I must record here the recipe (such as it is) for vegetarian chilli beans, as it is THE weeknight dinner of choice for all four of us at the moment, both couples cooking this dish at least once a week. It’s good because: it uses what’s in the cupboard; it’s healthy; and it’s massively cheap.
As you can see I added baby spinach for a variation on the theme (and because it was in the fridge, I'm an opportunist cook)
My brother is vegetarian, so I’m used to cooking vegetarian dishes. To use an example: it seems like to most guys, spaghetti bolognese is the fall back recipe of choice. Mums don’t let their sons move out before they’ve mastered this one. Mr Behemoth cooks up a mean spag bol himself. But to me (and my bro of course), it’s vegetarian tomato based pasta that rules the roost as a fallback dish when you can’t think of anything else. Plus, when I first moved out, meat was expensive so I basically just ordered it when I was out and cooked vegies when I was at home.
Anyway, what does all this have to do with the chilli beans? Basically, this is a recipe that everybody likes in the house, and no-one has yet suggested it is incomplete without meat. Mm… I can eat a hearty healthy bowlful of this and be completely satisfied, and what’s more, so can Mr Behemoth! I’d be interested to hear from vegos with variations on this theme. What are your go-to weeknight recipes?
Vegetarian Chilli Beans– no idea where the recipe came from, we found it written on the fridge one day
- 2 tsp oil
- 1 brown onion, chopped
- 1/2 red capsicum (we have also used green successfully of course)
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp chilli flakes
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp thyme
- 1 tin of lentils
- 1 tin of 4 bean mix (or kidney beans)
- 1 tin diced tomatoes
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- any other herbs of your choice (eg. coriander if you don’t hate it)
Cook the onion and the capsicum in the oil until soft (around 5 minutes). Add the garlic, spices and thyme and cook for a minute, then dump in the drained and rinsed lentils and beans (because that liquid they come in is weird and frothy) and the tin of tomatoes and tomato paste. Rinse out the tomato can by filling it up with water and dumping that in, as well. Stir together, and then simmer on a low heat for 15 minutes or until thick (this may require a bit of lid on/lid off depending). Enjoy!