Nearly two years ago, before becoming a full-time vegan, I posted a recipe for a killer caramelized onion cornbread on the blog. While I knew a thing or two about vegan baking, I was still a bit ignorant in regards to where my eggs and buttermilk were coming from. Despite the hints from my vegan friends at Peacefood Cafe, I didn’t want to know the disturbing truth. Actually, I thought I knew everything there was to know. What happens to the dairy cows and their male offspring, I never really considered. And chickens laying eggs– well, I wasn’t eating chicken. The inhumane conditions are far more terrifying and blood boiling than anything I could have ever imagined, but I wasn’t aware. So I continued to use animal products in my baking out of sheer laziness, and an inner voice telling me that it was okay. Still, that inner voice had another side; a side that screamed just as loudly, but really made it’s impact on me in the form of guilt. In the 6 months or so, before I became a vegan, each and every animal product I ate would evoke a bit of guilt. I consumed about one animal product a week, yet something didn’t sit well with me.
Fast forward, I mustered up the courage to listen more closely to my vegan friends, and do some reading of my own. Now almost 2 years later Ive created a life and career for myself as a vegan chef and nutrition counselor. I live my passion every singe day, and I feel tremendous. My digestive problems have disappeared, guilt no longer resides in me, and I am swathed in a blanket of joy almost every day.
Someone posted a comment on that old Caramelized Onion cornbread about how they thought all of my recipes were vegan. Nowadays they are, but a few from my past aren’t. It’s fine with me to leave them up, it shows my growth and I appreciate that.
I still eat cornbread, and have found that the vegan versions are just as, if not more, delicious than the traditional varieties. So if you dare to turn your oven on this summer, give this recipe a whirl. Maxx’s mom first made the cornbread for us when we were in Denver last year, and I’ve used the recipe every since, and keep it interesting by adding tasty additions like caramelized onions, which are the perfect complement for this moist and slightly sweet bread.
(This simple cornbread recipe is adapted from a recipes on Allrecipes.com. The recipe for the onions is below. This should be made ahead. Makes 12 muffins, or a standard 9×9 baking pan.)
1 cup whole-wheat pastry
1 cup soy milk
1/2 cup agave nectar or local honey
4 tablespoons canola oil
Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted in the crown of a muffin comes out clean, about 20 minutes.