Mexican Mushroom Chilli

White button mushrooms

Serves 3

This recipe gives vegetarians and vegans a delicious, fresh and spicy Mexican chilli that’s full of flavour. It’s easy and quick to prepare and it can be made ahead and stored in the fridge or freezer until needed. It has quite strong flavours so I like to serve it with plain white rice.

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
Mexican chilli seasoning mix made up of: 1 tsp ancho chilli powder, 1 tsp chipotle chilli powder, 1 tsp mulato chilli powder, 1 tsp pasilla chilli powder, 1 tablespoon ground cumin, 1 tablespoon dried oregano, ½ tsp ground black pepper and ½ tsp salt
1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes (use Mutti tomato pulp if you can get it)
150ml stock made with vegan stock powder
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
10 to 12 quite large white button mushrooms, stalks removed, wiped clean and cut into bite sized pieces
1 red or green pepper, deseeded and cut into bite sized pieces
1 x 400g tin red kidney beans, drained and rinsed

Heat the oil in a large non-stick pan and sauté the onion until softened and starting to brown at the edges. This will take about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for a further minute. Add the Mexican chilli seasoning mix and stir fry for 1 minute. Add a splash of stock if it starts to catch.

Add the tinned tomatoes, stock and vinegar, stir to mix well and bring to a simmer. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Stir in the mushrooms, cover and simmer for a further 15 minutes. Add the peppers and kidney beans, cover and continue to cook for a final 15 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning if needs be.

The dish can now be cooled and stored in the fridge for a couple of days or frozen until needed. To serve, return to a gentle simmer and cook for 10 minutes.

Beetroot Bourguignon

Beetroot bourguignon lr

Serves 4

“Bourguignon” is normally a beef dish. But it doesn’t have to be. The rich flavours of wine, mushrooms, onions, garlic and thyme work wonderfully well with the muskiness of beetroot to give an earthy flavour that even meat eaters rave about.

This dish is vegan heaven, and I defy anyone not to love it! It is quite rich so needs a carbohydrate to go with it. Virtually any sort of potatoes work well but I particularly like it with puff pastry, to make a deconstructed pie.

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
2 onions, sliced
2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
2 rounded tablespoons flour
½ bottle (375 ml) vegan red wine
400 ml vegan stock
60ml balsamic
1 rounded tablespoon tomato puree
1 rounded tsp Marmite
A pinch of dried chilli flakes
Salt to taste
1 rounded tsp dried thyme
Freshly ground black pepper
4 to 5 beetroots, peeled and cut into bite size pieces
5 to 6 carrots, peeled and cut into bite size pieces
5 to 6 celery sticks, trimmed and cut into bite size pieces
12 or so quite large white button mushrooms, stalks removed, wiped clean and cut into bite sized pieces

Heat the oil and butter in a large pan and add the onions and garlic. Sauté, stirring occasionally, until softened and just starting to colour at the edges. That will take about 15 minutes. Add the flour and continue to cook, stirring, for about 30 seconds. Stir in the wine a splash at a time, making sure the mixture stays at a simmer. Stir in the stock, balsamic, tomato puree and Marmite and return everything to a gentle simmer. Leave to simmer uncovered for 10 minutes. This helps to cook off the alcohol.

Add all of the other ingredients, bring to a simmer, cover and cook in the oven for 1 ½ to 2 hours until the vegetables are softened. Check the pan from time to time. The sauce shouldn’t be too loose but add a splash or two of boiling water if it looks like it’s getting too thick. At the end of the cooking time check the seasoning.

At this stage the dish can be cooled and stored in the fridge until needed.

When you are ready to serve, reheat gently in a pan on the hob.