Thursday, July 07, 2011

Diet Friendly Chilli For One*

I cooked this up this evening for dinner and it was so delicious I thought I might share it. This whole dish taps out at about 5 classic old school Weight Watchers(tm) points - 3 for the mince, 1 1/2 for the beans and around a half for the couple of short oil sprays. All the vegetables are considered 'free'.

125g of extra lean beef mince
1/2 cup of canned red kidney beans (drained)
1 can of diced Italian tomatoes (not drained)
1 carrot
1 stick of celery
1/2 an onion
1/4 green capsicum, diced
1 tsp preserved garlic (or 1 fresh clove)
1 tsp preserved chilli (or a small red chilli to taste)
canned jalepenos or mild peppers
1 generous tsp of sweet paprika (or to taste)
a large pinch of ground cumin
a shake of dried thyme
1 beef stock cube
olive oil spray

Spray a non-stick frypan with a quick spray of olive oil spray, and brown the mince. Remove the mince from the pan and set aside. Grate or dice finely the carrot, celery and onion (I use the food processor with the grater attachment). Spray the pan with another quick spray of oil and sautee the vegetables, garlic and chilli until the vegetables are soft. (Because I always cook for just myself, I find it hard to get through garlic and fresh chillis before they deteriorate, so I usually keep a jar each of chopped preserved garlic and chilli in the fridge.) Towards the end of the vegetables cooking I add the spices and allow them to cook off a bit to become aromatic.

Tip in the capsicum, tinned tomatoes with juice, beef mince and beans. Dissolve the stock cube in a 1/4 cup of hot water and add in also. Put a lid on the pan and cook on a low heat for about half an hour, until everything is tender and some of the liquid has reduced. Towards the end of the cooking add the sliced jalapenos or mild peppers to taste.

I think the mix of spices in this are important, you need the depth of heat and savoury flavours from the paprika and cumin. Just be wary with the cumin in particular as it's very strong. Better to add a bit extra later if it needs it, once you've tasted the dish in the final stages.


* One fairly big eater, like me.

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