So it's only day 4 of my 40 day vegan trial and already I'm slightly frustrated at the lack of options available to me in the cafe at work. I love savoury snacks but there is always some form of lactose or egg-derived ingredient on even the most vegetarian option on offer.
So when I got home this evening, I decided to whip together a savoury snack I could pack to work which doesn't taste like grass, hommous or lentils. I found some cornmeal lurking in the kitchen and decided to make a vegan version of the traditional cornbread. Now I am no expert in soul food by any stretch of the imagination so I appreciate this will be a very distant relative to proper southern corn bread. Nevertheless as someone who has been cooking since the age of four, I do have some common sense in the kitchen and promise you the final product is pretty yummy for something with no butter, milk or cheese in it.
Firstly, get your muffin tray. I use these cute re-usable silicone cups from Asda. You don't need to grease these and they work so well. Very cheap too. Oh, and easy to wash after! Grate 3/4 of a courgette/zucchini (depending which side of the pond you live) into a bowl and season with salt and pepper. As you can see from the photo below, the mixture starts becoming mushy as the salt causes the zucchini to seep water.
Next, add softened onions. I'd softened these a couple of days ago and kept it in the fridge. I have a habit of softening a huge batch of onions at once and storing them so that as and when I fancy something quick, I don't need to chop and fry onions from scratch, stinking up the kitchen.
Then add half a cup of soy milk and 4 tablespoons of oil. This soy milk is sweetened because that was all I had but I don't think it makes a difference. Excuse the Old El Paso salsa in the background. My flatmate was making burritos.
Then add a cup and a half of corn meal. There's a story of how this cornmeal ended up in my kitchen but I'll save the story for another day. For now, I'll just say I didn't know this ingredient existed in UK supermarkets before and this is the first bag I bought.
I love the bright yellow colour of cornmeal!
Mix it all in. Now, I know the next step will cause either
A: looks of horror and disgust
B: whoops of delight
as along with a teaspoon of vegetable bouillon and turmeric, I add a generous squirt of Marmite. I love Marmite. I have it almost every day, on crumpets with butter, on toast, in rice porridge, the list goes on. You don't have to add Marmite if you don't like it, but trust me, it's so good and doesn't actually taste that strong in the grand scheme of things.
Mix very well (remember you added bouillon so MIX MIX MIX). Spoon into the muffin moulds.
They call me yellow mellow...
Bake in a pre-heated oven at 190 deg celcius until golden brown. These babies took about 20 minutes. Just keep an eye on the baking in the last 10 minutes.
Mmmmm... I love the sight of shredded zucchini peeking out! The cornbread is on the heavy side as I didn't add any baking powder and plain flour so maybe I'll include those next time. However, I really like it this way as the zucchini keeps the cornbread moist and it's not crumbly at all, unlike some cornbread I've tried in restaurants. I like the slight pull you get once it cools down.
Do try this at home! It's totally vegan and no animals were harmed in the production of this recipe.