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Meera Sodha’s vegan recipe for chilli cornbread with broccoli | The new vegan

In summer especially, portable things to eat are invaluable – such as this chilli cornbread, which can be whipped out of the store cupboard or fridge and packed into a lunch box at a moment’s notice. It gives me freedom to walk out of the door with my toddler under one arm and supplies under the other, all ready to roll out a picnic wherever we might go, be that the garden, the local park or much farther afield. This particular cornbread has more dimensions than the usual, in that I’ve added Tenderstem broccoli for greenery and crunch, and nutritional yeast, a secret culinary weapon in vegan baking, for an instant savoury, “cheesy” flavour.

Chilli cornbread with Tenderstem broccoli

This is a vegan adaptation of a recipe I wrote (and loved) for Tenderstem. You’ll need a 23cm cake tin.

Prep 15 min
Cook 30 min
Serves 6-8

2 tbsp flax seeds
200g Tenderstem broccoli
200g self-raising flour
100g quick-cook polenta
4 tbsp nutritional yeast
1½ tsp sweet smoked paprika
1 tsp chilli flakes
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp salt
100ml vegan yoghurt
– I like The Coconut Collaborative’s
150ml oat milk
60ml rapeseed oil
, plus 1-2 tbsp extra, for brushing

Heat the oven to 200C (180C fan)/390F/gas 6, and grease and line a 23cm cake tin.

In a small bowl, stir the flax seeds with 90ml water and set aside to soak.

Arrange the broccoli into two equal piles. Set one pile to one side, then finely chop the stems and florets of the other pile and put them in a large bowl.

Add the flour, polenta, nutritional yeast, paprika, chilli flakes, baking powder, bicarb and salt, and stir well to combine. Stir in the yoghurt, milk and oil, and mix into a batter.

Tip the mixture into the cake tin, then smooth the top with the back of a spoon. Arrange the remaining broccoli in lines on top of the batter, then lightly brush with oil, making sure you coat the florets well.

Bake for 30 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean, then remove and leave to cool for a few minutes in the tin. Run a knife around the edges of the tin and remove the loaf. To serve, cut the cornbread into big, thick wedges.

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