Veggie Chilli

#MeatfreeMonday, Healthy, Herbs, Mexican, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian

Veggie Chilli

Preparation & cooking time: 1 hour
Makes: 4-6 portions

Chilli has always been one of my favourite meals; the depth of flavour that you can get with this dish is amazing and the best thing is that the more you make the better it will taste over the following days! I always make some tortilla chips to go with mine, but you could always have it with rice or pitta breads. It also goes really well with some guacamole! This has always gone down really well when I have cooked it for people and is great for a party or sporting event. 

Ingredients:

  • 2 onions, roughly chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, roughly sliced
  • 2 red peppers (or yellow), deseeded and roughly diced
  • A large bunch of coriander, stalks chopped and leaves set aside
  • 2 fresh green chillies, deseeded and sliced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon of smoked paprika
  • 2 tins of chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tins of beans, of your preference (chick peas, kidney beans, borlotti beans etc.)
  • 4-5 mushrooms, roughly chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • Olive oil
  • 2 sweet potatoes or butternut squash, peeled and diced into 1 inch cubes
  • 4 wholemeal tortillas, cut into rough triangles

Method:

1.   Preheat the oven to 200 C. Place the cubed potato or squash onto a large roasting tray. Sprinkle a little smoked paprika and cumin onto the potatoes along with some salt and pepper and a glug of olive oil. Using a spoon or your hands, get the potatoes covered in the spices and oil and put the tray into the oven for 40 mins or until they are nice and golden and cooked through.

2.   In a large, heavy based pot add a few tablespoons of olive oil and place it over a medium to high heat. Add the onion, garlic, peppers, chillies and coriander stalks to the pan and cook for 5-10 minutes or until the onions and garlic are nice and soft.

3.   Add the cinnamon, cayenne pepper, cumin and smoked paprika to the pan and fry for a further 10 minutes to really get the flavours going!

4.   Add the beans and tomatoes to the pan, bring to the boil and let it simmer for 30 minutes. The sauce will thicken nicely, but if you feel it is getting too thick then you can always add a dash of water to loosen it. Add in most of the coriander leaves, leaving some aside for garnish, and also throw in the mushrooms.

5.   Once the potato/squash cubes are finished, add them to the pot of chilli. Now it is time to make the tortilla chips. Place the tortilla triangles onto a roasting tray and brush with a tiny amount of oil and sprinkle with some salt and pepper. Put the tray in the oven for a few minutes, keeping an eye on them to make sure that they do not get too much colour. Once they have turned a nice golden brown you know they are ready. Take them out of the oven and leave them to one side to cool whilst you are finishing the chilli.

6.   By now your chilli should be ready. Taste it and add some salt and pepper if it is needed.

Place the pot and tortilla chips in the middle of the table and let everybody help themselves to it all. I love eating this watching sports or whenever I have friends coming over! I hope you like it 🙂   

The Best Guacamole!

#MeatfreeMonday, Healthy, Mexican, Sandwich, Sauces, Side Dishes, Snack, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian

Great Guac

Preparation & cooking time: 10 minutes
Makes: 1 big bowlful

I am very proud of this recipe; I have been making it for so long and I have adapted the recipe to the way I like it and, I know I am biased but, to this day I haven’t tried a better guacamole! I like there to be loads going on when you eat guacamole, it should give your taste buds a good wallop! There should be that initial zing and freshness from the lime, coriander, avocado and tomatoes which is then rounded off with a bit of a hit from the chilli and the garlic with the onion and cumin lingering in the background. This is definitely my type of cooking, it is very rustic, quick to make and can make so many different dishes that much better and more fresh! You can also adapt this recipe to the way that you like it, if you like it more chunky, whether you like more or less of the ingredients included, there is literally no set way to make this and it is purely down to personal preference. One thing I do know is that life would be so much worse without a good bowl of Guac!

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Ingredients:

  • 2 large or 3 medium very ripe avocados 
  • A large handful of coriander, leaves picked and stalks chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1 green chilli, roughly chopped 
  • 2 spring onions, roughly chopped
  • A handful of ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 1-2 limes (depending on their juiciness)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground cumin
  • Salt and pepper

Method:

1.   The first part of this recipe is the real key to unleashing all of the delicious flavours of the guacamole. In a pestle and mortar throw in the chopped coriander stalks, garlic, chilli, the white part of the spring onions, the cumin and a pinch of salt and pepper. Pound this mixture into a paste using the cumin, salt and pepper as an abrasive. This doesn’t take long but it is so worth it because the flavour you get from doing this is just amazing!

2.   Once you have a paste, squeeze in the juice of the lime and combine this into it. Pit the avocados and scoop the flesh into the paste and break this up to the texture that you like your guacamole. I like mine quite chunky so for me it doesn’t take long at all. Add in the coriander leaves, tomatoes and the green part of the spring onions and mix through. That is it, your guacamole is made!

I could eat guacamole with literally anything at any point of the day but generally I love it with fajitas, with tortilla chips, spread on toast, with patatas bravas etc. This is also my favourite food to have watching sport! I hope you like it 🙂