Dinner at the Ranch

Chili con tempeh with kefir skillet cornbread and braised greens

Yes, chili and corn­bread. A clas­sic com­bo, made with pin­to beans, tem­peh, onions and toma­toes. The spices, I like to put togeth­er from scratch: gen­er­ous amounts of cumin seeds, fried until they pop, fresh Mexican oregano, abun­dant papri­ka and a toast­ed ancho chile.

Cornbread is best made in a cast iron skil­let. Reminds me of camp­ing and mak­ing corn­bread over a camp­fire. I like to give it a fla­vor kick of green onions, cilantro, black pep­per and cheese. The kefir makes a deli­cious­ly rich, moist and slight­ly sour bread that is an excel­lent con­trast to the chili.

Greens, we usu­al­ly mix what­ev­er greens we have on hand or grow­ing in the gar­den. In this case beet greens, col­lards, kale and moringa. Lots of gar­lic, some veg stock, about 10 min­utes of sim­mer time and it’s deli­cious and high­ly nutri­tious, although we’ve nev­er had it test­ed, so that’s just my intu­ition about it.

Besides, the whole sub­ject of nutri­tion is fraught with con­tra­dic­to­ry evi­dence, snake oil and food pol­i­tics. I fig­ure as long as we avoid hav­ing our diet dom­i­nat­ed by prod­ucts that are opti­mized for con­sumer loy­al­ty and prof­it we’ll do fine. It’s just too bad that mak­ing food from basic ingre­di­ents is becom­ing an increas­ing­ly mar­gin­al­ized skill. Wow, what got me on that tangent?

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