Cornbread isn’t really anything special, but its role in this month’s September Challenge is important, so I wanted to share it with you. Planning out menus on a strict budget is a lot like planning individual recipes on a budget. You have your elements that are flavorful and a little pricey, and you have your elements that are inexpensive and bulky or filling. Combining the two helps keep costs low, while providing satisfying flavor and belly filling volume.
This week my “flavorful pricey” item was the Mexican Lentil Stew (yes, it’s super inexpensive, but when you’re talking about a $4.50/day budget, $1.33 per serving is suddenly pretty pricey). So, to help balance the cost of this stew I made a batch of super simple, Everyday Cornbread. Cornbread is one of those dishes that is delicious because it’s so simple. It fills you up, makes your taste buds happy, and is insanely cheap.
I love this recipe because it uses only pantry staples, it takes minutes to prepare, and it can be paired with just about any meal. In addition to crumbling it up in my Mexican Lentil Stew, I’ve also been eating it for breakfast with eggs, or just as a snack with some butter (also good with a drizzle of honey or maple syrup). It may be “boring”, but I love this stuff! You can also change it up by stirring in a variety of ingredients like shredded cheddar, chili powder, or even diced jalapeño.
- 1 cup yellow cornmeal $0.24
- 1 cup all-purpose flour $0.15
- ¼ cup sugar $0.20
- 4 tsp baking powder $0.24
- ½ tsp salt $0.02
- 1 cup milk $0.31
- 1 large egg $0.27
- ¼ cup vegetable or canola oil $0.08
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and coat the inside of a 9-inch pie plate, cast iron skillet, or 8x8 casserole dish with non-stick spray (or butter for more flavor).
- In a large bowl, stir together the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt until evenly combined.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, egg, and oil.
- Pour the bowl of wet ingredients into the bowl of dry ingredients and stir just until everything is moist. Avoid over stirring. It's okay if there are a few lumps.
- Pour the batter into the prepared dish and bake for about 20 minutes, or until the top and edges are golden brown. Cut into 8 pieces and serve.
Step by Step Photos
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and coat the inside of a 9-inch pie plate or 8×8 inch casserole dish with non-stick spray. In a large bowl, stir together 1 cup yellow cornmeal, 1 cup all-purpose flour, 1/4 cup sugar, 4 tsp baking powder, and 1/2 tsp salt. Make sure these are really well stirred together.
In a separate bowl, whisk together 1 cup milk, 1 large egg, and 1/4 cup vegetable or canola oil.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients…
And stir just until everything is moistened. You don’t want to over stir the batter because that can develop the gluten in the flour and make the end product a little rubbery, so it’s okay if there are a few lumps. No need to stir until everything is completely smooth.
Spread the batter into your prepared dish and bake for about 20 minutes, or until the top and edges are golden brown. The exact baking time may vary slightly based on your dish and your oven.
The top will crack a little and look all delicious.
Slice it into 8 portions and serve! YUM! Never underestimate simplicity. :)