Cook With Confidence: Five-Bean Chili and Ben Mims' Perfect Cornbread
It's chili season! Fire up the slow-cookers and stovetops because there is no end to the great chili recipes you can whip up this fall. Whether you're tailgating this weekend, settling down for a cozy night in, or just looking for a recipe that provides enough to feed a crowd, chili is a great go-to idea. I personally love chili so much because it's such a heartwarming combination of flavors and it's so easy to whip up. It just instantly reminds me of fall. This Five-Bean Chili featured today is actually vegetarian. I know, I know, a vegetarian chili? But yes, I really wanted to try this recipe to prove that you don't need meat in a chili for it to be hearty and satisfying. To up the hearty factor even more, I paired it with some cornbread, as pictured above, because nothing says The South quite like anything paired with cornbread. I didn't have to look far before I settled on the recipe of Ben Mims' Perfect Cornbread.
If you're getting hungry already, don't worry, we're going to dig right in here and get started. Getting all of the vegetables prepared and ready to place into the pot ahead of time makes the whole process easier, and allows all of the ingredients ample time to simmer together for some great flavors. Also, before you start diving in to the chili pot, be sure to pre-heat your oven to 425 degrees for the cornbread that we'll make later.
To prep, get your fresh ingredients that need chopping on the cutting board, so that means your bell peppers, jalapeño, and fresh kale. These items are easy and quick to chop, but just remember to seed the jalapeño otherwise you'll end up with a lot more spice than you've bargained for!
Make sure to wash your kale before you prep it, for me, I placed a few stems in a colander and then shredded it into small pieces, leaving out the tough stems and discarding those.
I used pre-chopped onions and pre-cut carrots to make this step easier. Sauté these two vegetables in your pot with some olive oil for about ten minutes or until they become soft.
By the time you've added all of your ingredients along with the five cans of different beans (yes, five!), you'll wind up with an amazingly hearty chili that is chock full of vegetables and flavor. While the chili is simmering for 45 minutes, this is the perfect time to whip up the cornbread, which takes 25-30 minutes in the oven. This means that they'll both be done around the same time, which works out perfectly.
This cornbread recipe is easy, simple, and so delicious! Although keep in mind this is not a sweet style of cornbread, so if you're used to the sweeter side, add some sugar or honey to the mix, whichever you prefer. Although I didn't have a cast iron skillet on hand for this cornbread recipe, I used a tall cake pan, and it turned out beautifully. Use a toothpick in the center to make sure it comes out clean. When it does, it's done!
Spoon the chili into a big bowl and top with cornbread for a deliciously warm and satisfying dinner that will please even the biggest meat lovers in your family or friend circle. Did you enjoy these recipes? If so, why not give them a try? Let us know how you liked them by giving us a shout on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #CookWithConfidence. We love to see what you guys create. See you there!