black bean chilli
We like to include a couple of vegetarian or meat-free days in our week. This helps to keep the weekly food budget down and gives our digestion a rest from processing meat. This bean chilli is a perfect recipe for those meat-free days. It's great on its own, but could be served with some brown rice if you are particularly hungry. Leftovers are also great the next day for lunch. It's best prepared with dried beans - see tip below, but you can use tinned if you prefer.
250g dried black turtle beans or 2x 400g tins of black beans
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 large onion or 2 leeks
2 garlic cloves
1 red pepper
1 yellow of green pepper
1 fresh chilli or 1/2 teaspoon dried chilli powder
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 tablespoon tomato puree.
680g jar of tomato passata. Make sure there's no added sugar. We use the Biona Organic Rustica Passata which you can buy from Ocado.
200ml hot water
1 bag of baby leaf spinach
- If using dried beans then wash well and soak for 4-8 hours. Then drain, rinse and put in a saucepan with lots of cold water. Bring to the boil for 5 minutes and then simmer at a very gentle heat for 45 minutes. When cooked, drain, rinse well and leave while you get on with the rest of the dish. This step could be done the day before or in the morning.
- Heat the coconut oil in a large saucepan or casserole dish and gently fry the onion or leeks for 5 minutes until soft making sure they don't burn.
- Crush the garlic clove and add to the pan for a couple of minutes.
- Add the chopped peppers and stir.
- Add chilli, cumin seeds, ground coriander, ground cumin, and smoked paprika and give the pan a good stir.
- Add the tomato puree, passata and hot water.
- Add the black turtle beans, bring to the boil and then simmer for 10 minutes.
- Add the juice of the lime, then stir, taste and season with salt and pepper if needed.
- Add the bag of spinach and stir until wilted.
The Health Boost Tip
Beans often get a hard time. They are blamed for flatulence and those on a paleo diet shun them for containing phytates and lectin. However, if prepared properly, they can be an excellent addition to a healthy diet with benefits that include blood sugar regulation, phytonutrients, digestive health and anti-inflammatory protection. By buying dried over tinned you can ensure they are prepared correctly. By soaking the beans you reduce raffinose- and stachyose- type oligosaccharides (sugars that are associated with flatulence). Rinsing well after cooking also helps reduce the levels of oligosaccharides. You also reduce the lectins by soaking the beans.