Sunday afternoon cooking sessions are becoming a bit of a ritual. As the frosty weather bites and I settle in for the Come Dine With Me marathon with a cuppa in hand, it’s time to start planning the week’s meals. For those of you that have followed my blog for some time, you’ll know that weekly meal prep is always important to me! As a local news reporter I leave a hectic and often completely unscheduled lifestyle, and I never know exactly when I will get to sit down and enjoy my next meal. Only yesterday I was racing from my bed to the scene of a fire before the sun had even gone up. Though it did make for a pretty dramatic sunrise, I didn’t get my breakfast for several hours and my stomach was growling in protest as I frantically typed up my notes.
But I digress, so as I enjoyed a relatively calm weekend I had to decide what was next on the menu. I attempted a salad for lunch today but it was so cold and frosty it just felt wrong – I couldn’t get any satisfaction from my meal. That’s probably why I went out and bought some chocolate yule logs – but that’s a whole other blog post! I’ve been feeling a bit under the weather this weekend so I needed something to give my immune system a kick. And what better than a hearty chilli?
Chillis are one of those miracle foods – they have numerous health benefits, they release endorphins, they help boost your immune system, they’re packed with vitamin C and they fight free radicals – and that’s just to name a few. So it was inevitable really, that I opt for this for the week ahead to try and fight off all the bugs.
Chilli is also amazingly simple to make, another bonus when you’re feeling crappy. So I set to work creating my concoction, making sure it packed a bit of a punch and adding smoked paprika to make it super comforting. This to me is the meal equivalent of snuggling up with a hot water bottle and watching X Factor – something comforting, warm and fuzzy – and always good with a bit of cheese on top!
Again, as with all my warming winter lunches recipes, I portion this up and freeze some for the week ahead. With beef and beans it packs a good amount of protein in, and I tend to eat mine with either mixed vegetables or piled high on a baked sweet potato with a cheeky bit of grated cheese on top. Pure bliss.
Smoky chilli, with a kick
Gluten free, dairy free, nut free#
- 750g lean steak mince
- 1 tin chopped tomatoes
- 2 tbsp tomato puree
- 1 onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/2 tsp coconut oil
- 1 bovril cube
- 1 tin kidney beans (drained)
- 2 tsp smoked paprika
- 2 tsp hot chilli powder
- 1 tsp chilli flakes
- Finely chop the onions and crush the garlic
- Melt the coconut oil in a large pan, then add the onions, garlic and mince
- Fry for several minutes until the mince is brown, before crumbling over the Bovril cube and mixing together
- Add the tomatoes, tomato puree, kidney beans, paprika, chilli and chilli flakes to the pan
- Stir well, cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes on a low heat. Season with a little salt and pepper if needed, and add more chilli if you like it seriously hot!
- You can serve this straight away, but I always think it tastes better after being left for a day for the flavours to mature.
Try my other warming winter lunches recipes: Butternut chicken mess or Chicken, chickpea and chorizo casserole.