Healthy & Hearty {No} Beef Chilli Recipe!

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Healthy No Beef Chilli recipe

I love this chilli because it is just as hearty and rich as the beef based version but it's just made up of lentils and vegetables. It makes enough for 6 people or 6 meals so I didn't have to cook every night and also freezes really well. I love the challenge of making a meat dish vegan or vegetarian and although Mr NQN ate it for dinner for close to a week, he never got tired of it.

DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE? Share your creations by tagging @notquitenigella on Instagram with the hashtag #notquitenigella

Tips For Making Vegan Chilli

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1 - Vegan food has to have a lot of flavours added to it as vegetables have a milder flavour than meat. I always double the onions and garlic to give it a flavour boost and add more spices than I would to a meat dish. Always season your food once cooked.

2 - Make sure to rinse the red lentils very well (I rinsed them 6 times).

3 - This chilli freezes well. This quantity makes enough to serve 6 people so it is a large serve. Freeze it in single serve portions where it will last for 6 months in the freezer.

4 - Serve this chilli with: lime, avocado halves and tortillas. Cornbread is also a delicious accompaniment to it. Try this chilli cheese cornbread or classic cornbread.

5 - If you really do want to add some meat and don't need it to be vegan, you can add 250g/8.8ozs. lean beef mince, turkey or chicken mince.

As I mentioned, I made a batch of this and this fed Mr NQN for almost a week's worth of dinners. It was easy to take with us on our dinner picnics. It's amazing how much joy they bring me. After a long day of work, they give us a nice break and something to look forward to.

I thought I would come up with a name for a dinner picnic in the same way that brunch is breakfast lunch. The most obvious were "Pinner" and "Dicnic" and I put it in a poll on my Instagram stories and waited to see which one people preferred.

Healthy No Beef Chilli recipe

Dicnic with vegan chilli, salad, prawn rolls and custard tart

There was one winner: dicnic it was! So now I've got to keep calling my dinner picnic "dicnic"! When I packing everything in our picnic bag Mr NQN asked, "Dicnic tonight?" And that's how things that perhaps need explaining to others, become part of a couple's lexicon!

So tell me Dear Reader, would you have voted Pinner or Dicnic? And do you have any made up words that you use with your friends or family?

Healthy No Beef Chilli recipe

Healthy & Hearty {No} Beef Chilli

An Original Recipe by Lorraine Elliott

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 45 minutes

Serves: 6

  • Oil for frying
  • 2 onions, peeled and diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and diced
  • 1 red capsicum/pepper (around 300g/10.6ozs), diced
  • 3 carrots (around 300g/10.6ozs.), diced
  • 300g/10.6ozs mushrooms, sliced
  • 2x400g/14oz tins tomatoes, diced
  • 3/4 cup/150g/5ozs tomato paste
  • 1 cup/210g/7ozs red lentils (rinsed very well)
  • 2 cups/500ml/16.9flozs. beef or vegetable stock
  • 2 beef or vegetable stock cubes
  • 6 dried chillies (or to taste)
  • 3 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 3 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 400g/14oz tin red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • Salt and pepper to season
  • Limes, tortillas, yogurt or sour cream and avocado to serve

Healthy No Beef Chilli recipe

Step 1 - Add the oil to a large pot on medium heat and add the diced onions, garlic, capsicum and carrots. Sauté for 5-6 minutes until soft and fragrant. Add the mushrooms and cook for 3-4 minutes. Then add the tomatoes, tomato paste, red lentils, stock, stock cubes, chillies, paprika, cumin and oregano.

Healthy No Beef Chilli recipe

Step 2 - Place the lid on the pot and bring to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes stirring occasionally. Remove the lid and cook for another 20 minutes. If it dries out too much, add a little more water or place the lid back on. In the last 5 minutes add the drained kidney beans. Taste for seasoning adding salt and pepper. Serve with lime wedges, sour cream (or yogurt), tortillas and avocado.

Healthy No Beef Chilli recipe