When the weather is cold and miserable, I find myself craving big bowls of hot, comforting food. Last night I experimented making this chilli for my boyfriend and I; it went down a treat (especially with a glass of wine)! It was inexpensive, easy to make and full of feel-good ingredients.
The best thing about this recipe is that it’s so easy to adapt…just keep tasting it as you go along, and add in what you like. The ingredients and measurements I’ve listed below can be used as a guideline, but by all means change up the type of beans, spices and veggies to make your own version. Half the enjoyment is in the creating!
It also tastes amazing as leftovers, easily stored and reheated. I’d recommend making a big batch and saving some for later in the week as a healthy pre-prepared meal.
Nutritionally speaking, kidney beans are a fantastic source of protein and fibre, and are also believed to lower cholesterol. Chilli contains up to five times the amount of vitamin C as an orange (helping to fight off that nasty January cold). The dark chocolate may come as a surprise, but it gives a lovely rich flavour to this dish, as well as being full of antioxidants…as if I really needed any more convincing to eat it!
YOU WILL NEED:
- 1-2 tbsp rapeseed/olive oil
- 2-3 cloves of garlic (crushed)
- 1 red onion (diced)
- 3 peppers (I used one of each colour: deseeded and diced)
- 2 fresh red chillis (depending on how spicy you like it: deseeded and diced)
- 1 small tin of sweetcorn
- 1 x 400g tin kidney beans (drained and rinsed)
- 1 x 400g black pinto beans (drained and rinsed)
- 2 x 400g tins of chopped or plum tomatoes
- 1 tsp tomato puree
- 2 squares dark chocolate (grated)
- Squeeze of lime
- 1 cube vegetable stock
Herbs and Spices (adapt to taste):
- Fresh coriander (stalks cut up finely, leaves for garnish)
- 3-4 bay leaves (to be removed after cooking)
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- ½ tsp cayenne pepper
- ½-1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground paprika
- ½ tsp ground sumac
To serve (choose from):
- Brown rice
- Sweet potato
- Cauliflower rice (for a lower carb option)
- Plain yoghurt
- Cheese/ vegan cheese
- Heat the oil in a large pan over a medium to high heat and add the garlic, onion, chilli and peppers. Cook for 5 minutes, continuously stirring to prevent sticking.
- Add in the coriander, spices and a pinch of salt and continue to cook until softened.
- Add the beans, sweetcorn, tinned tomatoes and tomato puree. Bring to the boil then reduce the heat.
- Add in the stock cube, dark chocolate, a squeeze of lime and more spices if necessary (keep tasting and seasoning as you go).
- Allow the ingredients to simmer on a low heat for about 30-40 minutes until thickened.
- Keep an eye on the consistency. If it starts to dry out, add in a splash of boiling water and continue to simmer until reduced and cooked thoroughly.
Serve with a side of choice, and enjoy a belly full of warming goodness!