This is a delicious warming comforting bowl of goodness. Its ideal for chilly cold dark nights. Containing beans and lentils, this is highly nutritious and packed with fiber. This chilli has a smoky flavour, with a chilli kick.

Lentils sometimes I feel are hugely overlooked, they can add a real density to a meal, and are great for thickening up a wet dish, such as this. They can give it a real deep rich substance. Packed with B vitamins, magnesium, zinc and protein there a real asset to a vegan/ plant based diet.

This dish has both kidney beans, and black eyed beans, however you could use black beans as well. Beans are rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, and again are another fantastic addition to your diet.

Spices, onions and garlic flavour this chilli, all combined together there is a sense of nourishment and grounding as you eat this. My secret weapon for a chilli is a couple of squares of a good quality dark chocolate, it just finishes it off a treat!

What we are eating this time of year is so important as we transition into the colder months. Our bodies need to feel heated and stable, and we take comfort from this in our food.

The simplicity of this chilli is a delight as well, so easy to put it all together. Make a batch and freeze as well, perfect for reheating at a later date. I have served this with cauliflower rice, but you can choose brown/white rice, quinoa, or a jacket potato, or just the chilli alone is delicious. Garnish with avocado, lime wedges, chopped tomatoes and onion.

To serve 4:

INGREDIENTS

1 TBSP coconut/rapseed/avocado/olive oil

1 chopped onion

3 garlic cloves, minced or finely chopped

2 TSP Chilli powder

1 TSP Cumin powder

1 TSP Smoked paprika

2 TBSP tomato puree

1 red (medium to however hot you like!) chilli, finely chopped

1 red pepper, chopped

1 cup sweetcorn (frozen or canned)

1 400g can of kidney beans (250g drained weight)

1 400g can of black eyed beans (250g drained weight)

3/4 cup of dried red lentils

1 can chopped tomatoes

1/2 TSP salt

2 1 inch squares of dark (70-100% coco) chocolate

Method

In a large pan, over a steady heat melt the oil. Add the onions and stir continuously until they soften. Add the garlic and chilli, stir again for around a minute, then add the chilli powder, smoked paprika, and cumin, continuously stirring for another minute.

Wash and drain the lentils thoroughly, then add them to the pan, along with the red pepper, give a quick stir before adding the tomatoes. Refill the empty can the tomatoes were in to about 3/4 full with water and add to the pan as well. Add the tomato puree, kidney beans, black eyed beans all to the pan and stir. Bring it to the boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Add the sweetcorn.

Simmer the pot for around 30 minutes, stirring continuously. The liquid will begin to reduce, and as the lentils cook it will thicken.

Season with salt, I think around 1/2 a tsp is adequate, adjust to your taste.

Just before serving add the dark chocolate. This will melt, and needs to be stirred through. The colour will darken, giving it a beautiful rich colour and texture.

Serve and enjoy!

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