Wednesday, 22 October 2014

A Healthier Take On Chilli

Autumn and winter makes me crave warming evening meals that are cosy, fill me up and insulate me. Unfortunately a lot of my favourite winter dishes - see sticky toffee pudding, chicken and leek pie or cottage pie - don't hold back on the fat, sugar or salt. Delicious, undoubtedly, but not great for every day.

Chilli is another comforting hot meal but I decided to try lightening it up for my dinner today. Butternut squash is an unusual addition but makes for a healthy base along with onions and garlic, giving you a good boost of carotenes. It also adds a subtle, mellow sweetness and is beautifully autumnal.

Turkey mince helps lower the fat content, kidney beans add fibre and more protein for satiety and I love the nuttiness of brown rice. It's also lower GI than white rice and pairs well with the spices I use - including a little addition of cinnamon for a warming twist.

150g of butternut squash slices
1 small onion
2 cloves of garlic
400g of Turkey mince
1 tablespoon of paprika
1 teaspoon of dried chilli flakes
2 teaspoons of cumin
1/2 teaspoon of dried marjoram
1 teaspoon of Very Lazy chopped chilli (or use some fresh)
1 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
2 tablespoons of tomato puree (I used one with added chilli flavour)
5ml of Worcestershire sauce - adds depth and umami bUT with much less salt than stock
A drizzle of hot chilli sauce (optional - I like it hot! I used Lingham's)
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
400g tin of kidney beans, drained to give 240g
Freshly ground black pepper

Brown rice to serve

Makes enough for 3 to 4

Either with a food processor or by hand, dice the butternut squash, garlic and onion and fry with the chilli flakes, cumin, paprika and marjoram for around 5 minutes

Add the turkey mince and fry until it browns, breaking it up with a wooden spoon

Add the chopped tomatoes, chopped fresh chilli, the chilli sauce if using, the tomato puree, Worcestershire sauce and the cinnamon along with as much water as you feel necessary to get the sauce consistency to your liking - I used about half the empty chopped tomato can

Bring to the boil then simmer for 20 minutes. Check the taste and add more of any of the spices depending on your tastes along with the black pepper for seasoning.

Add the kidney beans and simmer for another 5 minutes.

Add a little more black pepper if desired and serve with Brown rice.

Comforting, warm and spick but with plenty of nutrition and no added salt.

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