Introduction: Chilli Non Carne - Meat Free Chilli

Every January I try to stick to a weight loss detox to help reduce the damage inflicted upon my body during the Christmas festivities. This diet is very restrictive as you cannot have gluten, meat (except fish) dairy, anything too acidic, or worse of all, no alcohol.

Well, in order to help me through the week making such restrictive meals I needed something I could make in a large batch, freeze and microwave when needed.

I do love a good chilli and there's nothing in the rules against using a meat substitute, so the spicy cooking can begin! To bulk it out though I will be using plenty of beans, this reduces the requirement for meat substitute..

Step 1: Ingredients - Feel Free to Play About to Your Taste

Provides approximately 6 portions, one for now, one for each day during the week (or keep in the freezer until required).

2-3 onions depending on size (mine were small so I used 3)
2 cloves of garlic, crushed or finely chopped
2 carrots, finely diced
2 sticks of celery, finely diced
2 grilled red peppers, chopped (I used some from a jar for speed)
cooking oil
1 teaspoons of hot chilli powder, or to taste
1 teaspoon cumin, ground
1  teaspoon cinnamon
A fresh chilli pepper if you like it hotter
a tablespoon of tomato puree (paste)
400g Cannelini beans, canned
400g red kidney beans, canned
800g chopped tomatoes (two regular cans)
500g Quorn, or meat substitute
Balsamic vinegar or Worcestershire sauce
Fresh coriander
Sat and pepper

Step 2: Preparation and Chopping Stuff

We all know what proper planning prevents don't we?

Get everything out ready to go. You'll need a large saucepan (or split everything equally between two if your pans are small). Get out a chopping board, knife, can opener, a sieve, stirring implement and your ingredients.

Chop all the veggies up to a fairly fine dice, you may prefer yours chunkier, although the beans will add texture later.

I like to empty my beans into a sieve and wash the canned sludge from them.

Pop the saucepan on the hob and get the oil hot enough to begin frying the veggies.

Step 3: Frying Stuff

Begin frying the onion in the oil for a few minutes, whilst stirring.

Next add the carrot, celery, garlic and fresh chilli if you're using. Fry this until the vegetables start to soften slightly.

Next add the spices and stir through the vegetables. Next add the peppers and tomato puree, stirring in to mix with the spicy mixture.

Now de-glaze the pan with a couple of teaspoons of balsamic vinegar.

Step 4: Simmering Stuff

Add the stock and tinned tomatoes, stir through to mix all the flavours.

Now put in the beans, the saucepan might be quite full, so stir carefully.

Put the meat substitute on the top of the mixture

Bring the pot to a boil,, stir everything together, then reduce to gentle simmering

Put the lid on and leave to simmer, stirring occasionally or at least half an hour

You may want to put some rice on to cook, or prepare your accompaniments whilst this simmers.

Step 5: Eating Stuff!

Just before serving I like to add some fresh coriander for the clean punch it adds.

You should also taste it before seasoning with salt and pepper.

I served this very simply with boiled brown rice as that's in keeping with my Detox diet, although you may fancy some grated cheese, a dollop of creme fresh, soured cream or guacamole on yours.

Corn Taco's are still allowed on my diet, so's guacamole, if only I had some :-(    Best get back into the kitchen and put that right before I have my next batch.

This is a good basic Chilli recipe, you may want to tweak it to your own taste and what ingredients you like, it's very versatile.
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