Okay. I know that everyone knows how to make a veggie chilli (although I have to say, mine is an especially tasty one!), but in purse-tightening January, I thought it would be good to show just how budget-friendly vegan cooking can be.
This hearty, healthy and satisfying family meal can be had for approximately 60p per per serving - and that's if you assume this recipe serves four people, though I think with some rice, crusty bread and a green salad, it can easily stretch to six.
And I'm guessing there might be some people who are beginners when it comes to cooking up a fine pot of veggie chilli, in which case, maybe my recipe will come in very handy for you? My secret ingredient is peanut butter. Oh, and soy sauce, and these additions really make a difference.
Also - I tend to have it cooking for about half an hour overall, as I chop the veggies 'on the go' after I've got the onions are frying, with the harder ones (like carrot) going in first, and then the softer ones last.
But I have to not be modest here, and say that everyone loves my chilli - so even if you think you've got your own version finely tuned, it won't hurt to try another hey?
I decided to do a breakdown of the costs as well for this recipe posting - just to show you how cheap it really is. I mostly shop at Aldi too (except for the veggie mince, which is Morrisons or Asda) - so the prices there are really very low for most things.
The Ubiquitous Budget Veggie Chilli
1 onion, chopped 10p
4 carrots, diced 20p
4 sticks celery, chopped 20p
135g mushrooms, sliced 30p
1 green pepper, chopped 40p
1 red chilli, finely sliced 10p
2 large cloves garlic, minced 5p
100g frozen vegan mince (NOT Quorn, it isn't vegan!) 38p
2 tablespoons soy sauce 5p
1 tablespoon olive oil, for frying 5p
1 heaped tablespoon smooth peanut butter 5p
1 400g can kidney beans 18p
1 400g can plum tomatoes 31p
1 tablespoon tomato purée 3p
120ml (½ cup) water
½ teaspoon sea salt
Freshly grated black pepper
Total cost of ingredients: £2.40
Four people eating – cost of 60p per meal.
1. Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan or wok on low-medium heat, and fry the onion for a few minutes until softened. Add the carrots and celery and continue to fry and soften for several minutes more. Then add the pepper and mushrooms, as well as the garlic and chilli. Carry on frying on a low heat for a few more minutes, adding more olive oil if necessary.
2. Pour the tomato juice from the can of tinned tomatoes into the pan with the veggies, then mush the remaining tomatoes in the car with a knife, before pouring them also into the vegetables. Then add the veggie mince and kidney beans. Bring to a simmer on a medium heat.
3. In a small jug, mix the ½ cup of water with the tomato purée and the soy sauce and stir into the chilli mixture. Then slowly stir in the peanut butter until it dissolves, and add salt and black pepper to taste. Keep simmering and stirring – the chilli should have been cooking for around 30 minutes altogether to be ready to serve.
4. Serve with boiled rice and a cucumber and cherry tomato salad.