Man, all this talk about getting older, family members passing away, and animal cruelty is exhausting. How about we keep this one light today, cool? Cool because I’m about to overload you with photos from our trip last month!
People always talk about apple picking this time of year but what about camping? For some reason, camping gets lumped into summer activities but have you ever tried to go camping in July? If the heat doesn’t eat you alive then the bugs will. So many people I talk to won’t go camping after Labor Day even though this is the best time of year to be outside. What is better than spending all day hiking around in the woods while the leaves change colors? And what is better than getting a huge fire going to keep you warm in the evenings and to roast your ‘mallows over? And what is better than zipping two sleeping bags together so you have to snuggle really close to your significant other to keep warm at night? Not much if you ask me.
We were staying at a cabin when we whipped up this recipe but it would also be so easy to make out in the woods with a little beforehand prep. Measure out the dry ingredients for the cornbread and stick them in a gallon bag labeled ‘cornbread’. You’ll then be able to just dump your wet ingredients into the bag and mix it altogether right before throwing over the chili. I’d also suggest measuring out the spices for the chili beforehand and sticking in a little baggie. You should be able to pick up a little travel size vegetable broth carton and even a small non-dairy milk carton that won’t need to be refrigerated. You can slice the vegetables beforehand if needed or just bring a small knife and find a somewhat clean flat surface to chop them up on.
And finally, camping is fun and meant to be relaxing so don’t take the recipe too seriously! You don’t need to actually measure out 1/4 cup olive oil – just eye ball it! Same goes for most of the other ingredients listed below – chili has a way of being fantastic even if something is off by a teaspoon or two so no need to be exact.
One Pot Veggie Chili Cornbread Casserole recipe below:
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 bell peppers, chopped
- 3 large garlic cloves, minced (feel free to substitute in 3 teaspoons garlic powder if camping)
- 2 Tablespoons chili powder
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1½ teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 3- 15 oz. cans black beans, drained
- 1 14.5 ounce can of diced tomatoes
- ½ cup vegetable broth
- 8 oz. jar salsa
- 1 can corn, drained
- 2 cups cornmeal
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ⅓ butter, melted (or vegetable oil if it's easier for camping since it won't need to be refrigerated)
- 2 Tablespoons maple syrup
- 2 cups milk (I'd suggest getting a non-dairy travel size milk carton if camping since it doesn't have to be refrigerated)
- Place a cast iron pot over your open fire (I used this but some campsites have a grill grate already at the site).
- Saute onions, peppers, and garlic until softened and fragrant (about 5 minutes but it'll all depend on how hot your fire is).
- Next, mix in chili powder, cumin, oregano, cayenne, beans, vegetable broth, tomatoes, salsa, and corn. Bring to a boil.
- Whisk together the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.
- Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the melted butter, maple syrup, and milk.
- Slowly whisk together the wet ingredients and then start incorporating the dry ingredients as you whisk until a thick batter as formed.
- Lightly spread evenly over the chili mixture to create a cornbread top and cover.
- Let simmer for 20 minutes (but check often as fires are unpredictable and could cook faster or sooner).
- Remove from heat once the cornbread is cooked all the way through and enjoy!