Chilli-sin-Carne + Guac + Pink Pickled Onions

Whatever the season, whatever the occasion, there’s always call for a spicy, comforting, veggie and protein-packed chilli. Whether it’s for a dinner party with friends or a weeknight dinner all for myself I love making this meal and love that there’s often enough for leftovers. I like to serve it with a small mountain of guac and if I’m feeling fancy these fabulously pink onions.

Sometime I eat the Chilli with rice, sometimes stuffed into taco shells, sometimes with nachos covered with lashings of voilife pizza cheese and Oatly creme fraiche and sometimes in a burrito with lime and coriander rice. Chilli is so good in so many ways. Thank you chilli, THANK YOU.




1 red onion

2 peppers (red, yellow, orange – whatever you can get your hands on)

1 medium sized carrot

A couple of cloves of garlic

1 Small can of Sweetcorn

1 Can of Black Beans (or mixed beans, kidney beans, etc.)

1 Can of chopped tomatoes

1 large “squirt” of tomato puree

1 veg stock cube

Olive oil, Maldon Sea Salt, Black Pepper

Herbs and spices: Chilli powder, Cumin, Cinnamon, Cayenne Pepper, Smoked Paprika, Oregano, Liquid Smoke (if you can find it/have it in your kitchen), lime zest.



Because I find home-made guacamole can go a mean-looking brown really quickly I tend to make it in really small batches so it always looks vibrant and tastes fresh. This is enough for two (pretty generous) portions:

1/2 small red chilli

1/4 red onion

1 perfectly ripe avocado

3 ripe cherry tomatoes

1/2 lime

Small handful of coriander

Olive oil, Maldon Sea Salt and ground black pepper


Pink Pickled Onions:

1 small red onion

1/2 tsp dried oregano

6 whole black peppercorns

Large pinch of Maldon sea salt

Juice of 1 lime

Juice of 1 small orange



a\ To make the pink pickled onions, peel and finely slice the small red onion and in a small pan of water boil for around 25 minutes. The onion slices will look a bit grey and sad at this point, but don’t worry. Drain and place into a bowl and add the oregano, peppercorns and salt. Now add the juice of the lime and orange. Cover and leave for around an hour, by which time the onions will have transformed into the nice most extraordinarily vibrant show-stopping pink.

b\ For your guac, feel free to chop you onions as finely or as chunky as you like and ditto you might want super-smooth avocado or larger chunks. To be honest I mix it up from time to time (as I live very much on the edge.) So, in a medium-sized bowl chop your chilli and onion and then add the chopped avocado. Mix it all together and then add some torn coriander, the salt, pepper and a glug of olive oil. Roughly/finely chop your cherry tomatoes and add them to the guac. Squeeze your lime juice, stir, check the seasoning and when ready, it’s good to go.

c\ To make your chilli first fry the finely chopped onions and garlic for around five minutes on a medium heat. Add the finely chopped carrots and pepper and fry for another ten minutes or so. Now add your spices: I like to add around 1/2 tea spoon of all the ones I mentioned and then experiment to taste. Go easy on the cayenne pepper and chilli – remember you can always add more spice but not remove it! Add the tomato puree and chopped tomatoes, a veg stock cube and around 100ml of boiling water and simmer for around an hour. If you have any liquid smoke add a few squirts now. Grate some lime zest into the pan of chilli and stir through. Check the seasoning and add more spice if you need it. Add the beans and sweetcorn and simmer for at least 20 minutes but as long as you like until it’s just so.


d\ Serve your chilli how ever you fancy it. If you’re making your chilli for guests, who can take different levels of spice, then keep it fairly cool and you and your guests to add your fave hot/chilli sauces to your individual meals – everyone’s happy, no? Enjoy!


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