One of my all-time favorite recipe books is the book Cooking for Isaiah by Silvana Nardone. Not only are the recipes gluten and dairy free, but they are also largely real-food oriented and full of fresh, healthy ingredients! If you’re avoiding gluten, you know how hard it can be to find a good alternative to bread. One of the things I love about this recipe for toasted ham and tomato cornbread sandwiches from Cooking for Isaiah is that it gives you a whole new take on the sandwich. A lot of the gluten free sandwich breads you find on the market are full of empty calories, unnatural additives, or even too much fiber . Yes, there is such a thing as too much fiber, especially if it’s eaten in one sitting! I had never thought of making a sandwich with cornbread, but after trying these delicious sandwiches I will be doing it much more often.
The trick to making sandwich bread out of cornbread is getting the slices thick enough to not fall apart, but thin enough to not overwhelm the sandwich with too much bread. I decided to try something different, and baked my cornbread in a low jelly roll pan (a cookie sheet with a rim) rather than in a loaf pan. The end result was flat bread that could be cut into slabs, which held together nicely despite the liberal amounts of delicious jalapeno mayonnaise we slathered on our sandwiches! I just mixed up the batter according to the recipe (using non GMO cornmeal and organic gluten free flour), then smoothed it into a well-greased jelly roll pan and baked it until it was golden on top. Once it had cooled, I cut the bread into sandwich-sized slabs and they were ready for action.
The other great thing about this recipe is the jalapeno mayonnaise. I nearly skipped this and used one of my other dressed up mayonnaise recipes, because it sounded like it might be too spicy for my kids. I’m really glad that I was brave and tried it, because it was so good! It’s savory, has a tiny bit of zip, but mainly just adds tons of wonderful flavor to the sandwich. I didn’t tell anyone what was in it, and even my most pepper-shy children enjoyed it. I made sure to remove all the seeds from the peppers first, and rinsed them off well before chopping them, which probably helped. Besides the peppers, the mayonnaise also has parsley, cumin, honey, and lime juice. Such a great combination of flavors!
When it was time for dinner, I just set out the cornbread slabs, the mayo, some sliced tomatoes and some uncured (nitrate-free) ham and let my family build their own sandwiches. We found that these were great sandwiches to have for dinner, as they are very filling and far more satisfying than a regular, lunch-box type sandwich. I doubled the recipe for my family of five, and there were enough pieces of cornbread left that my kids are looking forward to having it with a little honey for breakfast tomorrow!
- 1 cup rice milk (or, use organic raw milk)
- 1 tablespoon organic apple cider vinegar (where to buy)
- 1 cup organic gluten free flour mix
- 1 cup non-GMO organic cornmeal (like this)
- ¼ cup sugar (NOTE: I omitted this and it turned out great)
- 1 tablespoon aluminum-free baking powder (like this) (NOTE: If baking in a jelly roll pan, just use 1 teaspoon)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 large, organic cage free eggs
- ¼ cup oil coconut oil (or avocado work well)
- 1 cup organic corn kernels (about 1 ear of corn)
- ½ cup organic mayonnaise (here's how to make it yourself)
- 3 organic jalapenos, seeded and chopped
- ¼ cup fresh organic cilantro or parsley leaves, washed and chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh organic lime juice
- 1 teaspoon organic raw honey
- ¼ teaspoon organic powdered cumin
- Preheat oven to 350. Grease a jelly roll pan (mine is 15 x 21 inches in size) or a bread pan and set aside.
- In a large bowl, mix all the dry ingredients well. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well, and spread (or spoon) the batter into the pan.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes if using a jelly roll pan (checking after 20 minutes) or for 45 minutes for a loaf pan. A knife inserted into the center of the bread should come out clean.
- Let cool in the pan. If you're using a jelly roll pan, cut the bread into 8 equal rectangles and carefully remove it from the pan using a spatula. If using a loaf pan, cut the bread into thin slices and set aside.
- Combine all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until blended, or chop the vegetables finely and mix well with the rest of the ingredients.
- Store leftover jalapeno mayonnaise in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
- You'll need a pound of organic, nitrate-free ham, a large organic tomato (sliced), and about 2 cups of chopped organic lettuce.
- Spread some jalapeno mayonnaise on the bread, then top with the ham, lettuce and tomato. Top each sandwich with a second slice of cornbread (spread with a little mayo too, if you like).
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What’s your favorite kind of sandwich?