My Dad makes the best chilli con carne that I have ever eaten and that’s a fact! I think the recipe he used was from BBC Good Food then has adapted it over the years but it always goes down well with a crowd and I would often get him to make batches of it so my freezer would be stocked up.
Since I no longer eat meat, I wanted to have a chilli that was just as delicious as my Dad’s recipe but was plant-based. The recipe below was a mix of 2 different recipes I developed but didn’t quite work on their own so I married them together and the result is a delicious, warming, thick chilli.
I like to serve mine straight up in a bowl with a dollop of coconut yoghurt, some avocado and maybe a few gluten-free tortilla chips for scooping. However, there are many different options to enjoy this, have it with brown rice, serve in a baked potato, layer it on gluten-free tortilla chips and bake so it becomes like nachos, serve in lettuce cups…there are lots of options.
Kidney beans are a good source of both soluble and insoluble fibre which makes them great for helping with constipation or diarrhoea. They are also high in iron and a source of vitamin K.
-1 Tbsp. olive oil
-1 onion, peeled & diced
-2 celery stalks, trimmed, cleaned and diced
-2 garlic cloves, peeled & finely chopped
-1 red chilli, trimmed, seeds removed & finely chopped
-1 tsp. ground cumin
-1/2 tsp – 1 tsp chilli powder
-1 tsp. ground coriander
-1 tsp. dried oregano
-1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
-2 Tbsp. tomato puree
-1/4 cup red wine
-2 cups chopped mushrooms
-1 red pepper, stalk & seeds removed, diced
-2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
-1 cinnamon stick
-1 x 400g tin kidney beans, drained & rinsed well
-1 x 400g tin pinto beans, drained & rinsed well
-1/2 cup frozen sweetcorn (optional)
-salt & pepper to taste
-2 squares of dark chocolate
-handful of fresh coriander, roughly torn/chopped
How To Make
In a large frying pan or shallow casserole, heat the oil over a medium heat and add the onion and celery. Allow to cook for about 5 minutes until starting to soften and the onion is becoming translucent.
Next, add the garlic and chilli and stir into the mixture. Cook until the garlic becomes fragrant.
Add the cumin, chilli powder (I start with a half teaspoon and increase if needed, it all depends how hot the red chilli is!), coriander, oregano and paprika and stir to coat the onion and celery then add the tomato puree.
Cook the tomato puree for about 5 minutes, stirring often to prevent it catching on the bottom of the pan. After 5 minutes pour in the wine and scrape the bottom of the pan. Allow the wine to gently simmer away until reduced by half.
Add the mushrooms and diced pepper to the pan along with the tins of tomatoes, the cinnamon stick and some salt and pepper. Give everything a big stir.
Pop a lid on the pan and allow to simmer for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally.
After the 40 minutes, remove the lid and stir in the rinsed beans and sweetcorn if using. Bring everything to a simmer again and cook for 20 minutes until sauce has thickened.
Remove from the heat and check seasoning and add salt and pepper if needed. Add the finely grated chocolate, if using, stir to incorporate. Scatter over the fresh coriander just before serving.
Serve with either brown rice or your choice of grain, avocado, tortilla chips or in a baked potato!