Chilli on a Budget – New Zealand Style

This is the best dish for any of the following scenarios:

-You have friends coming for dinner who have appetites that are disproportionate to the size of your wallet.
-You have an incredibly busy week and you need to make about 8 adult size meals that keep well, freeze well, and are super hearty, mega-nutritious and guilt-free.
-You’re trying to lose weight and would like to eat something that is filling and nourishing but still tastes like big delicious comfort food.
-You like chilli.

Remember this site only does 5-steps-max meals, so here we go:

  1. Sautée a chopped brown onion on medium heat in a large pot with 3-4 cloves of garlic (depends on how much you like garlic – if you want more, add more. I’m not the boss of you). Once the onion is getting translucent, add a chopped up chilli and stir it around until your house smells delicious. In NZ I would use one from the small ‘La Morena: Chipotle Peppers’ pottle. You get like, a thousand for around $3. They keep forever in a plastic container in the fridge. Remember not to go spaz-tastic with the heat – burnt garlic gets bitter.
  2. Add in 2 big handfuls of chopped button mushrooms and chopped capsicums (using at least 2 different colours is the prettiest), and stir them around til they are coated in the flavoury goodness and look a little cooked.
  3. Then pour over 4 cans of ‘chopped and sieved’ tomatoes and use about 2 cans-worth of water to rinse them out and thin the sauce a little. Bring it to the boil and throw in 2 cans of chick peas (called garbanzo beans in ‘Murica), 2 cans of red kidney beans and a couple of cubed potatoes. I like red ones for this because they’re waxy and hold together well but any will do.
  4. Turn the heat up a little to get it boiling and stir it every now and again to make sure nothing gets stuck to the bottom. It will take about 40mins to cook through the potato and get all the flavours melded and marvellous. If it’s still too thin after that just boil it down a little more – you can’t hurt this dish. You can also add in some salt and pepper to taste if you want to.
  5. Serve it with a side of rice, a handful of torn up coriander (cilantro) and some ‘dippy sticks’. Quickest (and best) option for those is to buy ‘Tio Pablo’ soft corn tacos and either fry them til they’re golden brown and hard or squash them in the sandwich press for a minute – does the same thing.

PRESTO! Keeps well, freezes well, serves everyone and costs sod all. Try it and let me know what you thought below!


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