Hearty Chili + Loaded Cornbread

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It’s not every day that you get to say, “My best friend has a cookbook coming out!”

So, needless to say, I am ecstatic that Damaris Phillips is able to share her food and story with the masses.

This week’s challenge was to cook a recipe from Southern Girl Meets Vegetarian Boy: Down Home Classics for Vegetarians (and the Meat Eaters Who Love Them). We had our first chilly day here in Nashville recently, so the obvious choice was to make Damaris’ Hearty Chili paired with her Loaded Cornbread. I decided to only use the cheese and green onion (I omitted the tomatoes and the sausage) on the cornbread since I was pairing it with the chili. 

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I found all of the ingredients that I neededincluding the soy crumblesat my local grocery store. I've never worked with soy or seitan crumbles, so I had no idea what to expect. Not only were the crumbles easy to work with, but they looked and tasted so similar to ground beef!

This recipe is straightforward, easy to cook, and incredibly delicious! And the best part is that it made plenty for leftovers.

Damaris has made the meat version of this for me before, and I have to say this version is just as good, and in no way did I miss the meat!

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Dad's Hearty Chili

servings: 6 to 8


  • 6 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 24 ounces soy or seitan crumbles
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 medium onion, medium (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 red bell pepper, medium diced (about 1 cup)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • One 6-ounce can tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup finely ground cornmeal
  • 2 14.5-ounce cans diced tomatoes
  • 3 14-ounce can pinto beans
  • 3-4 tablespoons chili powder
  • 6 cups vegetable stock
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic
  • 1 cup frozen edamame
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
  • salt
  • black pepper


  1. Heat the oil in a dutch oven or large pot over medium-high heat. Add the crumbles and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of the salt and saute until browned, about 5 minutes. Remove thecrumbles to a plate and store in the refrigerator until you add it back to the chili at the end.
  2. To the same pot, add the onions and red peppers and saute 3-4 minutes. Add the garlic, the tomato paste, and the cornmeal and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the diced tomatoes, the beans, the chile powder, the vegetable stock, and the balsamic. Bring the chili to a simmer and then lower the heat and cook for at least an hour. The longer this cooks the better it tastes.
  3. Add the edamame, the corn, the peanut butter and the crumbles to the pot and cook an additional 10 minutes. Taste and season with salt and pepper if needed.


  • Carnivore Version: Reduce the oil to 2 tablespoons. Replace the crumbles with 1 1/2 pounds of (85/15) ground beef and sauté to brown the meat, about 5-7 minutes. Remove it from the pan and store in the refrigerator until you add it back in at the end. All other procedure and cooking times remain the same.
: @bluebirdandblackberries

: @bluebirdandblackberries

Loaded Skillet Cornbread

servings: 4 to 8 people, depending on whether you like seconds...


  • 1 1/2 cups stone ground cornmeal
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 3/4 cups buttermilk
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 pound andouille kiebassa sausage, small diced
  • 8 ounces grated cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup diced canned tomatoes, juice drained
  • 4 green onions


  1. Preheat the oven to 425 and heat up a 9” cast iron skillet.
  2. You will need two medium bowls. In bowl one whisk together the cornmeal, baking soda and salt. In the other bowl whisk together the maple syrup, eggs, buttermilk and 4 tablespoons melted butter. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and stir to combine. It will look lumpy and kinda thick.
  3. When the skillet is hot add the remaining tablespoon of butter and pour in the batter. Gently place the sausage on the top, sprinkle the tomatoes evenly evenly and sprinkle with cheese. Bake in the middle rack until the center is set and the cheese is melted, about 25 minutes. If you want it to be extra brown put it under the broiler for 2 minutes. Remove from the oven and garnish with green onions.
: @bluebirdandblackberries

: @bluebirdandblackberries

See what everyone else made ♥