Guajillo chiles, ancho chiles, tomatoes, pinto beans, corn, scallions, a bit of vegan cheese and a cornmeal outer crust makes for a hearty, gluten free, plant based meal. I love a bowl of chili. Who doesn't? Wouldn't it make a nice casserole? Indeed! Top it with avocados, vegan sour cream, or even a bit of lime juice, and you're on to something.
Guajillo chiles and ancho chiles are both quite mild and a touch fruity. Ancho chiles taste a bit like raisins, and guajillo chiles taste somewhat like tart berries. Together, they are a powerhouse without being overly hot. Both dried chiles can be found in the Hispanic section of most large chain grocery stores. For this recipe, I used the El Guapo brand.
If you prefer a spicier sauce, add some jalapeño to the mix during the blending process; otherwise, this could be considered a mild sauce. If your sauce tastes a bit too bitter, add some vinegar and/or sweetener until it tastes right to you. For a variation, add a cup of broken up soy curls with the pinto beans, corn, and scallions.
Vegan Chili Bake
6 guajillo chiles, soaked with stems and seeds removed
1 ancho chile, soaked with stems and seeds removed
5 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
2 Tbsp olive oil
¼ tsp dried Mexican oregano
1 14.5 ounce can of diced tomatoes, completely drained of juice
1 ¾ cups fake chicken broth
1 tsp agave
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
Salt, to taste
1 15 ounce can of pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup frozen corn
4 scallions, chopped
½ cup shredded vegan cheese
1 cup non-dairy milk
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
2 cups cornmeal
½ tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
¼ cup nutritional yeast
¼ cup green part of scallion, chopped
1 Tbsp agave
¼ cup canola oil
1. Preheat oven to 400 F. In a large heavy pot or dutch oven, add olive oil, garlic, onion, a dash of salt and oregano over low heat. Sauté for 5 minutes or until onions are translucent. Add chiles, drained tomatoes, and fake chicken broth. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
2. Once everything is done simmering, add to a blender and blend until smooth. Return to the pot, and stir in agave and apple cider vinegar. Taste and adjust seasonings. If too bitter for you, add a bit more vinegar and agave. Stir in pintos, corn and scallions. Grease a 8 X 12 baking dish, and pour in the chili mixture. Sprinkle with vegan cheese, and set aside.
3. Moving on to the "cornbread topping", mix the apple cider vinegar into the non-dairy milk, and allow the milk to curdle (about 3-5 minutes). While the milk is curdling, add cornmeal, salt, baking soda and nutritional yeast to a large mixing bowl and combine. Create a well in the center, and add milk mixture, green parts of a scallion, agave, and canola oil. Stir until just combined.
4. Pour the cornbread mixture over the chili mixture, and spread evenly. Bake at 400 F for 30-40 minutes or until the cornbread mixture is set. Remove from the oven, and serve with sliced avocado and vegan sour cream.