Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Vegan Corn Bread by Elizabet Elliot

I have a folder. It is an old green ringbinder bursting with different-sized pieces of paper with hand-written recipes on them. I have recipes on the back of envelopes, on the back of other recipes, on the back of printouts from jobs I used to do. I don't have a hole punch so most of the pages have been forced through the rings of the folder to make holes. Most of the pages don't stay in the rings any more. When I open the folder everything falls out. So I've decided to put some of the recipes on here, for safer keeper.

About four years ago, I met Elizabet Elliot. Elizabet is a visual artist. When she was living in Wellington she created and performed her proximity booth project. Elizabet builds amazing structures through feel rather than engineering, they are precarious and fort-like and the proximity booth invited people into one of her structures, to sit close with her. Elizabet's work is often interested in space and intimacy and the ways these play out in the world. Her latest adventure is an amazing collaborative art community called the Rumor Union. If you follow this link you'll see that Elizabet is from Mobile which is in Alabama. I had never met anyone from Mobile before I met Elizabet. When Elizabet was thinking or worrying or creating she would often come to our house and cook. Often this was because she had cooked all the food in her house and needed a new kitchen to cook in and a new house to cook for. Elizabet taught me how to make chili beans and also these really nice cookies which used banana and oats to hold them together instead of butter and flour. But by far the best thing Elizabet taught me how to cook was Cornbread. Her recipe is written on a piece of lined paper which I remember ripping out of a workbook I had. She spoke it to me off the top of her head. It was a sunny day. We were both working insane hours, her at art school me at a job and looking after Toki but we stopped for half an hour and made chili beans and cornbread and we laughed probably and probably we talked about art that we liked and building because we often talked about built things.


2 tbspn ground flaxseed
6 tbspn water
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup cornmeal
1/8 cup sugar
4 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1 cup soy milk
1/4 cup canola oil

Preheat oven to 425 F/210C

Grease a baking dish.
Bring water to boil in small saucepan. Add ground flaxseeds, reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 3 minutes or until thickened (Elizabet said, 'Til they look snotty'). Set aside.
In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder and salt.
Add ground flaxseed mixture, soy milk and oil to flour mixture.
Fold together.
Turn into baking tin.
Cook for 20-25 minutes.

I usually always add onions and chili to this recipe. I fry the onions and red chilis and then just add them when I add the wet ingredients.

Image: 'The Road from Mobile, Alabama' licensed under Creative Commons by Nouhailler on Flickr. Thank you.


  1. Yum, yum, yum! I haven't made cornbread with flaxseed before - sounds like a good addition. I also usually make my cornbread with molasses (instead of sugar), I really like that almost iron-y flavour. As you know I've been experimenting with a vegan diet lately. I don't miss cheese at all, but I do really, really miss buttermilk. I reckon I might go back to buttermilk, I just can't live without it. Sarah

  2. Molasses is a great idea! Yum! There is this thing that Isa Chandra does called sour milk where you put a teaspoon of vinegar in with a cup of soy milk and it kind of curdles and gets kind of creamy. I use that as a substitute for buttermilk in baking but yeah, I imagine nothing is quite the same teehee.