I love roasted veggies. I mean - who doesn't? Roasting veggies intensifies the flavors - which is especially effective with sweeter veggies - carrots, squashes, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, parsnips... and beets.
So when I got some beets in my veg bag - they were chopped up and in the oven before I'd really thought about what I was going to do with them. So... beets in the oven. What next? I didn't have any cous cous - so the everlasting veggie standby of roasted veggies and cous cous was out. With pasta maybe? Or rice. I think (well I know) that I have some risotto rice in the cupboard somewhere. Maybe save them and have them cold in a salad. Some salad without any type of leaves or anything? Some salad that would be....
Not that I would ever mind having a bowl of roasted beets on there own. But I hardly think I would be allowed to call that a balanced meal...
So I started thinking about what I was in the mood for. Made what I fancied the heart of my dinner instead of what I had. It's cold - it's windy. I wanted something warming - something that I needed a spoon to eat. Something like a thick soup, or a stew, or a chili...
Can you put roasted beets in a chili?
Apparently you can. It it makes a lovely rich chili, the color is obviously glorious, and it's hot and has all the right textures - with bits to bite into and bits to chew and squishy tomatoes and right now I probably sound very weird. But what can I say? It's a good chili.
Roast Beet Chili
Serves 2-4 (depending if you have it on it's own or serve it with rice etc..)
- 2 beetroots
- 1 small onion, diced
- 4 sticks of celery, washed and sliced
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons of cumin
- 2 teaspoons of smoked paprika
- 2 teaspoons of dried cilantro
- 1/2-1 teaspoons chili flakes (add more or less to taste)
- 1 14oz can of chopped tomatoes
- 6 small (plum/cherry) tomatoes, washed and quartered
- 100g frozen spinach (for me this is 2 'bricks'. If you want to use fresh spinach that should work - stir it in just a few minutes before the end instead)
- OPTIONAL: 3/4 cup Quorn mince
- 1 1/2 cups cooked black eyed beans (1 14oz can)
- 3/4 cup sweetcorn
- Preheat the oven to 200C/390F
- Thoroughly wash the beets, and cut into small dice. I didn't peel mine (just scrubbed very well) but if you would like to that's fine. Place the oven in a baking dish and cook for 30-40 minutes. The beets should be soft but not burnt or falling apart. I didn't use oil (mainly because I forgot) and this worked out fine (they didn't stick and were still lovely and flavourful) but if you want to use a bit of oil and actually roast them - go ahead.
- When the beets are ready, take them out of the oven. Place the onions and celery in a medium saucepan with a little oil and saute for 5 minutes.
- Turn down the heat slightly, add the spices and a 1/4 cup of water and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until the veggies are soft.
- Add both kinds if tomatoes, the roasted beets, the spinach, and the Quorn mince if using to the pot - and cook for 7 minutes, constantly stirring as otherwise the spinach has a tendency to remain together as a lump.
- Add the black eyed beans and the sweetcorn and cook for a further 5 minutes, until everything is cooked through.
- Serve with rice, bread, baked potatoes or on it's own. Can be topped with yogurt, grated cheese etc if desired.
|Of course - Nutritional yeast can only make an awesome thing better|