Chilli Time!!

Fancy something a little spicy?  

Two recipes here, one meaty and one vegan.

Both delicious!!

Vegetable bean chilli

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This is essentially a vegan version of my Mexican Chilli, and it is just as fantastic to eat and easy to make. This dish made its debut at the fantastic Elderflower Fields Festival in East Sussex in 2021, so some credit must go to the young people who help make this dish extra special!

Ingredients (serves 6)

2 tbs of oil .

1 large onions

2 crushed garlic cloves

1 sweet potato

1 red pepper

3 large carrots

2 tins of beans (red kidneys or borlotti work well!)

500g passata

water

1 tsp smoked paprika

A pinch of cumin

A pinch of cinnamon

A pinch of Chilli power (or more if needed!)

Method

  1. Start by dicing the onions, crushing the garlic, slicing the pepper and chopping all the other veg into small (1cm) pieces.

  2. Pour the oil into a hot Dutch oven or cooking pot and fry the onions over a medium heat for about 10 minutes until they start to soften.

  3. Add the garlic and pepper and stir for another minute or so.

  4. After this add the root veg to the pot and cook for 5 minutes or so  before adding the spices and stirring once more.

  5. Drain the beans and add them to the mix along with the passata, add a little more water if needed.

  6. Bring  the mix to a boil and leave to simmer for about 25-30 minutes until the vegetables are soft to taste.

  7. Serve with flatbreads (see recipe below) and plant-based yoghurt.

Mexican chilli with flatbreads

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Ingredients (serves 4)

For the flatbread (makes about 8)

200g flour

120ml water

Mexican chilli

Oil

 500g minced beef (or alternative)

500ml passata

1tsp of chilli powder

1 can of red kidney beans

1 lettuce or 2-3 little gem type

lettuces

1 bunch of spring onions

1 tub of creme fraiche

This is a dead simple meal that I first cooked up with some primary pupils studying Mexico as a topic.

It's my take on beef chilli (although other meat and vegetarian alternatives could be used) It is quick to make and provides a fantastic flavoursome meal that people of any age can cook to fill hungry mouths.

You can buy wraps, but it is dead easy to make your own just using a bit of plain flour and water, while outside you can then cook  the flatbread on the embers of the fire too!

Please note that, like the meat, beans can be substituted for what you have in stock, haricot, cannelloni, borlotti or even fresh broad beans work well too!

Method

1. First of all make the flatbread dough by mixing the flour and water together, firstly by spoon, then by hand forming a smooth round dough.

Knead briefly and cover in the bowl with a damp cloth.

2. If cooking outside make sure the Dutch oven is hot by pouring a dash of oil into the pan, otherwise do the same for a large casserole pan or wok.

3. Brown the mince meat off, using its own fat to cook it, stirring thoroughly, breaking up any clumps of meat that stick together.

4. Once the meat is browned off pour in the passata, and then pour a little water into the bottle or carton to rinse out any remaining bits to add to the pan. 

5. Add as much or little chilli powder as you like to the pan, again stir to mix, before leaving to simmer for 10 minutes or so.

6. Once the mix has started to thicken up, drain the beans and add them too the mixture, again stirring thoroughly.  Leave to simmer.

7. Meanwhile, divide the dough into about 8 balls slightly bigger than a golf ball, before stretching or rolling- the thinner the better!

8. To cook the flat breads either put them on a bed of hot embers, or a very hot skillet or large frying pan, they should take 20-30 seconds to cook, turning half way through

9..Finally spoon the chilli on to the flat breads and top with spring onions, lettuce and creme fraiche- with extra chilli powder if needed!

Enjoy!