The special qualities of this recipe are the lack of dairy products and eggs in a main dish that is attractive, light and delicious. Soymilk acts as a mild leavening agent in addition to the baking powder. Baking cornbread in cast-iron pans makes for the best crust.

Makes 16 servings

1½ cups yellow corn flour (preferred) or cornmeal
1½ cups unbleached white pastry flour or whole wheat pastry flour
4 level teaspoons aluminum-free baking powder
1/2 teaspoon unrefined sea salt
6 tablespoons light vegetable oil (I prefer Spectrum walnut oil.)
6 tablespoons brown rice syrup or pure maple syrup
2 cups soymilk (I prefer Edensoy Original.)
Kernels from one small ear of corn (optional, in season)
2 small serrano or jalapeno peppers, halved, seeded and very thinly sliced (optional, in season)

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Brush a 2- or 2½-quart baking dish or a cast-iron skillet with oil. Heat the pan in the oven while you make the batter (this is an optional step).

2. Mix dry ingredients. Mix wet ingredients in a separate bowl, then add and gently whisk with dry ingredients. Batter should be thin and pourable.

3. Pour batter into baking dish. Bake until cornbread tests done, 30 to 35 minutes. Brush surface with oil and return to oven to bake 5 minutes more.

Variation: Cornmeal Muffins: Bake for 12 minutes.

For 16 servings, per serving:
Calories: 182   Protein: 4gm   Saturated Fat: 0.4gm   Fiber: 3gm   Carbohydrates: 27gm   Fat: 6gm   Cholesterol: 0   Sodium: 178mg
Calories from Protein: 9%     Calories from Fats: 31%     Calories from Carbohydrates: 60%