Chilli Non Carne

So I’m sure most people can make a bean chilli but I thought I’d share my recipe. When I say ‘my recipe’ it suggests I follow a strict method every time I make it, I definitely don’t! Regardless, this is what I made tonight, it’s still bubbling away but it looks hot and tasty and should keep me warm and satisfied for the whole weekend!

Ingredients

Splash of oil – I used normal olive oil but you could use any cooking oil; sunflower, vegetable or even coconut if you’re fancy!

1 onion – I used red tonight, my preference would be white but I buy them in multipacks from Aldi and I’m not gonna buy a bag of white and red onions each week! There’s only so many onions a girl can use.

2 peppers – I always like to include a green, mainly because I know that’s the one that will be left in the fridge out of my 3 pack if I don’t and also the slight bitterness goes well in a chilli, I also used a yellow

About 5 medium-sized mushrooms – I don’t always add these but had a craving tonight and they add an earthy note that I guess makes it a bit ‘meaty’ (I wouldn’t really know!)

2 – 3 cloves of garlic – mmmmmm garlic!

A fair bit of dried oregano and paprika if you have it (smoked paprika would be best)

A sprinkling of frozen/tinned sweetcorn – or fresh (again if you’re fancy!)

1 tin of kidney beans

1 tin of borlotti beans – I don’t usually use these but I have a new-found love for them so they’re going in!

2 tins of chopped tomatoes

Ok so controversial bit of the recipe….. Instead of fresh chilli or chilli powder I used Sriracha hot chilli sauce – firstly because I have neither of the aforementioned and secondly I love Sriracha and thirdly I didn’t want it to be too spicy – I’m going to be eating this on a hangover and I can’t be dealing with too much spice. Basically use whatever you want here to add as much or as little spice as you want!

Method

  1. Chop the onion, peppers and mushrooms into whatever size chunks you wants – I like sort of 1cm cubes
  2. Sauté the veg in a large pan in the splash of oil, finely chop the garlic and add (this is where you would add fresh chilli)
  3. When the veg is soft and starting to go a bit brown add the sweetcorn, paprika and oregano
  4. Follow with the tins of beans (drained) and tomatoes
  5. If you are using hot sauce stir in now and leave to simmer from anywhere between 20 minutes and an hour
  6. Once it’s looking thick and amalgamated have a taste and add seasoning and maybe more spice if it needs it
  7. I’m going to serve with brown rice and my new favourite vegan alternative – soya yoghurt. I’m waiting until tomorrow though by which time my chilli non carne should have had time to sit and get even tastier

How do you make your chilli?!

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300kcal Mexican Bean Pitta

About 2 ½ weeks into my weight-loss/fitness plan and I’m still pretty motivated. On my 500kcal days (5:2 diet) I’m having 200kcals of raw food (fruit/veg/nuts) for my breakfast/dinner. Today this consisted of – 1 carrot, 2 clementines, 100g cherry tomatoes, 100g red pepper, about 5 green olives, a few slices of pickled jalapenos, 2 spring onions and 8 almonds. This is actually quite a tasty and fulfilling lunch – I used to just eat a tin of soup for the same calories and it was nowhere near as satisfying.

Then for tea (dinner/supper….whatever you want to call it) I have 300kcals to play with.

*See my previous post for one option: Moroccan-style Vegetable and Chickpea Stew – I actually made this a 2nd time but changed the carrots & squash to cauliflower and substituted the cinnamon for curry powder and hey presto I had chana gobi for same number of kcals 🙂 *

Tonight though I tried something a little different….

Mexican inspired pitta pizza type thing

Ingredients

1 wholemeal pitta

150g re-fried beans (one of my favourite things ever)

2 or 3 spring onions

About 4 cherry tomatoes

1 heaped teaspoon of capers

2 teaspoons of jalapenos

Some fresh coriander

NB This is a rough guide! If you’re wanting to keep the calories down I wouldn’t mess too much with the amount of pitta or refried beans but an extra tomato or two isn’t going to make much of a difference. Also, if you don’t have capers or jalapenos or spring onions for that matter it shouldn’t impact too much; you could easily slice a bit of red onion or sprinkle a few chilli flakes on instead.

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C
  2. Slice the pitta in half so you have two thinner pitta-shaped pieces of bread – put them on a baking tray
  3. Spread over your beans
  4. Slice/chop the tomatoes, spring onions, capes, jalapenos (or whatever other toppings you may be using) and sprinkle across your beany flatbreads
  5. Cook in the oven for around 10 – 15 minutes, you just want them to be hot and a little crispy
  6. Sprinkle with coriander and enjoy!

For non-dieters you may want to add cheese/vegan cheese or sour cream

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This is another adapted recipe from 5:2 Vegetarian by Celia Brooks

Another Low Calorie Recipe for January

One of my new year’s resolutions this year was to try to eat healthier and lose some weight (original ey!?). I’m hoping that reverting back to a mainly vegan diet (only sometimes picking the vegetarian option when eating out) will automatically contribute to this but I’m also going to make an extra effort by doing the 5:2 diet.

I know it might be ‘faddy’ but to me intermittent fasting makes some sense and I feel like I need structure otherwise I too easily drift into eating rubbish again. So, twice a week I am only eating 500 kcals. I am also going to do ‘rawtill4’ on these days – any raw recipes welcome!

Anyway I made this for my low calorie evening meals this week and it’s pretty tasty and filling so I thought I would share….

Moroccan-style Vegetable and Chickpea Stew

Totals 600 kcals – either 2 large portions or 3 or 4 smaller ones

Ingredients

8 spring onions

600g vegetables – I used celery, carrots and butternut squash but you could also use cauliflower, courgette, celeriac, peppers, turnips or swede etc…

200g tomatoes – I only had baby but it would be easier to use big ones

1 tin of chickpeas

2 tsp cumin

1 tsp cinnamon

½ tsp chilli flakes

4 tbsp tomato puree

1 tsp balsamic vinegar

Method

  1. Slice the spring onions and chop veg into bitesize pieces
  2. Put the onions and veg in a pan on highish heat with 4 tbsp of water and a sprinkling of salt, cover with a lid (or baking tray like I did) and steam
  3. Meanwhile, chop the tomatoes and assemble the rest of your ingredients
  4. When the veg is starting to soften around the edges chuck in the rest of the ingredients (nicely pre-assembled) and 250ml water
  5. Give it all a stir, bring to the boil and simmer until the veg is cooked.

Adapted recipe from 5:2 Vegetarian by Celia Brooks

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Vegan yoghurt by The Coconut Collaborative

Tried one of these the other day…..

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Since my month of being vegan in November I’m still always on the lookout for vegan options when I’m food shopping or eating out.

Last week I came across this dairy-free alternative to yoghurt in my local Sainsburys. Despite its fairly hefty price tag (£1.50 for a little pot) I thought I’d give it a shot and feedback to the vegan massive and whoever else might be interested. Here are my thoughts…

Now you have to bear in mind that I’m not exactly a yoghurt connoisseur in the first place, I quite often buy them thinking they will be a healthy alternative to other puddings then end up having to throw them out once they’ve gone way past their use by dates. So for any yoghurt fanatics this might not be the review for you.

Basically, I thought it was delicious! The yoghurt part had a bit of a grainy texture but it wasn’t unpleasant and you could really tell it was made from coconut with a nice coconutty background flavour (a negative or positive depending on whether you like coconut I guess). In this case I thought the coconut flavour really complimented the passionfruit and mango compote at the bottom and I mixed them up to make a lovely tropical treat. I knew for sure I’d definitely liked it when I realised I was scraping the empty pot for remnants….!

The Coconut Collaborative look like a fairly wholesome company and claim to plant coconut trees, help farmers and support charities on their website, which is nice and probably goes some way to explaining the slightly elevated price. I also found natural and raspberry flavours in my local Sainburys if they’re more to your taste. It also looks like they also do a berries and seeds one as well as various flavours of frozen coconut yoghurt (must…find…..this!)

Overall, delightful! Although probably only justifiable as a treat 4/5