Being from Appalachia, I am well versed in the classic staple of soup beans and cornbread and have eaten my fill. Most Appalachians cook their beans (typically pintos) in a big greasy hunk of fat back. For those of you fortunate enough to not know what it is, it’s simply a big slab of subcutaneous fat from the back of a pig. Enough.
So when exploring my vegan lifestyle and cooking, I found out that my husband (who is from the Midwest) had never had soup beans and cornbread!? Sorry babe, you don’t get the fatback…but he doesn’t know what he’s supposedly missing, right?!
I guess most Appalachians will say that it’s nearly blasphemous to cook your beans in just veggie broth, but it is one of our favorite, easy and filling meals. I used mixed beans because of the texture and color variation! We really love being able to taste our food, so we have been coming up with some delicious fresh toppings that add a bit of spice and a nice fresh crunch to contrast the soft texture of the beans. Onions are a given, but we love fresh jalapeños too. I added a bit of avocado, and a drizzle of Siracha this evening.
The vegan pumpkin cornbread is amazing. It works better in a cast iron skillet or baking dish rather than muffins though. I struggle with homemade cornbread being too “cake-like”. I loved this in that it has very few ingredients and the moisture comes from the pumpkin. This recipe is more polenta than flour but, I’m working on substitutiting whole wheat flour for chickpea and making it a little less dense. So when I figure it out, it will get a post of its own ❤