Thursday, 4 April 2013

Lentil Chilli (and Burrito Snacks)

A basic lentil chilli served with rice and pitta breads on day one and then as burritos for lunch for the next few days.


For the Chilli -
250g Green Lentils
2x Onions, finely chopped
200g Mushrooms, sliced
1x Green Chilli, finely chopped
1x Sweet Red Pepper
1x Tin of Kidney Beans, drained
1x Tin of Chopped Tomatoes
1tsp Smoked Paprika
1tsp Chilli Powder (or Chilli sauce, simply add more for a spicier dish)
Basmati Rice
Salt and Pepper to taste

For the Burritos -
8x Fajitas
Left over Chilli
150g Mature Cheddar, grated
Tin foil, for wrapping

Method - For this recipe I actually used split green peas which were pre-soaked for several hours prior to cooking. In hindsight though, I do believe that previous attempts where I have used lentils instead produced tastier, more successful dishes. It should also be noted that I generally use a lot more smoked paprika in my chilli than is stated in the ingredients but I feel it is better to err on the side of caution as you can always add more whilst cooking or even when reheating the chilli again.

To begin, cook the lentils in boiling water for around 20 minutes until soft but do not allow them to turn mushy. Drain and set aside for later. Next, add the onion, garlic, chilli and spices to a large frying pan with a little oil and salt and fry over a medium heat for around 5 minutes until the onions start to brown slightly. Next add in the mushrooms and pepper, continuing to fry for around 10 minutes until the mushrooms are cooked. 

Add in the cooked lentils and stir into the mixture in the frying pan for around 2 minutes in order to give the lentils the chance to take on the flavours of the chilli, onion and garlic. Now, add in the kidney beans and tinned tomatoes, stirring well and leave the chilli to cook over a low to medium heat for around 15 minutes whilst you prepare the rice and pittas.

Once cooked, serve on a bed of Basmati rice with a sprinkling of cheddar cheese and toasted pitta breads.

Chilli Burritos - Generally, the amount of chilli made from this recipe could serve 4 to 5 people in one sitting. However, I prefer to re-use the left overs in making individually wrapped burritos that can be kept in the fridge for several days to be reheated or enjoyed cold.

Burrito wrapping for dummies 

Preheat the oven to 180°c and follow the above guide to wrapping burritos. Start with a generous dollop of chilli and a helping of cheddar cheese. Roll, wrap, rinse, repeat. Cook for 20 minutes and enjoy straight away or allow to cool before storing in the fridge. For a vegan alternative you can substitue the cheddar with a vegan cheese or simply swap it out for some guacamole.

I should probably try and make my own fajitas.


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