December 13, 2015

Caramelized Onion Upside Down Cornbread

This is a fun recipe, a full meal in one slice of flavorful Onion Upside Down Cornbread.  The onions are perfectly caramelized,  the cornbread is light and the broccoli adds a nice touch. It's really pretty when it comes out of the pan. From a distance the whole dish looks like cinnamon rolls. In fact, when Scott came home from work Friday and saw it on the stove-top he said "Yum, cinnamon rolls tonight". Nope, something quite different.

I saw this recipe online while looking for some interesting polenta ideas. I decided I could veganize it pretty easily. I recently bought some wonderful stoneground polenta made from heirloom Abenaki corn from Lonesome Whistle Farm.  It's much more colorful than the usual polenta we buy at the market.  I ground it a little finer into more of a fine cornmeal with my Vitamix. If you make this cornbread, yours will probably turn out a little more golden brown then mine if you are using the conventional bright yellow cornmeal.

This is what happened when I made this recipe without the dairy products asked for in the original recipe. 

Vegan Onion Upside Down Cornbread

   Original recipe by Demetra Overton - Sweet
You will need a 10 or 12 inch cast iron skillet for this dish. 


2 Onions, sliced thin, about 1/4"
4 TB toasted sesame oil (I used sesame oil because I like it, you can use olive oil)
1 1/2 cups of fine ground yellow or white cornmeal
1 cup all purpose flour, I used an heirloom wheat. For gluten free cornbread, use Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Baking Flour 
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
1/3 cup raw cane sugar
1 TB baking powder
2 cups chopped fresh broccoli
Egg Replacer for 4 eggs (I used EnERG egg replacer, it's a tapioca and potato starch blend)
1/2 cup filtered water to mix with egg replacer
16 ounces silken tofu soft or firm, drain and rinse the tofu before using.

Preheat oven to 400ยบ

Slice the onions into rings leaving the rings in order.

Heat the oil in a cast iron skillet and place the onion slices in the hot oil, cook on medium heat for 5 minutes. Dice remaining onion pieces and set aside.

While the onions are cooking, mix the batter.  In a large bowl combine the dry ingredients:  cornmeal, flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder.

Mix the egg replacer with filtered water and whip until it's foamy. I like using this egg replacer when baking as it whips up like frothy egg whites.

Next, crumble the tofu into the egg mixture and blend together into a batter.  Toss this mixture with the chopped onion pieces and the chopped broccoli.

Add the broccoli mixture to the cornmeal mixture and mix thoroughly with a wooden spoon. You might have to get in with your hands and mix this a bit. It's a pretty thick batter.  Pour the batter over the onions.
Bake the cornbread for about 25 - 30 minutes or until golden brown. Let the cornbread cool for about 10-15 minutes. Run a knife around the edges and carefully flip the pan over and remove the cornbread from the pan.

We enjoyed it with some sweet potato kale stew.

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