Friday, October 21, 2011

Cornbread Casserole

Did anyone else just get excited about that title?? anyone?

Well, to make up for being such a horrible blogger recently...
I'm attempting to make it up to you and bribe you into being my friend again by giving you this cool recipe!! Sound like a plan?

First of all, let me just tell you that all my meals recently have been super random.
Like super.

And most of them, as usual, have been consumed in a bowl, because let's be honest, everything tastes better out of a bowl.

Breakfast yesterday (and this morning) was a bowl of oatmeal :) crazy, I know.

Strawberries and Cream Oats topped with a crumbled Apple Cinnamon and Spice muffin!

I told you I would hop on board the desserts-for-breakfast thing...
Yes, I consider my muffins to be up to par with dessert :)  But, that's just because I made up the recipe all on my own and I'm kind of proud of it...

Anyways, I actually had that exact same breakfast this morning! After I ran an easy 8.2 miles in the famous Bay Area fog.  That's my favorite weather to run in (except for when it rains.. I go a little crazy for some drizzle action).

So, because it's finally feeling like fall around here, I had to break into my soup stash for lunch!
Not that I'm ever opposed to eating weird seasonal foods during... the wrong season... but there's something special about warm tomato soup on a cold day.

Yesterday was cold.

I heated up a bowl of Tomato and basil soup from target!  And toasted up two slices of multi-grain bread with garlic salt which acted as my cracker/croutons.

I loved how they ballooned up and soaked in all the tasty tomato-ness.
Don't ever diss classic tomato soup - it's good for the soul. (So, I'm assuming that hating on it would mean its bad for the soul.. ya dig?)

Now for my weird twist on a recipe!

I was inspired to make this after stumbling across Angela's recipe for Pumpkin Maple Baked Bean Cornbread Casserole -- um how could you NOT be inspired after reading that??!?

However, I realized the only similar ingredient I had on the list was... beans.

SO, I went rogue and made it up.

I threw a can of pinto beans, half a head of chopped cauliflower, and half of a chopped yellow onion into my pan.  Then I added about 1/2 a cup of sugar-free maple syrup and 1/3 cup of organic ketchup, plus two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar, salt and pepper.  I let it simmer and reduce down for about 10 minutes. 

I spread it out onto a 9 x 13 baking pan and added in my leftover roasted kabocha squash (excellent way to use up leftovers, I must say).

Okay.  This is where things got weird.
I bought a box of Jiffy cornbread mix and followed the easy instructions (add in an egg and 1/3 cup of water)... but then when I attempted to "spread it evenly" on top of my maple-ish concoction, this happened:

There wasn't enough cornbread to go around :(
So, I formulated a plan and took action.

I whipped together a cup of whole-wheat flour, about 1/2 cup of water, some vanilla extract, 1 1/2 tsp of baking power and baking soda (each), 2 tsp of white vinegar, and about 3/4 cup of splenda. (I followed similar instructions to my apple cinnamon muffins)

Then, I spread that on top of everything:

I put it all in the oven at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes and prayed it would turn out!
And boy, did it ever.

The mixture of cornbread and muffin-like bread was soooo goood!
It looks like marble cake, huh?

I think the baking Gods were smiling down on me today, because the dish turned out excellent.  The cornbread was dense, sweet, and delicious and the maple mixture was a perfect compliment!

I sauteed up some garlic green beans and enjoyed two delicious pieces of my creation!
By the way, one serving (1/8) of the casserole is 215 calories, approximately.

So obviously, my night included other important things like...

a trip to yogurtland!!!!!!!

I think everyone needs to get makin' that casserole!  Because I've eaten it twice for leftovers already and I'm still craving it!

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