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Warming Up Winter: Gluten-Free Sweet Honey Cornbread and Chili

Posted Dec 16 2010 12:05pm

As I sat down at my computer yesterday, I looked out the window and instantly forgot I was at work. Snowflakes were falling in a beautiful steady stream, just enough to lightly cover the roof and ground. In that moment as I looked out the window, all I wanted was a hot bowl of soup, a mug of hot chocolate and a cozy blanket to snuggle up with.  

Although I’m typically the kind of girl who craves chicken rice or French onion soup on a cold day, I had a strong craving for a piping hot bowl of chili topped with oodles of cheddar cheese and fresh, right out-of-the-oven sweet honey cornbread. I love dipping the bread in the soup…the subtly spicy flavors of the chili get soaked up in the sweet, moist cornbread and make for the most luscious, warm bite.

These recipes have been transformed many times over and are now the combination of my own recipe mixed in with three family members’ creations. Make them on any cold winter day and your heart and taste buds will instantly be warmed.

Chili
Vanessa Maltin Weisbrod’s Sweet & Spicy Chili
Yields 8 servings

3 tablespoons butter or vegetable oil
1 sweet yellow onion, diced
1 pound button mushrooms, sliced thinly
1 cup diced celery
1 cup diced red pepper
½ cup diced carrots
1 pound ground beef (can substitute ground turkey)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 (15 ounce) cans tomato sauce
1 (15 ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
1 cup red wine
4 tablespoons ground cumin
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon thyme
1 tablespoon oregano
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 can kidney beans, drained
Salt, to taste
Grated sharp cheddar cheese for garnish
Sour cream for garnish

  1. In a large pot, heat butter over medium-high heat. Add onions, mushrooms, celery, red pepper, and carrots and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are soft and the onions are translucent.
  2. Add in ground beef and cook until the meat is lightly browned and no pink spots remain. Add in minced garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until garlic is tender and fragrant, about 2 minutes.
  3. Add in tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, tomato paste and red wine and stir until well combined. Bring soup to a boil, then reduce heat to medium, cover the pot and simmer for 15 minutes.
  4. Add in cumin, chili powder, thyme, oregano and brown sugar. Bring soup back to a boil, then reduce heat to medium, cover the pot and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes. Taste the soup and adjust seasonings if necessary.
  5. Add in drained kidney beans and bring soup back up to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for an additional five minutes.
  6. Ladle chili into bowls and top with grated cheddar cheese and sour cream. Serve the soup with Sweet Honey Cornbread.

Vanessa Maltin Weisbrod’s Sweet Honey Cornbread
Yields 12 servings

1 cup gluten-free Bisquick
1 cup yellow cornmeal
½ cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 egg
1 cup skim milk
¼ cup honey
¼ cup vegetable oil
¼ cup melted butter

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9” square baking pan.
  2. In the bowl of a standing mixer, combine Bisquick, cornmeal, sugar, salt and baking powder.
  3. Add in egg, milk, honey, vegetable oil and melted butter and mix until well combined.
  4. Pour batter into the prepared pan and bake for 22 to 25 minutes until a toothpick inserted comes out clean and the top is golden brown.
  5. Slice and serve cornbread with the chili.
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