One of those ‘throw it all in and let it sit’ kinda recipes – hallelujah!
I think I’m going to remember 2019 as the year that I officially fell in love with vegetarian cooking. I mean, don’t get me wrong; I’m still most definitely a meat eater (you’d have a tough time getting me to ditch hot dogs and bacon baps, and you’ll never EVER convince me that Jackfruit is a solid alternative to pulled pork – nope!), but this year I kind of moved away from throwing meat into my weekly meals just for the sake of it. Last year, there were a lot of go-to recipes on my weekly meal plan that I just automatically cooked with meat – just because that was what I’d always done. Curries, Stir Fries, Casseroles, Burrito Bowls – meals I was eating at least once or twice a week – all came with diced chicken as a standard; previously it just wouldn’t have felt like a whole meal if I’d decided to skip the meat. But honestly? There have been meal times over the past year where I’ve chewed on the realisation that – actually – the meat didn’t bring anything special or add anything to the dish. It was just… there. Gradually, I found myself becoming more and more interested in the fresh greens and vegetables I’d thrown into the dish instead, and the textures and flavours that they brought to the game.
These days I’m shopping down the meat aisle less, cooking it only when it’s going to be the main ingredient and star of the show, and reworking all those old recipes that I would have just mindlessly chucked meat into, into new and improved, ultimate veggie versions! Like this Ultimate Veggie Chilli – or Chilli No Carne! You know me, I love Mexican Food – and chilli is just one of those things I tend to cook every couple of weeks. It’s an easy, throw everything into one pot and stir kind of dish, perfect for meal prep, and – if you make enough of it – it’ll keep you fed throughout the week (or month, if you freeze it). Plus, the longer you let it sit, the tastier it becomes! This ultimate edition is packed with cauliflower, adzuki beans, mushrooms, red peppers and tomatoes – and comes packed with plenty of flavour thanks to a few unusual ingredients – including a shot of whiskey… 😉
Ultimate Veggie Chilli
Plenty for two, Perfect for four
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 125g cherry tomatoes
- 400ml can of tinned tomatoes
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 red pepper, diced
- 1 large carrot, diced
- 300g cauliflower
- 150g chestnut mushrooms
- 1 can of adzuki beans
- 2 tsp garlic paste
- 2 tsp chipotle chilli paste
- 3 tbsp barbecue sauce
- 100ml fresh, black coffee
- 1 tbsp ancho chilli flakes
- 2 tbsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp onion granules
- 25ml shot of bourbon whiskey
- pinch of salt and pepper to season
- chopped coriander or scallions to serve
- This recipe would work brilliantly in a slow cooker – if so, just throw in all the ingredients, turn the slow cooker on and walk away (lucky you) – but a great big pot on the hob will work just as well. To start things off, get your pot nice and hot, and then add the oil, chipotle chilli paste and garlic paste. Throw in the diced onion and sweat it off.
- Next, add the cherry tomatoes, carrot, red pepper, cauliflower, mushrooms and beans. Pour in the chopped tomatoes and stir to combine.
- Time to add some flavour. Add the cumin, onion granules, paprika and ancho chilli flakes, then stir.
- The next couple of ingredients are a little bit controversial, but are going to bring a whole lot of depth and flavour. Pour in the fresh coffee, barbecue sauce and whiskey.
- Stir to combine, then turn down the heat, throw on a lid and leave to simmer for about an hour (make sure you check on it and keep it moving, or it’ll stick to the bottom and burn!).
- Once cooked, season with salt and pepper, and serve with fresh coriander and/or some sliced scallions. Eat it with rice, hot sauce, avocado, sour cream, on toast or with some cheesy nachos – the choice is yours!
Have a lovely week! 🙂