A few months ago I decided that despite eating and enjoying a wide range of foods and different cuisines, I have far too much meat and fish in my diet. I know I’ll never be someone who can permanently give up these things for good, and nor do I want to. I really love meat and fish! But what I do want to do, is eat a lot less of these food groups going into the new year, which is why I have decided to embark on a month of vegetarianism.
A week and a half in and I’m really enjoying eating and creating meat-free meals, and can honestly say that I’m not missing my old eating habits as much as I thought I would do. My body feels cleaner, and my vegetarian recipe repertoire is growing by the day. Although I’m looking forward to a few slices of bacon in the early part of February, right now I’m feeling pretty content and am looking forward to cutting meat and fish out of my life for a few days a week after this month is over.
I’ve cooked a lot of new dishes since the beginning of the year, but so far my favourite is this speedy veggie chilli. Filled with mixed beans, yellow peppers, red onions and a warming hit of chilli and spices, this rivals any beefy version I’ve had so far. Vegetarian or not, you really should give this bowl of steaming hot goodness a go.
Red onion, sliced
Yellow pepper, sliced
395g mixed beans in chilli sauce
400g chopped tomatoes
1 red chilli, deseeded and finely sliced
1 tbsp sundried tomato paste
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp chilli powder
Pinch of dried chilli flakes
A handful of freshly chopped coriander
Salt and fresh black pepper
Serve with rice and a dollop of sour cream
- Begin by heating a drizzle of garlic oil in a large saucepan over a low to medium heat. Add the sliced red onion and peppers and fry for 5-10 minutes, or until beginning to soften, stirring every now and then.
- Turn up to a medium heat and add the sundried tomato paste. Mix well and fry for a minute.
- Next add in all the spices (apart from the chilli flakes) and the fresh chilli and mix well again. Fry off for a couple of minutes before pouring in the mixed beans in their chilli sauce, and the chopped tomatoes. Turn down and leave to simmer for around 15-20 minutes.
- After the cooking time is up, season with salt and fresh black pepper and then add in three quarters of the freshly chopped coriander and stir.
- Spoon into two large bowls and serve with a dollop of sour cream on top, a scattering of chilli flakes and a final sprinkling of fresh coriander.