Winter has finally arrived, and for once we even have snow! When I left for my early morning walk everything was covered in a pristine layer of white powder. Ecstasy! In this coastal city it hardly ever snows, the air is just too salty, so whenever it does (once every two years if we're lucky) you have to fit in as much "snow-fun" as possible; snow angels, snowmen and a few snow balls are all musts. And it has to be done quickly, because it won't last. In fact by the time I went to work most of it had melted, although it was great fun watching the suited men on their way to work, slipping and sliding down the hill in the remaining slush.
But enough of the weather report. Cold weather calls for comfort food. And at the top of my list for cosy food comes chilli con carne. I’m not sure this recipe is particularly authentic, but it’s delicious nevertheless, and it’s pretty good for you too (it’s yet another adaptation from my trusty kitchen companion, Patrick Holford and his Low GL cookbook), plus it doesn’t take much more than 20 minutes to make (although it tastes even better if you make it one day and eat it the next).
My man is not keen on spicy food in combination with beans (for reasons best not dwelled upon), so my chilli is pretty mild, but of course you can add spices to your heart’s desire.
Chilli con carne
450 g lean organic beef mince (5% if you can get that)
2 tsp olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 red pepper, diced
250 g mushrooms, sliced
2 tsp cumin
¼ tsp chilli powder
1 can (400 g) chopped tomatoes
3 tbsp tomato puree
4 tsp Marigold reduced salt vegetable bouillon powder
1 can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
Cook the mince in a large frying pan until it turns a lovely shade of grey-brown. Scoop off any fat that appears with a teaspoon. Set aside.
Heat the olive oil in a separate pot and fry the onion, garlic, pepper and mushrooms for about 5 minutes. Add the cumin and chilli powder and cook for a further 10 minutes or so until the vegetables are soft.
Add the mince, tomatoes, kidney beans, tomato paste and bouillon powder, stir well. Cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes, until the flavours have mingled.