This week in the UK its National Vegetarian Week and we are sharing tips and ideas to increase your fruit and veg intake as part of our Feed to Cleanse month. Now, the vegetarian chilli is definitely not a new idea, it’s been around for many many years! But here at Feed we have some tips. Ultimately we want you to be happy and confident in the kitchen and we want you to tailor your meals to your own taste buds. Also we are keen to reduce waste in the kitchen, and a vegetable chilli is a great way of using up any leftover vegetables and pulses. A great tip for pulses, is that you can freeze them. So when you prep a batch of dried pulses through the soaking and simmering process you can freeze a few servings for a later date. And we literally pulled a portion out 30 mins before we cooked this to throw in at the right time.
Traditionally the kidney bean is used in a chilli but for us the kidney bean can be a bit tough. We like a creamier bean, and for those who haven’t tried them borlotti are a perfect alternative. We are also great advocates of the cannellini bean so we have added both of these to our chilli for colour, texture and taste.
When preparing your ingredients – make sure you cut all your veggies to roughly the same size, that way they will all cook evenly.
1 x Chopped onion (we used white)
3 x Chopped carrots
2 x Chopped courgette
1 x Chopped pepper (we used red but green works too!)
4-6 x Chopped Portobello mushrooms
1 x Cup of borlotti beans
1 x Cup of haricot beans
3 x Chopped garlic cloves
1 x Sliced red chilli (or 2 or 3 if you like it hotter like us)
1 x Tbsp tomato paste
1 x Tin of good quality tomatoes
1 x Tsp ground cumin
1 x Tsp ground cinnamon
1 x Tsp smoked paprika
- In a large heavy bottom sauce pan heat some good quality olive oil or coconut oil on a medium heat
- Add the onions and a pinch of salt and gently fry for around 10 mins to soften
- Add the harder veggies next, the carrots and peppers, cook for a further 5 mins
- Add the garlic and chilli, cook for a further 5 mins
- Add the courgette and mushrooms, gently cook for another 5 mins
- Now add the spices and cook off for 1 min to release the aromas
- Add the beans, then the tomato paste and cook for 1-2 mins, then add the tin tomatoes
- Bring to a simmer then cook for around 30 mins until the chilli takes on a deeper, richer colour – you can’t overcook it but you want your veg to still have a slight bite but make sure you stir now and again
- Taste, check the seasoning and serve
We like to serve ours with whole grain rice, a dollop of natural organic yoghurt and sprinkling of coriander.
We also like to serve our chilli with a tomatoe salsa. This is made with some chopped red onion, baby tomatoes, radish (and its currently in season) chopped chilli to taste, squeeze of fresh lemon, chopped coriander, pinch of cumin, salt and pepper.