Little one and I have had a lovely few days with my family having a little staycation. We went to Drusillas Park, East Sussex on Wednesday. It poured down all day but that meant the zoo was pretty quiet so we didn’t mind. Little one got to meet Peppa Pig although I’m pretty sure she didn’t know who they were! We also milked a fake cow which made me laugh as I explained to little one this is where poorly milk comes from! I packed a Yumbox to take with us. I filled it with a homemade dairy free scone from my freezer stash, Goodies poppy seed crackers, blackberries, carrots and broccoli. All went down well, especially the sausages little one’s Grandmum bought along.
Yesterday I left little one with daddy and went to a spa! First time and I loved it. I particularly loved the afternoon tea which we had afterwards. It was a treat from my brother for myself, my mum and my brother’s girlfriend and her mum, which made it extra special. Not very allergy friendly with oodles of cream and macaroons but delicious all the same. I definitely plan to recreate it so it is allergy friendly for my husband and little one.
As August is now the start of autumn what better way to cheer ourselves up than with a warming chilli. I cooked this for the vegetarian and gluten free camp last week and served it with both rice and jacket potatoes. It’s another really flexible recipe so feel free to chuck in whatever beans you have in the cupboard (even baked beans!) and veg left in the fridge. I added chunks of chopped aubergine to give an extra ‘meaty’ texture. Like my other recipes for the camp I have given the ingredients for ten servings (I multiplied depending on the number of campers I was cooking for). All these meals make great freezer dinners so set aside an afternoon and stock up your reserves or halve the quantities for a smaller family sized meal.
3 Onions, finely chopped
3 carrots, finely sliced
3 sticks of celery, finely sliced
3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
3 tbsp tomato purée
3 tsp ground cumin
3 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp hot chilli powder or 1 tsp crushed chilli flakes or 1 red chilli finely chopped (it is all up to your personal taste)
1 kg chopped tomatoes (2 1/2 400g tins)
1 kg mixed beans (a combination of your favourite tinned beans, roughly 2 and a half cans, rinsed and drained) I used kidney beans, cannellini beans and butter beans
1. In a large pan sweat the onion in the olive oil for about 10 minutes until soft. Add the garlic, carrot and celery and cook for a further 10 minutes until the vegetables start to soften.
2. Add the tomato purée and stir through. Then add the cumin, smoked paprika and chilli. Stir the vegetables and spices together for a few minutes.
3. Pour in the chopped tomatoes and fill the empty can half way with water, add that to the pan too. Bring to a simmer and cover. Stir occasionally, cooking for 10 minutes over a low heat.
4. Tip in all the beans and stir through. Bring to a simmer again and cover. Cook on a low heat for 15-20 minutes. Add splashes of water to the chilli if it starts to look too dry and season to taste.
If you’re adding extra vegetables you can add them in a couple of steps. If you want a softer bite (for example peppers) add them with the carrots and celery. If you’re adding aubergine or mushrooms you could add them when you add the tomatoes.
Dairy, egg, nut, soya and gluten free
Makes ten servings
Total make time under an hour and a half