Healthy Cornbread Salad

I’m going to take on last hurrah with the oven before it gets too hot. This recipe is a complete remake of Chili Cornbread Salad from Taste of Home. I had a feeling if I just replaced a few ingredients the portion size would end up too small. I want to avoid that. I love the concept of the recipe. A layered salad with cornbread. Most of the calories come from the cornbread, mayo based dressing and the beans. I am going to delete the dressing entirely and replace it with something much healthier and vibrant, a salsa verde. The protein is non-existent, so I need more of that. Finally, I am going to make the cornbread a supporting cast member. I want it there, but I want it to not kill the calories. Then, I am going to pack this salad full of veggies. I want this salad to be a real healthy meal. Hold on to your hats! I think this one will be a great recipe that is indulgent and fun without being unhealthy. Here are the original stats:

The stats on the completely remade recipe are:

Here is the final recipe:


Healthy Cornbread Salad

Serves 15

For the cornbread:

  • 1/2 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 cup cornmeal 
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 tablespoon sugar 
  • 1 large egg 
  • 3/4 cups buttermilk
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 4 ounce can chopped green chili
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon dry oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon dry sage

For the salsa verde

  • 3/4 lb tomatillos
  • 1/4 cup chopped white onion
  • 1 cloves (or more) garlic
  • 1/4 cup cilantro leaves
  • 1/2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1 Jalapeño peppers 

For the salad:

  • 12 ounce package of frozen corn, thawed
  • 2 green bell peppers, chopped
  • 2 red bell peppers, chopped
  • 3 large carrots, chopped
  • 6 stalks of celery, diced
  • 2 15 ounce containers of pinto beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 pounds of ground turkey
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  1. Put the vegetable oil in a 9 or 10-inch well-seasoned cast iron skillet and put the skillet into the oven. Then preheat the oven to 400°F with the skillet inside. 
  2. Whisk together all the dry ingredients (cornmeal, baking soda, sugar) in a large bowl. In another bowl, beat the egg and buttermilk until combined, then mix that into the bowl of dry ingredients. Stir in the melted butter.
  3. When the oven is hot, take out the skillet (carefully, as the handle will be hot!). Add the cornbread batter and make sure it is evenly distributed in the skillet. Bake at 400°F for about 20 minutes, or until the edges are beginning to brown and a toothpick inserted in the center of the bread comes out clean. Set aside to cool.
  4. Place the peeled tomatillos in boiling water and cook for 5 minutes.
  5. Remove from the water and place into a blender with the rest of the ingredients.
  6. Blend until a pureed and set aside.
  7. Heat a large dutch oven over medium heat and spray with cooking spray.  Place the vegetables and cook until softened.  Add in the ground turkey, cumin, chili powder and pepper and cook until well-browned.  Add in the pinto beans and cook until heated through.  Crumble in the cornbread and mix.  Add in the salsa and mix.  Add in the cheese and melt.  Remove from the heat and serve.

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