There was once a time when I was afraid of being vegetarian. Scared of not eating meat. No more grilled bacon, no more crispy chicken wings, no more melt-off-the-bone ribs. But bollocks to that – of course that was silly, and things have changed now. Definitely in part thanks to meals like this meatless chili.
I often found meals that were heavily meaty a bit hard to just cut the meat out of – I’d usually end up avoiding the dish and make something else instead. That was a shame, because it meant I missed out on some of my favourite meals.
Chili con carne was one. But no longer! This meatless (aka vegan) chili proves that you can still enjoy your favourite meals, but in a new, animal friendly way.
The lentils and beans ensure the chili is hearty and filling, while the peppers, onion and corn give it that real chili con carne feel. And the flavourings…wow.
It’s all about the cumin. I’m not saying you have to use a lot of it, but it’s the game changer. In this particular dish all the spices and herbs (’erbs to you over the pond, which reminds me of the video below), add their own unique element, but when the cumin hits the pan everything comes together. You suddenly have one awesome vegan chili on your hands.
So get cooking, dig in and enjoy those veggie meals with a passion.
Health Benefits – Meatless Chili Con Carne
It’s not just tasty – the dish is a nutritional powerhouse. Who said meat free recipes can’t deliver? Just one small serving of this packs an amazing 28.5g of protein – that’s a serious amount. Add over half your iron and vitamin A count for the day, and double your vitamin C – and you’ve got something really good going on.
It’s been a while since I banged on about fibre too – so you’re in for it now. It’s a ridiculously important part of any diet, and the average person gets waaaay below the optimal amount (fantastic fibre). But it’s really easy to add to your intake, and this dish does that. A full day’s worth in one serving.
Fibre protects against heart disease, diabetes, diverticular disease and others. Time to get munching.
- 1 onion
- 1 green bell pepper
- 1-2 cloves of garlic
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 red chilli/jalapeño
- 5-6 sundried tomatoes (drained)
- ½ cup of veg stock
- 1 can kidney beans (rinsed and drained)
- 1 small can of sweetcorn (drained)
- 1 can chopped tomatoes
- 1 can of lentils (15oz/425g) (pre-cooked, or cook first)
- 1 tbsp tomato purée (paste)
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp oregano (fresh, frozen, dry all work - use more if fresh)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1-2 tbsp of maple syrup for a little sweetness in the chili
- Serve with whole grain bread, tortillas, or brown rice. Yum!!
- Dice the onion, garlic, pepper, chilli and dried tomatoes into small pieces.
- Throw all these ingredients into a pan with oil and fry them for 3 minutes on a low heat.
- Add the stock, beans, sweetcorn and tomatoes and stir well. Add the tomato purée and season with salt, pepper, cumin and oregano. Mix the lentils in too and let it all simmer on medium heat for 20 mins, stirring occasionally.
- Season with salt and pepper and serve with toasted bread on the side and a dollop of (vegan) sour cream and guacamole if desired.