Meat Free ‘Chilli Con Carne’ Recipe

Chilli con carne is one of those recipes that everyone loves and it is super easy to make vegetarian/vegan. There’s also a million ways of making it since everyone has their own recipe so for me there is no right or wrong as long as it tastes good. This particular recipe is inspired on the Jame Oliver version of his 15 Minute Meals book, I saw him make the recipe on his TV programme and it made me buy the book! I wasn’t vegetarian back then and I remember his version took me twice as long! However this veggie version really only takes 20 minutes to make.

I use store bought veggie mince for this, but if you want to make it completely vegan then you can make chilli with different types of beans or make your own vegan mince minceing seitan in the food processor for example if you can’t find vegan mince.

The mix of spices might not seem very traditionally Mexican but it works very well. I would have never thought of adding garam masala to a Mexican dish but all I can say is that it’s genius! (Thanks Jamie!) I like to make a big pot of this and then I can freeze it and take it for my lunch at work. I put the bulgur or quinoa to cook and then start with the sauce that way everything is ready at the same time, however you can also have it with white rice (I many times do).

Meat Free ‘Chilli Con Carne’ Recipe
Yield: 4 Servings
Difficulty: Easy
Cooking time:
Metric
US/Cups

Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 300 g vegan or vegetarian mince
  • 1 medium onion (or 3 spring onions)
  • 1 tin of tomato (400 g)
  • handful of coriander with the stalks
  • 3 roasted piquillo peppers (or 1 medium red bell pepper raw)
  • 1 mild chilli
  • 2 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp yeast extract (Marmite)
  • dash of smoked tabasco sauce
  • 1 tsp chipotle paste
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  •  1 tin of kidney beans
  • 1 cup of quinoa or bulgur
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 10½ oz vegan or vegetarian mince
  • 1 medium onion (or 3 spring onions)
  • 1 tin of tomato (14 oz)
  • handful of coriander with the stalks
  • 3 roasted piquillo peppers (or 1 medium red bell pepper raw)
  • 1 mild chilli
  • 2 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp yeast extract (Marmite)
  • dash of smoked tabasco sauce
  • 1 tsp chipotle paste
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  •  1 tin of kidney beans
  • 1 cup of quinoa or bulgur

Instructions

For the chilli sauce

  1. Put in a blender the onion, a tin of tomato, a good handful of coriander (cilantro), the piquillo (or bell) peppers, chilli (adjust if you like it more spicy) and the garam masala. Blend and add to a large pan on a medium heat. I like to add 1 tsp of yeast extract for depth of flavour and savouriness (you can also add some miso paste for extra depth).
  2. On a frying pan add the olive oil on a medium/high heat and once the oil is hot add the cumin seeds and gently fry (temper) for about a minute. This will temper the cumin and release lots of flavour.
  3. Drain 1 tin of kidney beans and rinse, and add to the cumin seeds. Fry until the beans start to split or open up.
  4. Add the beans and cumin to the chilli sauce.
  5. If you have chipotle sauce and smoked tabasco it is worth adding this as it will give a very nice chilli flavour to the dish. This however is completely optional.
  6. Add 300g of your favourite veggie mince and allow to cook through. This shouldn’t take more than 10 minutes. Add a bit of water to the sauce if it is too thick, and season to taste.

For the bulgur/quinoa

  1. Add 1 cup of bulgur or quinoa to 2 cups of boiling water. I like to add a good pinch of salt, the juice of a lemon and a stick of cinnamon to infuse. If you use lemon make sure this measure is included in the total amount of liquid you add which should be at a ratio of 2:1.
  2. Once it starts to simmer turn the heat down and cook for 15 minutes.

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