Recipe: Chilli con carne

I don’t think I’m alone in loving a nice, spicy chilli. Am I right? And not only is it a quick, easy meal sure to please the whole family, it’s packed full of speed food, and is absolutely syn-free. What could be better?

Key:
F = Free food (eat as much as you like)
S = Speed food (these should make up at least a third of your meal)
P = Protein free food (eat as much of these as you like!)
HEA = Healthy Extra A (a daily allowance of dairy produce)
HEB = Healthy Extra B (a daily allowance of a product with fibre)
# = a number denotes roughly how many syns are in foods used

11263030_10155572939280386_3564103073071167639_oCHILLI CON CARNE
(quantities are generally as you like them – I promise it will work out and you can make as much or as little as you like!)

Ingredients:

  • Mince with a fat content of less than 5% / Quorn (P)
  • Kidney beans (or any beans of your choice) (P)
  • Passata or tinned tomatoes (S)
  • Onions (S)
  • Garlic (S)
  • Courgette (S)
  • Carrot (S)
  • Mushrooms (S)
  • Peppers (red, orange, yellow, or green) (P)
  • Tomato puree (oil free) (F)
  • Balsamic vinegar (F)
  • Worcestershire sauce (F)
  • Low-cal spray oil (optional) (F)
  • Chilli powder (F)
  • Sweetener (optional) (F)

For Serving:

  • Rice (F)
  • Cheese (optional) (HEA)

Directions:

  • (If you use a non-stick pan, you may find you don’t need any oil at all.)
  • Roughly chop the onion and crush the garlic.
  • Brown the mince, then add the onion and garlic in the pan with the mince and sauté until the garlic starts to turn slightly golden.
  • Add the tinned tomatoes or passata, and stir through.
  • Grate the carrot (this will dissolve into the sauce, making it silky and smooth), and roughly cut up the courgette and mushroom, then add them to the pan.
  • Add a little tomato puree, a dash each of balsamic vinegar and Worcestershire sauce, and chilli powder to your own preference of spiciness.
  • Drain the beans and add them to the sauce.
  • Simmer the sauce lightly till it thickens, stirring occasionally to ensure it doesn’t burn.
  • If you find the sauce a little too acidic, add a little sweetener and it will take the edge off it.
  • Fill a pan with water and bring it to the boil (you can salt it if you wish), then add the rice to cook.
  • Drain the rice and serve into bowls, then top with the chilli.
  • Sprinkle some cheese (HEA) over the top to melt.

You may wish to make a smooth sauce by blending all the sauce ingredients in a food processor, or just half of them – I tend to blend the garlic and half my onion, peppers and mushrooms in my sauce, and leave the rest of the veg chunky. Of course, to do that, I make the sauce separate from the mince, then add the blended sauce to the meat and add the beans.

It’s also great served with a salad on the side for extra speed.

This dish freezes really well, so if you make it in bulk and freeze individual portions, you have chilli ready to go whenever you want it! It’s a favourite of mine, so I usually have a couple of portions in my freezer – it’s a real time saver.

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