Monday, August 29, 2011

I Didn't Mean to...

Do you know my band mate Michael? I tease him all the time for being a vegan. Yesterday when we were having coffee arguing about band names he decided to order breakfast and as I watched him eat his toast and beans I got a massive meat chili and corn bread craving. I started listing the ingredients in my head: Beef, beans, peppers, onion, garlic, tomatoes, carrot, chilies, spices... I had everything at home. I thought I'll go home, put in a load of laundry, run out and pick up some meat, and make chilli. Long story short, I did a massive grocery shop, and forgot to buy meat. So what started out as a reactionary meat craving ended up being totally vegan in spite of my intentions... It was still delicious. The corn bread is a must. It's dead easy and seals the whole chilli deal like no other bread.

Accidentally Vegetarian (vegan in fact) Chili

2 Medium Sweet Potatoes
1 Large Spanish Onion
1 Red Bell Pepper (use 2 if they're small)
2 Small Carrots
1 Red/green chili deseeded and finely chopped
2 Cloves Garlic
1 Can Chopped Tomatoes
2 Cans Beans (I used black beans and kidney beans because that's what I had in my pantry)
ground chipotle peppers
dry ground chili (ancho if you can get some)
ground coffee

Peal and dice the sweet potatoes, toss them in olive oil, salt, cumin, cinnamon, and paprika. Roast on a tray in a 375degree oven until soft and golden.

In the mean time, put a large pan on a medium-high heat and add a couple of lugs of olive oil. Add the onion, peppers, carrot, and garlic and cook for 5 minutes shaking things around every minute or so. Season with dry spices to taste, add the fresh chili and cook for another 10 or so minutes until everything is tender and well seasoned

Drain and rinse the beans, then tip them into the pan with the tinned tomatoes and juice. Stir well and bring to a boil, then reduce to a medium-low heat and leave to thicken for 25 to 30 minutes and add a splash of water if it's getting too thick.

Stir the sweet potatoes in and serve with sour cream and a few pieces of corn bread. I like to butter and grill my cornbread because I have a stove top griddle that's perfect for it. You could serve yours however you like it.

Light Corn Bread (not the buttery southern type, but a more bready kind that I like for grilling and with chili)

1C Flour
1C Cornmeal
4tbsp Sugar
1tbsp Baking Soda
1tsp Salt
2 Eggs
1C Plain Yogurt/low fat sour cream
1tbsp Olive Oil
One Chopped Deseeded Chilli (optional)

Preheat oven to 200/400 and grease a cast iron pan.
Mix all dry ingredients. Beat egg with yogurt and olive oil. Add to dry ingredients and mix until homogenous. Add chillies if using. Pour into pan and bake25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes inserted in the centre comes out clean.