Gluten Free Vegan Spoonbread with A Mess O’ Greens Recipe

Gluten Free Vegan Spoonbread with A Mess O’ Greens Recipe

by Carol Kicinski on January 21, 2011

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Gluten Free Vegan Spoonbread with A Mess O’ Greens Recipe

When my grown up son – an artist – calls me and asks if he can stay at our home for a few days to “chill” I know two things: he needs sleep and he needs to eat – he needs to eat comfort food, to be specific. After several grueling months, working round the clock preparing for a big art show, my boy needs his mommy.

We live in the South, so comfort food often includes creamy, cheesy Spoonbread which is a corn dish akin to the illegitimate child of a pan of Southern Cornbread and a French Soufflé, and a Mess O’ Greens – a big pot of collard greens usually flavored with ham hocks.

Oh, but did I mention that my son is a vegetarian? Instead of ham hocks I added some dried mushrooms and their soaking liquid plus some smoked paprika and gluten-free soy sauce to add back in that smoky, salty, “meaty” element so essential to this Southern favorite. I may lose my Southern-issued driver’s license for making a vegetarian version of Mess O’ Greens but that’s just a chance I will have to take. Family first, I say!

I also know that my son prefers not to eat too many eggs so the Spoonbread was challenging as eggs are a main ingredient but with a little tweaking and some Vegenaise, I was able to come up with a perfectly creamy and puffy Spoonbread. And since dairy can be hard on a run-down system, I just went ahead and made the Spoonbread vegan by making a buttermilk substitute from coconut milk and lemon juice and with the addition of a little dairy-free cheddar cheese using Vegan Gourmet.

All in all this turned out to be a really fabulous vegan version of a traditional Southern comfort food. Spoon up a big scoop of Spoonbread, top with the greens and if you are like me, add a splash of balsamic vinegar and more red chili flakes, and you’ve got yourself a big-ole-dish of pure Southern comfort. Just add a glass of sweet tea and you are all set!

Gluten Free Vegan Spoonbread with A Mess O’ Greens Recipe


Cheesy Spoonbread

1 cup coconut milk
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice or white vinegar
1 cup stone ground cornmeal
1 tablespoon agave nectar
2 teaspoons Kosher or fine sea salt
1 1/3 cups boiling water
¼ cup Vegenaise
2½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 cup corn kernels (fresh or frozen)
½ cup Vegan Gourmet dairy free Cheddar Cheese – shredded

Mess O’ Greens

1 small packet dried shitake mushrooms (or any dried mushroom you like)
1½ cups boiling water
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 small onion, thinly sliced
2 big bunches of collard green, kale or mustard greens – washed, ribs removed and cut or torn into large bite sized pieces
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
½ teaspoon dried red chili flakes
½ teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons wheat free, gluten-free soy sauce
Salt to taste


Cheesy Spoonbread

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 6 cup baking dish with gluten-free non-stick cooking spray.

Mix the coconut milk with the lemon juice or vinegar and let set for about 5 minutes. It may start to look curdled, but that is OK.

In a mixing bowl, combine the cornmeal, agave and salt. Pour over the boiling water and let sit for 5 minutes.

Combine the coconut milk mixture with the Vegenaise and whisk until smooth. Add to the cornmeal mixture along with the baking powder and soda. Whisk to combine. Stir in the corn kernels and shredded dairy free cheese. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish and bake for 30 – 40 minutes or until the Spoonbread is set, feels firm to the touch and is golden brown. Let cool a few minutes before serving.

Mess O’ Greens

Put the dried mushrooms in a small bowl and cover with the boiling water. Let sit for 10 minutes.

While the mushrooms are soaking heat a large Dutch oven or stockpot over medium high heat and add the oil. Add the onion and sauté until they are soft, about 10 minutes. Add the greens, paprika, chili flakes, black pepper, soy sauce, balsamic vinegar and the mushrooms. Strain the mushroom soaking liquid through a paper coffee filter or paper towels into the pot (this removes the grit from the liquid). You may have to add the greens in batches so it all fits. Stir it all around to combine, reduce the heat to low, cover the pot and simmer for about 45 minutes or until the greens are tender. Check the pot occasionally to make sure you still have liquid in the pot. If it gets dry, add a little more water. When the greens are tender, remove the lid and if there is too much liquid in the pot, turn up the heat and let most of it cook off. Taste and add more salt if necessary.


This Gluten Free Vegan Spoonbread with A Mess O’ Greens recipe serves 6

The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely the blog owner’s. This blog accepts free manufacturers’ samples and forms of cash advertising, sponsorship, paid insertions or other forms of compensation. Affiliate links may be included in this post.

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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Valerie @ City|Life|Eats January 21, 2011 at 1:53 pm

Oh my that looks so good. I generally avoid corn in favor of other things but I recently discovered I am actually not intolerant to it – so this might be what I make to try adding some corn back into my life.

Hope your son feels restored soon :) with food like that, he must be well on his way :):)


glutenfreeforgood January 23, 2011 at 4:43 pm

I LOVE the new look of your blog. It’s so classy and so YOU. Really, really nice. Aaah, and having 2 boys myself, I know what you mean about them needing to come home for comfort food on occasion. My boys love my Mexican spoonbread, which I make with roasted and peeled green chiles from my fall CSA shares. I love greens and wouldn’t know what to do with a ham hock if I had one so I really appreciated your explanation of how to add a smoky, salty, meaty taste without actually adding meat. I’ll try that as I’m a big fan of collard greens and am always looking for new ways to serve them. Sounds great, Carol. Think of you often. Hope all is well.
Peace, love and comfort food!


The InTolerant Chef January 24, 2011 at 5:24 pm

It’s so nice for your son to know he can always come home for some lovin’. I’m sure with this recipe, he won’t want to leave again!


Tasty Eats At Home January 24, 2011 at 5:26 pm

I simply must try these greens…yum!


Donna January 24, 2011 at 5:27 pm

Better stop feeding your boy food this great unless you want him to stay :)


Ellen January 24, 2011 at 5:27 pm

Brilliant! This looks fantastic. Just printed it out for the queue of must-try’s!



Pure2raw Twins January 24, 2011 at 5:40 pm

Cheesy spoonbread looks great :)


Liz, Holistic Health Counselor January 25, 2011 at 7:03 pm

Carol, the spoonbread looks amazing! I will have to give that one a try for sure. Question: do you think it would be okay to use the same amount of corn flour as a sub for the cornmeal?


cat January 27, 2011 at 9:25 am

Mmmm spoon bread. It always reminds me of those little corn balls I used to get at mexican restaurants as a kid. Only its good! =p


Lynelle Shaikh April 15, 2011 at 6:38 pm

I genuinely enjoy looking at this website, excellent posts .


Valentine August 21, 2014 at 4:42 am

I really appreciate this post. I have been looking all over for this! Thank goodness I found it on Bing. You have made my day! Thank you again


Carol Kicinski August 28, 2014 at 3:36 pm

Hi Valentine,
You’re very welcome! I hope you continue to enjoy my recipes!


Corine Sweesy November 11, 2014 at 2:59 pm

Very nice post. I simply stumbled upon your blog and wished to say that I’ve truly enjoyed surfing around your blog posts. After all I will be subscribing to your feed and I am hoping you write again soon!


Carol Kicinski December 1, 2014 at 11:08 am

Thank you Corine! I’m glad you’re enjoying the site, the post are definitely going to continue! :)



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