Vegetarian Chili & Homemade Salsa

Vegetarian enchiladas with sweet potato wedges and homemade salsa

Ingredients

Serves: 6

Chili

  • 1 large red onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 yellow or orange pepper
  • 2 cans chopped tomatoes
  • 1 ½ tbs tomato purée
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbs ground cumin
  • ½ tsp oregano
  • 1 can kidney beans
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 pack chestnut mushrooms, chopped
  • 2 large handfuls vegetarian mince (use more mushrooms if omitting)

Enchiladas

  • 6 tortilla wraps
  • 1 ½ cups cheddar cheese

Enchilada sauce

  • 1 can chopped tomatoes
  • ¼ tsp smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • chili powder
  • a pinch sugar

Salsa

  • 3-4 large ripe tomatoes
  • ¼ pepper cut into small cubes
  • 1 ½ tbs finely chopped red onion
  • juice of ½ a lime
  • 1 tbs chopped coriander
  • 1 tbs olive oil

After making this dish you'll never want to buy a Mexican dinner kit again. Once you've purchased the various spices they'll sit in your cupboard for ages and you'll be able to make vegetarian chili any time you like as it contains mainly store cupboard ingredients. If you're feeling lazy you don't have to make the enchiladas; you could serve the chili with rice or tacos.

I urge you to have a go at making the salsa yourself - you won't regret it. The difference between a homemade and store bought salsa is incredible. I concede that it takes a little more effort to chop and combine the ingredients but the result is so much better than anything you'll buy in a supermarket. It's my preference to cook the onion before adding it into the salsa but that’s because I dislike the taste of raw onion; it’s by no means a required step.

Method

Chili

  1. Finely chop the onion, crush the garlic and add to a saucepan with a generous splash of olive oil. Fry on a low heat for around 10 minutes.
  2. Add the chopped tomatoes, a pinch of sugar, cayenne pepper, paprika, cumin, oregano, chopped mushrooms, seasoning and tomato purée. Simmer for at least 20 minutes (longer if you can afford the time). Add the peppers half way through and add the vegetarian mince and kidney beans during the last five minutes of cooking.
  3. Taste the chili and add more seasoning / spices if required.

Enchiladas

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C.
  2. Preheat two greased ovenproof dishes - this will stop the tortillas sticking to the dish when you remove the enchiladas later (I use two 28cm dishes which will comfortably hold around three tortillas each).
  3. Spoon a few tablespoons of chili into a tortilla and roll it making sure that the ends are tucked in. Place the tortilla into the preheated dish and repeat the process until you have you have used up the tortillas and chili.
  4. Mix the ingredients for the enchilda sauce and spoon over the tortillas.
  5. Top with cheese and bake in the oven for around 15-20 minutes until the cheese has browned.

Homemade salsa

  1. Optional - lightly fry the finely chopped onion in the olive oil for a few minutes.
  2. Combine the ingredients and store in the fridge.

Serve the enchiladas with salsa, guacamole and sour cream (or Greek yoghurt for a lower fat option). Rice, wedges or nachos are excellent accompaniments for this dish.

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