Warming, nourishing and comforting, casseroles are like a warm embrace. In this case, we layer vitalizing cornbread with spicy black soybeans to create a deep heat and sparkling strength without weighing you down. Loaded with antioxidants, this dish will keep you well and vital even with life’s little adventures.
Makes 4-5 servings
extra virgin olive oil
1-2 cloves fresh garlic, thinly sliced
½ yellow onion, diced
generous pinch red pepper flakes
1 1/2 cups cooked black soybeans
1 small can diced tomatoes, drained
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup yellow organic cornmeal
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
generous pinch sea salt
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 -1 cup unsweetened organic almond or soy milk
2 tablespoons finely minced chives
Preheat oven to 350o and lightly oil and flour a deep-dish pie plate.
For the filling, place a small amount of oil in a skillet, with garlic and onions. Turn the heat to medium and when the onions begin to sizzle, add a tiny pinch of salt and sauté for 1-2 minutes. Add pepper flakes and beans, stirring to combine ingredients. Add diced tomatoes and bring to a low boil. Reduce heat to low and cook for 20 minutes, uncovered, stirring frequently. The mixture will naturally thicken slightly.
For the cornbread, combine flour, cornmeal, baking powder/soda and salt in a mixing bowl and whisk briskly. Add olive oil and mix well. Slowly stir in milk until you achieve a thick, spoonable batter. Finally, fold in chives. Spoon half the batter into the prepared pie plate. Top with soybean mixture, covering the cornbread completely. Spoon remaining batter over the beans, again, covering completely. Bake until the center of the cornbread springs back to the touch, 35-40 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool for at least 15 minutes before slicing into wedges.
Cook’s Tip: To cook soybeans is a bit of a process but worth the work. Rinse the beans and place them in a dry skillet. Turn to medium heat and, stirring constantly, dry toast beans until the skins split. Transfer to a heavy pot and cook with 3 times the water as beans with a bay leaf until they are soft, about an hour. If you do not want to do this work, simply buy canned organic black beans; rinse them well and proceed with the recipe.