Try this easy recipe that is full of flavour and very filling. You don’t need a lot! And if you are feeding growing teenagers, then this is a great recipe to have on hand as it will fill them up! You can omit the meat to make it vegan, or substitute the red meat for chicken. If you do that I would suggest using the same quantities of chicken mince.
If using the beef, preheat a large heavy based pot to a high heat. Brown the meat for 2-3 minutes until slightly caramelised. Add a healthy pinch of sea salt and sprinkle of black pepper and stir. Reduce the heat to medium. If making this chilli vegan, skip straight to step 2.
Add the carrot and onion. Stir and cook until soft 3-4 minutes. If not using meat, add about a tablespoon of olive oil to the pan first to sauce the onion and carrot. Lower the heat whilst cooking the garlic as burnt garlic is not good! Add the pressed garlic, a teaspoon or 2 of chilli powder (remember, you can always add but never subtract), cumin, bay leaf and pinch of sea salt, and stir for about 1-2 minutes to cook the garlic and toast the spice.
Bring the pot back to medium heat, add the tomato paste and diced tomatoes – the acid from the tomatoes will deglaze the bottom of the pot. Stir well, scraping the bottom of the pan.
Add the beans and pepper plus 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper. Stir well and cook for at least 5 minutes, then taste to check to see if you need more salt and chilli. I usually end up adding more of both, but taste test first before adding more. Don’t be afraid to salt your food! Salt brings out the flavour of all foods, and cooking from scratch won’t even come close to the sodium levels in processed foods. Add 1 cup of purified water to thin out if your chilli is too thick.
Let it simmer on low, stirring every 15 minutes, for at least an hour if you can to let the flavours come together. The longer it sits the better the flavour. If you make it a few hours ahead, you can turn the oven on low and put the pot covered into the oven for few hours to keep it warm. Or keep it in a crockpot on a warm setting. Store leftovers in a glass, airtight container up to 3 days in the refrigerator or 3 months in the freezer.
Serve over brown rice, cauliflower rice or my favourite, a bed of mixed greens. Great way to increase your greens. Use a mix of rocket, baby spinach or some dark leafed lettuces, splash a dash of olive oil, lemon juice and salt and pepper over the greens, then pour on your beef chilli or vegetarian chilli mix. The added beans to this dish make it very dense and filling. You won’t need much and it will last you many meals.