Mexican bean chilli with corn rice

What’s a vegetarian cooking blog without a bean recipe? I don’t actually eat a lot of beans but when I do I always make  Mexican-inspired dish. This bean chilli is ridiculously simple and it’s really cheap to make too. I like the addition of corn rice, but I often have it with plain brown rice or tacos. It’s all about the condiments with this dish – make sure you have plenty of avo, fresh coriander, sour cream or smooth cream cheese, and fresh limes or lemons.

mexican bean chilli

Serves 5

400 g courgettes, chopped
600 g fresh tomatoes, chopped finely (you can use canned if you prefer – just use two tins)
6 spring onions, chopped
1 tin of kidney beans, drained and rinsed well
1 tin of butter beans, drained and rinsed well
1 onion, chopped
1 yellow pepper, chopped
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp crushed garlic
2 tsp chilli flakes (less if you don’t like heat)
1 lemon or 2 limes
A handful of fresh coriander
1 cup brown rice
4 corncobs
1 tsp oregano
olive oil
Avo, smooth cottage cheese or sour cream, and more fresh coriander, to serve

Start off by making the rice. In a large pot heat a slug of olive oil for a few seconds and then add the rice. Add 3 cups of water and bring to the boil. Add the oregano, turn down the heat and let the rice simmer with the lid on for about 35 minutes, without stirring. Slice the corn off the cobs and add to the rice after 30 minutes. Cook for 5 minutes with the lid on and then turn the heat off but leave the pan on the stove for a further 5 minutes, also covered.

For the bean chilli, fry the onion until soft in some olive oil. Add the courgettes, spices and garlic and cook for a further 5 minutes until the courgettes start to get soft. Add the tomatoes and turn the heat up. Let it cook away until the tomatoes have turned mushy and you can crush them easily. Turn the heat down a bit, add the beans and cook for a further ten minutes before putting in the chopped yellow pepper. Cook for about five minutes more.

Serve the bean chilli on the rice with chopped spring onions and fresh coriander on top.

Easy veggie quiche

I made up this recipe the other day when I had some shortcrust pastry in the freezer, some leftover crème fraiche and a motley collection of veggies lurking in the fridge. The recipe is pretty basic, so you can add whatever vegetables you have to hand.

Veggie quiche

Serves 5

  • 400 g ready made shortcrust pastry, thawed
  • 250 g crème fraiche
  • 4 free-range eggs
  • A handful of grated cheese (whatever you have around – I used mature cheddar)
  • 3 courgettes, sliced
  • 250 g mushrooms, sliced
  • 180g baby spinach
  • 8-10 sundried tomatoes
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 tsp tomato paste
  • A hanful of chopped cherry tomatoes
  • A few fresh basil leaves (optional)

    First of all, grease a quiche pan and roll out the pastry, pushing it up to the edges. Prick a few times and then bake blind (covered in foil and baking beans) at 180 C for twenty minutes. For the last five minutes, take out the beans and foil.

    Saute the onion in some olive oil until it starts to turn translucent. Add the mushrooms and cook for a few minutes, and then add the courgettes. Cook for about five minutes until the courgettes have become soft. Add the sundried tomatoes and remove from the heat.

    Beat together the eggs and the crème fraiche. Mix in the cooked veggies and add roughly chopped basil leaves, and add the tomato paste, cheese and cherry tomatoes. Pour into the partially baked pastry case and bake in the oven at 180 C for 20-25 minutes until golden.