be perfect (yours may even fall apart the first time), they will always taste delicious. You can’t go wrong with cornbread and chili, and this is just one more way to enjoy a winter favorite!