Poblano and Pinto Bean Stew (Vegan) with (Not-so-vegan) Cheesy Cornbread

This year, we planted a few poblano pepper plants in our garden again. They are one of my favourite peppers because they have such a strong flavour with just a hint of spiciness. As a summertime staple in our house, I love finding new ways to use them.  One of my favorite recipes is in a stuffed form like I did with my “Good-for-you Chilli Relleno“.

Today was a work-from-home day – whenever that happens, I love to take advantage of it by making something that can simmer on the stove all day long.  Today, I decided to make a stew out of poblano peppers and pinto beans.  I was still trying to decide what to serve along with the stew, when my mom popped up on GTalk to tell me that she had made a fantastic corn bread today – her timing was impeccable, because right away, I knew that was what I was going to make along with my stew (thanks for the recipe Mom!).

I wanted the stew to be chunky so I cut the onions, poblanos and jalapenos into thick strips.  I love taking some extra time to prep ingredients – I feel that it makes such an impact on the final dish.

I allowed the peppers and onions to release their juices so all the flavours came together with the spices.

We also have beautiful cilantro growing in our garden – nothing beats running to the garden to grab some herbs to spruce up a dish.

This corn bread recipe was a hit – I stayed pretty true to the original recipe which came from Robin Hood Home Baking – next time, I’ll try some variations to include whole wheat flour and perhaps even try to turn it into a vegan recipe.

I must warn you, this was a spicy meal – keep the tissue box close at hand, because it will clear your sinuses!

For the stew:

Ingredients

  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 3 poblano peppers
  • 1 large white onion
  • 1/4 cup frozen or canned corn (or up to 1 cup – I had some leftover from making the cornbread and just wanted to use it up)
  • 2 jalapeños
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp Mexican chili powder
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 4 tbsp tomatillo salsa (optional – I had some already made in the refrigerator)
  • 1-2 cups dry pinto beans, soaked
  • salt to taste
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • fresh cilantro, chopped
  1. Prep the onions, poblanos and jalapeños by cutting them into thick slices. Mince the garlic.
  2. Heat a bit of oil in a large pot, and add in the cumin – once it is fragrant, add the onions. Allow the onions to soften slightly and then add both of the peppers, corn and garlic.
  3. Once the vegetables have softened, add the chili powder – then mix in the tomato paste and tomatillo salsa (if using) until all of the vegetables are well coated.
  4. Add the beans to the mix, stir and add enough water to cover 2 inches above the ingredients. Add the salt.
  5. Bring to a boil and simmer on medium-low for as long as it takes for the beans to cook through completely – if you’re not using a pressure cooker, expect at least a few hours. Another option would be to make the stew to this point the night before and leave it in your slow cooker overnight.
  6. Mash the avocado with the lime juice and mix into the stew once the beans are fully cooked – allow it to simmer for a bit longer and then add the cilantro before serving.

For the cornbread:

Ingredients

  • 2 “eggs” using ground flax (2 tbsp ground flax + 6 tbsp water)
  • 1 cup buttermilk (I used 1 cup of milk + 1 tbsp of vinegar)
  • 1/4 cup butter melted
  • 1 cup Fresh, canned or thawed frozen corn kernels
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (I used an extra sharp cheddar)
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped sweet red pepper (I used a jalapeño instead)
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  1. Preheat oven to 375F.
  2. Whisk “eggs”, buttermilk and melted butter in a large bowl. Stir in corn, cheese and pepper.
  3. Combine flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda.
  4. Add to liquid ingredients all at once, stirring just until moistened.
  5. Spread batter in prepared pan.
  6. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Test in a few areas as I had some pockets that were still wet even though the centre was completely dry.
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