Mexican Chilli Beans

One of my staples is this Mexican bean recipe that I’ve adapted from the Little Blog of Vegan. It falls squarely into the category of ‘recipes that trick the people I’m cooking for into thinking they’re eating meat’. When I first came across it, I wasn’t necessarily looking for something vegan but chilli con carne is a favourite in my house so I was keen to find something similarly warming and filling, and this really hits the spot! The thing that I like about this dish is that the texture of the beans and the brown rice together is similar to minced beef, giving it a satisfying sense of ‘fullness’ or meatiness that I find a lot of vegan or vegetarian recipes lack.

Serves: 4

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 1 orange pepper, chopped
  • 1 yellow pepper, chopped
  • 185g wholegrain brown rice, washed
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle powder
  • ½ teaspoon chilli powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon tomato puree
  • 475ml vegetable stock
  • 1 tin kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tin black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 small tin sweetcorn, drained and rinsed
  • 1 lime
  • Tortilla chips

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pan and fry the onion, garlic and peppers for about 3 minutes, until softened.
  2. Add the wholegrain rice, spices and salt. Thoroughly coat the rice with the oil and leave to cook for a few minutes.
  3. Add the tomato puree and mix thoroughly.
  4. Chop the lime in half. Squeeze the juice from one half and add it to the pan. Chop the other half into wedges (to be used as a garnish).
  5. Add the vegetable stock, beans and sweetcorn. Bring to the boil, then turn down the heat and gently simmer with a lid on for 30 minutes. Stir occasionally so that the rice doesn’t stick to the pan – you can add some extra stock or water if needed. Season to taste with more salt.
  6. After 30 minutes, or when the rice has fully cooked, turn off the heat and leave to stand for 3 minutes. This helps the rice soak up any leftover stock.
  7. Garnish with the lime wedges and serve with tortilla chips.

If you’re not a fan of kidney beans or black beans then you can change them to any you like, really – the original recipe uses cannellini beans.

I should also note that I do like my chilli so this recipe does have a bit of a kick to it but you can always leave out the ½ teaspoon of chilli powder and it’ll still taste good without blowing your head off!

Enjoy!

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