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), 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? One small serving of this packs 10g of protein. Add iron and vitamin A and vitamin C to your daily count – 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. Half a day’s worth in one serving.
Fibre protects against heart disease, diabetes, diverticular disease and others. Time to get munching.
Mouthwatering Meatless Chili Con Carne
- 1 onion
- 1 bell pepper, green
- 1-2 cloves garlic
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 chilli / jalapeño
- 5-6 sun-dried tomatoes in oil (drained)
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- ½ cup water
- 1 cup brown lentils, cooked (1 cup = 1 can 15oz/400g)
- 1 can kidney beans (1 can = 15oz/435g)
- ½ can sweet corn (1 can = 15oz/435g)
- 1 can tomatoes (1 can = 14 oz/400g)
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tsp cumin
- 2 tsp paprika powder
- 2 tsp oregano (fresh, frozen, dry - all work - use more if fresh)
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1-2 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 avocado (for garnish)
- Dice the onion, garlic, bell 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 broth and water, rinsed and drained beans, lentils, sweetcorn and chopped tomatoes and stir well. Add the tomato paste and season with salt, pepper, cumin, paprika powder and oregano. Let it all simmer on medium heat for 20 mins, stirring occasionally.
- Optional but really nice: add maple syrup.
- Season with salt and pepper and serve with toasted bread on the side and a dollop of (vegan) sour cream and guacamole if desired.
Our nutritional information charts shows the counts from a serving size designed to be accompanied by a side of your choice – toasted whole grain bread, tortillas and brown rice all compliment it really well!
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