There is something about leftovers that warms the heart. You put effort into a meal on one day, and the following day reap the benefit of your hard work with a quick stir of a wooden spoon in a pan or a whirr in the microwave. And the meal even tastes better on the second day. It’s brilliant.
Now consider the effort you might put into that meal and how wonderful it would be if it lasted five whole days. Five days of your choice, too – bung portions in the freezer and defrost/reheat when you fancy something home cooked that’s super easy.
My photos could have been better for sure, but I can assure you this recipe is so tasty!
I’ve been asked a number of times to share my veggie chilli recipe with you on here – you’ve seen me make a couple of times over on my weekly vlog (go check out Splodz Blogz TV) and it has lead to a fair few comments. I can’t blame you really, it’s awesome! You already know I love Mexican food, and this chilli recipe is perfect for either ten individual portions on ten different days, five meals for two, or an awesome meal for your family and friends on a cold winter’s night in. The great thing about veggie chilli is it goes with so many other things – rice, jacket potatoes, chips, pasta, nachos, in a burrito or quesadilla, with some lovely warm bread, and is not too bad just on its own either. And of course if you’ve got vegetarian friends or are trying to cut down on meat eating yourself, it’s the perfect recipe to have up your sleeve (and in your freezer).
So grab your biggest pan and a wooden spoon, let’s cook…
Cooking up a storm in my Sport Relief Bake Off “Star Baker” apron. Get yours from TKMaxx or HomeSense.
Recipe: Veggie Chilli
To make ten good sized portions of this vegetarian chilli you will need one HUGE pan, a wooden spoon, and:
- A swig of oil
- Two onions, chopped as finely as you like
- Two leeks, washed and sliced
- A couple of teaspoons of easy garlic – that stuff is awesome, no need for a garlic crusher ever again!
- A liberal sprinkling of dried chilli flakes, or a whole chilli of your choice if you prefer – although remember chilli isn’t actually supposed to blow your head off!
- Two tablespoons each of: ground cumin, dried coriander, paprika, oregano
- One teaspoon of ground cinnamon
- Two generous tablespoons of tomato purée
- 500g dried lentils – I use half red and half green to keep things varied
- Two 400g tins each of: chopped tomatoes, red kidney beans, black beans
- A litre of vegetable stock – I make mine with stock cubes
The method is incredibly simple, as it needs to be for me as I’m definitely no chef (or baker, despite the apron!). If you’re quick at chopping and measuring you’ll get this all in the pan in no time; it takes me about twenty minutes to get to the point where I can walk away and leave it to cook, which isn’t a bad amount of effort for such a big meal.
Naturally the first step is to get the pan on the hob and heat the oil. Gently soften the onion, leek and garlic with the chilli – allow to cook slowly for about five minutes.
Now add all the dry herbs and spices along with the tomato purée and stir well. It’ll almost certainly stick to the pan, so be ready to add a teeny splash of water (or two) to keep things from burning.
This bit smells AMAZING!
Add the two tins of chopped tomatoes. I just get the cheapest in the supermarket to keep the costs down. Drain and rinse the beans (four cans seems like a lot, but you’re making a vat of chilli don’t forget!) and add to the pan. Stir in the dried lentils.
Once everything is stirred in nicely (so the lentils and beans are all coated in that gorgeous herb/spice mix), add all the stock. I use just over a litre, sometimes a bit more – you need enough to cover the mixture. Bring this to the boil, turn right down and simmer gently with the lid off to allow the sauce to reduce and the lentils to plump up. You can leave it alone to do its thing but be ready to stir things around every 15 minutes or so to stop it all sticking to the bottom of your pan or forming a skin. It’ll take about an hour of simmering to be thick and ready to eat.
You’ll need a good ladle full of the gorgeous home cooked and healthy veggie chilli per person. Serve in warmed bowls on its own or with your choice of accompaniment – my current favourite is some home made guacamole (I have a super simple recipe coming up soon), some tortilla chips, a sprinkling (okay, handful) of mature cheddar cheese and a dollop or two of soured cream. Oh yes. So good!
I’m guessing you’re probably not going to want to actually eat this every day for a week, as even with varying the accompaniments you’ll get bored, so get some of those take-away containers and portion up the chilli ready to freeze – I do mine in tubs of “chilli for two”. When you want to eat it allow the chilli to defrost on the side (about eight hours in my experience) or in the fridge (overnight) and then reheat in a saucepan for best results.
I really hope you enjoy this one. Let me know how you get on!