This is a brilliant solution when the time is short or you don’t have too many ideas on hand for dinner. Just open the freezer, see what veggies you have and there you go, a delicious chilli in less than half an hour.
The idea for this dish started from an extra can of mixed beans bought because I thought there weren’t any in the pantry. With not much space left on the shelf, the best option was to use it straight away. The usual beans salad with onion seemed a bit too simple – and did not match what was planned for dinner – so I thought to prepare something unusual for lunch next day.
I always have some cans of chopped tomatoes in the pantry as well. Ready for a quick pasta sauce, a soup (for example a Beetroot and tomato veloutée) or a stew. This is the second ingredient. Bear with me, there won’t be many others. In the freezer, frozen veggies are always stocked up, in case of necessity. There is nothing wrong with them, they taste as fresh and they last way longer. In this case, some leftover mixed veggies did the trick as ingredient number three. Include some chopped onion, ingredient four (but does onion really count as an ingredient?), and we’re done. Well… almost. There was also some baby spinach, just a couple of handfuls, which needed to be used up before expiry date. But that’s optional. You can use frozen spinach if you like, or not add them at all.
For a good chilli, you need spices though. If you count them as an ingredient that’s ok, we weren’t completely done then ;). If you had a look at my post about Spice blending, you’ll remember that I already mentioned the Chili seasoning blend.
Mix 1/2 teaspoon each of:
- cayenne pepper
- hot paprika
- garlic powder
INGREDIENTS (serves 2)
- ½ onion, sliced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 200g mixed veggies (carrot, sweetcorn, peas, broccoli)
- 1 can (180g drained) mixed beans
- 1 can (400g) chopped tomatoes
- Chili seasoning
- Handful fresh baby spinach (optional)
Tip the onions in a saucepan with the oil. Turn on the hob and fry for a few minutes over medium-high heat.
Add the frozen vegetable and let defrost for 5-6 minutes, stirring often. In the meantime, you can prepare the seasoning mix if you haven’t already.
Drain the beans from their liquid, rinse them quickly and add them to the pan.
Pour over the chopped tomatoes, and add the seasoning. Stir well, and add half a can of hot water (use the tomatoes one so you can rinse off the remaining juice).
Cover loosely and simmer for 20-25 minutes, according to how tender you like the vegetables. Add the spinach if you wish during the last 3-4 minutes just to let them wilt.
This simple chilly can be served hot with some rice, but also as I did, warmed up in a tortilla wrap with some sliced avocado and Greek yogurt or sour cream if you prefer!