The nation’s (second) favourite

I am so hungry…

Considering I ate around 2000 calories before crawling up the stairs this still manages to amaze me. It’s 7:32am and I woke up at 6am after going to bed at… wait for it…. SEVEN THIRTY PM. Ha! Impressive huh? I just slept for 10 hours. Nice. This will be my life for the next couple of months. 7:30pm bedtimes and enormous amounts of food. I’m telling you – if you are my friend you better prepare yourselves for September 18th onwards – I am going to party (lies… I’ll have two beers and ask if we can watch Harry Potter).

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Will somebody tuck this girl in? For CRYING out loud

I thought we’d look at some more recipes today. Yes? Mainly because it seems half of London were making chilli yesterday and for good reason! Apparently good ol’ chilli con carne is the nation’s 2nd favourite meal! Well, according the Hairy Bikers it is and who wouldn’t believe them? Why do we love chilli? A few good reasons:

  1. You can cook a massive pan of it and have it sitting in the fridge all week ready to be heated up for lunch/post work
  2. You can make it as lean and healthy as you like. If you go easy on the oil and the beans it’s damn low carb and really high protein
  3. It tastes better the longer it sits in the fridge
  4. It doesn’t feel like a “healthy” option which means it’s great for serving to friends that may otherwise give you grief if you suggest a “healthy” dinner
  5. A monkey could make it – it is literally the easiest recipe out there

Behold – the gastro delights of my “animals are our friends” girl – Phoebe…

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A vegan dream…

And a slightly less vegan version created by the wonderful Erin…

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Apologies for the terrible photography – I ran down the stairs in my jammies to take it and it’s like, 6am, cut me some slack

Erin’s version has BEER in it – *choir of angels heavenly music type noise* – how cool is that? Erin is Californian, apparently that means she knows everything there is to know about what is GOOD Mexican food and what is rubbish. Not surprisingly, all UK “Mexican” food is rubbish. If Erin puts beer in here chilli, I’ll damn well copy her. She also has quinoa (KEEN-WAH) in there. See it? Squiggly little white things? That’s bold. I like it. She’s got her carbs AND extra protein.

So chilli, great choice for anyone that works a lot and is just generally busy. You can essentially make it from whatever you like but I generally always use:

  • Lean beef mince (I have also done a turkey/pork mince version – lower fat)
  • Red peppers (bell peppers for anyone outside the UK)
  • Onions
  • Tinned tomatoes
  • Stock cubes
  • Chilli powder (obvs)
  • Smoked paprika
  • Garlic cloves
  • Kidney beans
  • Fresh coriander
  • Lime Wedges

Other options to add in are:

  • Sweetcorn
  • BEER (pow)
  • Butter beans/chickpeas (sounds weird but works well and means you don’t need rice)
  • Chorizo (again slightly messing with the Mexican laws here but whatever)
  • Bacon
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Dark chocolate (just a square or two at the end)
  • Fresh chillis

Now to actually MAKE chilli is probably one of the easiest things in the world.

  1. Get a massive pan and put it on the heat with a tablespoon of oil (coconut/vegetable/groundnut – doesn’t matter)
  2. Chop all your veg and chuck the onions and a couple of crushed garlic cloves in the oil
  3. Chuck in the mince and mash it up with a potato masher if you like smoother style chilli or just smush it up with a spoon if you like chunks of meat
  4. Chuck a heaped teaspoon of smoked paprika, same of chilli powder (be CAREFUL with this if you don’t like spicy), one or two stock cubes, a couple of tins of tomatoes and your peppers in
  5. Now I actually prefer to get my beans in now as well as I like them very smushy (yes that is a word)
  6. Essentially you can’t mess this up, even if you don’t do the above, just get it all in a pot and then let it simmer and bubble for AGES – like ages ages – the longer it sits cooking the more intense the flavour. I cook mine for anywhere between one and three hours. If it’s getting too thick add some water.

On a “get lean” mission? You can serve it with as much green veg as you can fit on your plate, if you’re dead fancy you can spiralize courgettes or butternut squash (yes these are relatively low carb – I love them).Here’s how I used to eat mine:

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WHOLE avocado = pretty greedy, these guys are fairly high on the calories so you may want to restrain yourself and go for a half… #greedycat

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Not so bothered about avoiding carbs? Well I will be trying Erin’s version with the quinoa (Keeeen-waaaaah, not bloody kwin-oh-ah) mixed in. This is so genius as it means the grains cook in the sauce of the chilli and will taste awesome, no boring old boiled rice in our hoose!

Now just quickly shooting back to the whole serving this to friends. You can add a ton of fancy stuff to make this into a Friday night feast…

  • Mix 0% greek yoghurt with a squeeze of lime juice, some salt, some pepper and some chopped fresh coriander (good alternative to sour cream)
  • Crumble some feta cheese into a bowl and use instead of mountains of grated cheddar
  • Chop up an avocado and mix with some chopped cherry tomatoes and coriander and lime juice and sea salt (better than big spoonfuls of shop bought guac)
  • Grill/toast some wholemeal pittas, let them cool, snap into shards – better than tortilla crisps

Enough? I’m literally about to start eating the scented candle next to my bed so this better suffice for now.

If you DO make some chilli, get it on Instagram and tag me! (fuellingthefoodie)

For now, happy Monday folks and some light humour to amuse you (I hope) on your way to work…

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See – CAT knows… (Cat? My name is Cat? Oh forget it – go to work)

Muchos Lovos Amigo – C xxx

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The nation’s (second) favourite

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