Wednesday 27 April 2011

To Vegan or Not to Vegan

Ok, so recipe time. In deciding what recipe I was going to post first I went to my most trusted advisor, and he said that he loves this recipe so much it should be the first to go out there. Whenever I ask for help making a shopping list, it’s always, ‘did you get black bean chilli recipe makings?’, and ‘no baby we have some in the freezer still.’ When I first moved to London the idea of adapting all of my old favourite recipes seemed like it might be a bit of a challenge and this one was the first to be made here. But it turned into be the fastest two pot recipe I make, and I’ve only had to substitute a few things. One substitute I’ve not seen here is yellow summer squash, so I’ve resorted to using all Zucchini squash (Courgettes), also the chilli powder here just isn’t up to par as far as my Tex-Mex palate is concerned so I’ve always used a stash that I’ve brought back from the US, or I go to the shops and buy every chilli powder they have and test to make sure which has the right flavour. For the purpose of this blog I’ll tell you what I use and give you suggestions to find your own flavour. Yea so apart from those two things it’s a very simple recipe, and totally vegan (if eaten without the sour cream or cheese garnish), also high in fibre, high protein and LOW FAT.

So, for the ingredients, don’t be scared if it seems like a lot, it’s just a process of developing flavour, and the one thing about cooking is you can’t stress about measuring (too much), if you stress about it a recipe is going to be hard and ridged and there won’t be any fun in making it. Remember this recipe feeds a group of 5+ so if you want cut it in half or it freezes well and makes great leftovers. And one more thing, I’ll try to always post in Metric and American System of measurements for all my friends. Ok here it goes:

Black Bean Chilli

3 (15oz or 400g) cans of Black Beans (undrained)
2 (15oz or 400g) cans crushed or chopped tomatoes
1 small-medium jar of salsa
1 medium onion
1 medium green/red pepper
3 cloves garlic
2 zucchini (courgette)
1-2 yellow squash (if you can find it, if you can’t find it use a yellow courgette or omit it)
~100g (handful!) of Cilantro (coriander)
3 cloves of garlic
3tbps good chilli powder
Splash of oil to get veggies stir frying
1tsp cumin
Salt/ pepper to taste
White or brown rice cook as you like for serving
Sour cream for garnish
Shredded cheese for garnish

First, open all cans and jars and have available next to pot.

Next, prep and dice these veggies and group them accordingly:
  1. Onion
    Courgettes (Zucchini)
  2. Garlic
  3. Chop cilantro

Then, cook:
Add small amount of oil to a relatively big pot.
When hot add 1st group of veggies until soft and then add garlic.
Stir around until garlic becomes fragrant.
Add all other ingredients, beans, tomatoes, salsa, and spices, chilli powder, cumin and salt and pepper.
Drop in cilantro.
Simmer until everything looks soft and the cilantro has turned from bright green to the colour of the chilli.
Serve over hot fresh rice, with sour cream and cheddar cheese on top.
Omit the sour cream and cheddar for a 100% vegan dish.

This is just one example of something that I make that exudes massive amounts of flavour, uses a lot of ingredients, but doesn’t take a lot of time if you can manage just calm down, and think it through by a series of a few simple processes. This recipe is best tried with a little inhibition, add a little of this, and that to make it taste how you want it, and use what you have to create it and make it your own.


  1. Def gonna try this soon!

  2. I think we'll try this one this weekend or early this coming week. Do you have any pics?

  3. I started taking pics only recently as I'm cooking, I haven't made this in a while but it's gonna look something like this:
    I'll try and put one up next time I make it, James is dying for it.

  4. Excellent recipe. I cooked this for my family tonight for the second time. No longer do I need to beg family and friends to bring back those little packets of chili seasoning from the states. Thanks Missy.

  5. I'm so glad you liked it!! :D