Chilli Sans Carne

Chilli con Carne is a recipe my mum likes to make and I love bean recipes so it was only a matter of time before I played with a veg version.

For those of you looking for a fast, easy dinner. I just used what was in the pantry and honestly it was up in 20 minutes flat.

It’s rich, warming tasty and uncomplicated. If making it for children you can simply leave the hot cayenne powder out.



1 large red capsicum (also known as bell pepper), seeds and core out and cut into a smallish dice

2 large brown onions, peeled and finely diced

1 can of baked beans

1 can of red kidney beans, well rinsed

1 can of chickpeas, well rinsed

1  can of crushed tomatoes

1 can of good quality tomato soup

2 cups of vegetable stock (I use Masell brand)

1 teaspoon of cumin powder

1 teaspoon of hot cayenne powder

# optional – oil for cooking



Get some rice on and cooking to serve this with….

Heat some rice bran oil in a large pot (alternatively just heat a little water instead of oil). Add the onions and cook on a low to medium heat till they are soft and browned. Add the garlic, cumin, cayenne and capsicum and cook for another minute or so.

Add the rest of the ingredients, stir to combine, bring to the boil and gently simmer for 5-10 minutes.

Serve with rice, vegetables or salad.

# I would also suggest a teaspoon of smoky paprika would be awesome in this, to add depth and a “meaty” tone to it.

# This is S#P#I#C#Y, so if you are cooking it for the family, reduce or eliminate the  cayenne.


Servings: 4-6

Time: Takes me about 20 minutes to make this one.

Freezing: Should be fine for freezing.

Chilli Bean Potato Bake for 1


1 small brown potato, peeled and **very finely** sliced

½ small brown onion, peeled and finely sliced

½ can of red kidney beans, washed well and drained

¼ cup rice milk (I use Australian’s Own Organic rice milk)

1 large clove of garlic

½ teaspoon of smoky paprika

pinch of hot dried chilli flakes

3 tablespoons of tomato puree

½ teaspoon of salt

1/4 teaspoon of sugar

# nutritional yeast is a nice addition but don’t worry if you don’t have any.



Preheat your oven to 180%

Heat some oil in pan, brown off the onions, add the garlic and stir for another minute or so.

Add the paprika, chilli flakes, tomato puree, beans, salt and sugar. Stir to combine and bring to the boil. Set aside

Heat a little oil in a separate pan (just enough that it won’t stick) and gently cook the thin slices of potato one side, then turn them and do the other side.

Layer the potato and bean mix. If you have nutritional yeast sprinkle a bit on each layer.

Pour the milk over the top. Put your final layer of potato mix on the top. Glaze the potato on the top with some rice milk. Top that with nutritional yeast if you have some and place your dish into the oven. Cook until the potato is completely cooked, the dish is hot and the top layer of potato has browned. This takes approx 30 mins.

Serves 1 but you can easily increase to serve more. Double for 2 people, triple for 3 etc.


Servings: 1

Time: I haven’t timed this one.

Freezing: Not suitable for freezing

Tandoori Mushroom and Capsicum Strudel

This recipe illustrates just what one can do with a few bits of veg hanging around the fridge! I had a load of pizza dough, was feeling creative after my pide making session and this was the result.

I’m really proud of this one. It’s delicious too 🙂


YOU NEED (for the filling)

1/2 can of tomato puree

2 teaspoons of tandoori paste

2 field mushrooms, sliced, sliced stems and all

4 button mushrooms, sliced, stems and all

1 medium brown onion, peeled and sliced

1/2 green capsicum (also known as a bell pepper), core and seeds out and sliced

handful of fresh coriander leaves, washed and roughly chopped

#optional few blobs of plain Tofutti Better than Cream Cheese (You can find this in the supermarket sitting in the cold section next to the dairy cream cheeses)

oil for cooking


YOU DO (for the filling)

Stir the tandoori paste with the tomato puree until combined.

Heat the oil in a large pan, sauté the onions till browned. Add the mushrooms and sauté off for a minute or 2. Turn off the heat and let the mixture cool for a few minutes.

Add the tandoori and tomato puree mix and the capsicum to the pan and stir to combine.


YOU DO (for the base)

Make my “Pizza Dough” recipe and once you have made the dough and rested it and its ready to be rolled out, roll it into a thin rectangle shape.

Spread the tomato mix across the entire base.

Spoon the mixture from the pan onto the base, covering it all. #At this point just make sure the capsicum and mushroom slices are laid so that they horizontally follow the long side of the rectangle. This only takes a minute and makes your rolling a lot easier. Otherwise as you roll they may pierce the dough. Blob on some random spoonfuls of Tofutti cream cheese on your fillings.

Roll the long side of the dough onto itself to form a long roll. Very carefully place the rolled dough onto a baking sheet lined tray.

Then slicing on an angle make some cuts across the length of the roll a few cms a part. The filling will be exposed at each slice point and put in the oven at 200c until the base has cooked and is starting to brown.


Servings: 2 -3

Time: I haven’t timed this one but you can make up Pizza Dough and freeze it which makes for a quicker dish.

Freezing: Not suitable for freezing

Lime Satay & Zucchini Pide

When I left the cooking world years ago I went into recruitment and one of my regular and absolute favourite clients was (and still is) a well known chef who had a chain of Middle Eastern restaurants and cafes. I use to eat at them before I knew who she was and always loved their zucchini pizza. Their pizza had cheese on the base instead of satay sauce though and was served with lemon.

Here is my interpretation of that pizza with a different base sauce and layout for the zucchini. Cath Claringbold, I hope one day that you stumble across my site and that you are proud of my interpretation.


YOU NEED (for the filling)

1 teaspoon of oil (I use rice bran oil)

1 small brown onion, peeled and finely chopped

1 garlic clove, peeled and minced

1 small fresh red chilli, seeds removed and finely chopped

1/4 cup of crunchy peanut butter

1/2 cup of water

1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon of soy sauce (you can use Tamari instead if you wish)

1/2 teaspoon of brown sugar (I often use pure maple syrup or agave instead of sugar)

2 large zucchini with the peel left on, sliced very thinly lengthways

1 lime

a handful of rocket lettuce


YOU DO (for the filling)

Heat the oil in a saucepan over a medium heat. Add the onion and cook until soft and browning.

Add the garlic and chilli and cook for a minute or so. Remove from the heat.

Add the peanut butter and stir until well until combined. Place the saucepan back on the stove on a low heat. Add the water, lemon juice, soy sauce and sugar. Cook, stirring until the sauce thickens. Set aside.


YOU DO (for the base)

Make my “Pizza Dough” recipe and once you have made the dough and rested it and its ready to be rolled out, roll it into an oval shape.

Grab one end and twist it twice in the same direction. It should now look like a small rope. Repeat with the other end.

To get the sides wrinkled as shown, start at the left side of the base near one of the knots you have made and place a finger underneath the side of the base about a cm in. Raise your finger, lifting the dough a few cms from the bench and then push that raised piece slightly forward and to the right at the same time. Push it gently back into the top of the pizza. Repeat this process around the entire edge.


YOU DO (to assemble)

Evenly spread the satay sauce across the pide base and place it on an oven tray and into the oven at 200c until the dough is cooked and lightly coloured. Once it has started to brown remove it from the oven.

Roll each slice of zucchini into a tube shape. Place them on the top of the satay sauce on the pide and put the pide back in the oven at 200c again, until the zucchini is warm and the pizza is starting to get to a crunchy texture.

Serve, topped with fresh rocket leaves and a generous squeeze of fresh lime.


Servings: 2 -3

Time: I haven’t timed this one but you can make up Pizza Dough and freeze it which makes for a quicker dish.

Freezing: Not suitable for freezing

Sweet Red Onion & Lentil Dahl on a Mushroom Steak w Mash



2 portobello mushrooms

½ can butter beans, well rinsed and drained

1 small potato, peeled and cut into chunks

½ cup cauliflower florets

1 red onion, peeled, cored and sliced

2 large cloves garlic, peeled and minced

1 cup of  dry lentils (I used puy lentils as they retain their shape but they also take ages to cook so brown would be fine to use instead)

2 x 1/2 cup red wine

4 button mushrooms, chopped, stalks and all

1 tablespoon tomato paste

½ tablespoon soft brown sugar

3 cups vegetable stock

1 bunch of fresh oregano leaves, washed

oil for cooking

Salt and pepper for seasoning



Give the lentils a good rinse then soak them in cold water for a couple of hours.

Heat some oil in a large pot and gently cook the red onion until it has softened. Cut the stalks off the portobello mushrooms and roughly chop them up.. Add the stalks and the button mushrooms to the red onion and cook till softened. Add the garlic and cook for another couple of minutes. Add the lentils, 1/2 cup of red wine and 2 cups of the vegetable stock to the pot.. Bring  everything to the boil, then reduce to a simmer, cover and cook gently until the lentils are cooked. Keep checking and add more stock if you need to.

Put the other ½ cup of red wine, the soft brown sugar, the tomato paste and the other 1 cup of vegetable stock into a small pan. Bring to the boil and reduce until nice and thick.

Steam the potato and cauliflower till tender and mash.

Blend the butter beans and stir through the mash and season with salt and pepper.

Once the lentils are cooked, stir through the oregano leaves.

Once everything is ready, heat some more oil in a small pan and cook the portobello mushrooms for a few minutes on either side until cooked through.

Put the portobello mushrooms onto a plate each, top them with the mash, then top with the sweet onion and lentil dahl. Pour some of the red wine sauce over the top and serve.


Servings: 2

Time: Takes about 45-60 mins. A lot less if you use brown lentils.

Freezing: Not suitable for freezing

Note: If you use brown lentils instead of puy lentils, use less stock and only add more if needed because brown lentils will cook much faster and your lentils will be too watery.

Semi dried Tomato & Garlic Chive Chickpea Pancakes



150 grams of chickpea (also known as besan flour or garbanzo flour)

220ml of water

2/3 cup of zucchini, washed and grated (also known as courgette)

1.5 teaspoons of salt

1/3 cup of fresh chives, washed and finely sliced

¼ cup of semi dried tomatoes, drained of their oil and finely sliced

2 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced



Put the chickpea flour into a large bowl and add the water. Whisk until the mixture has a smooth batter consistency.

Squeeze the grated zucchini in a clean, dry tea towel to remove extra water content from it.

Add the zucchini and the rest of the ingredients to the batter and mix well to combine.

Gently heat a small non stick pan with enough oil to grease the pan (I used the oil from the semi dried tomato jar).

Put a well greased pancake ring (I used one because I wanted my pancakes to look pretty) in the pan and pour in just under ¼ cup of the mixture (I used a 1/4 cup, cup measurer). Each time you scoop up ¼ of a cup of the mixture make sure you stir the mixture first so that all the fillings are well distributed in the batter.

Watch your pancakes while they are cooking and when you see bubbles on the surface of the pancakes and also when you touch the sides and they have firmed slightly, gently pull the ring up and place it aside. Then turn the pancake over with an egg flipper. Do this GENTLY. Cook until till browned.

Repeat this process until you have used all the batter and serve

I served mine with a spicy eggplant pickle, semi dried tomatoes and rocket.


Yields: Makes 10 depending on the size of the cooking ring you use and if you use a ring.

Time: Approximately 20 minutes

Freezing: Not suitable for freezing

Notes: If your batter is too wet, simply add more flour and if it’s too dry add more water..

You REALLY want your oil to be fairly hot before you pour the batter onto, otherwise your pancakes will be soggy and oily. Not too hot though or they will burn.  A gentle to medium heat after the batter has hit the pan is perfect, because you want your pancakes to cook through. If your pan gets too hot at any stage just remove it from the heat. Remember like all pancake making sessions that the 1st couple are usually crap and they get better as you keep cooking.

If your pancakes stick a little to your cooking ring when you try to lift it, just get a small, sharp, thin bladed knife and gently run it around the edge of the ring to release the pancake.

These are also lovely with corn, but I do find ingredients with strong flavours like those I have listed or by adding things like olives, capers, spring onions etc work best with besan flour as they compete well with the strong earthy flavour of the flour.

Easy “Cheesy” Lemon & Pea Baked Risotto

 Easy Cheesy Lemon Risotto-2wm


½ cup water

1 medium brown onion, peeled and finely diced

1/2 cup of dry white wine

3 cups of vegetable stock

½  teaspoon of salt

pepper to taste

1 cup of Arborio rice

1 teaspoon of lemon rind

1/4 cup of nutritional yeast flakes, also known as savoury yeast.

extra ½ – 1 cup of stock

1/2 cup of garlic chives, washed and finely sliced

1 cup of frozen peas

2 handfuls of fresh spinach, washed



Preheat your oven to 200c

Heat the ½ cup of water in an oven proof tray. Add the onions and sauté on a medium heat until the onions are soft.

Add the wine and simmer until it has almost evaporated.

Add the stock, salt, some pepper and the rice. Stir to combine and bring to the boil. Then tightly (& carefully) cover the tray with foil and place it into the oven for 20 – 25 mins. #Mine was ready after 20.

Once the rice is cooked, remove it from the oven and stir through the nutritional yeast (ensuring it’s well combined). If the risotto is a little dry, place the tray on your stove top on a low  heat and add a little of the extra stock until you get a desired consistency.

Check the seasoning. Throw in the peas (I throw them in frozen), chives and spinach. Serve immediately.

Servings:  2 large serves

Time: 15 minutes preparation. 20-25 minutes cooking. For my 20, I was just drinking homemade lemon squash 🙂

Notes: Nutritional yeast is available in most health food stores. This is what gives you the “cheesy” flavour.