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Image / Living / Food & Drink

What’s for dinner? Vegan one-pot black bean and lentil chilli


By Meg Walker
28th Jan 2022
What’s for dinner? Vegan one-pot black bean and lentil chilli

This recipe takes a little day-ahead prep, but is so worth it. Make a big batch and freeze portions for a quick hearty vegan feast whenever you need it.

You can make this tasty dish a day ahead of time if you need to be uber-prepared and it also freezes well if you want to enjoy some now and the rest later.

One-Pot Black Bean & Lentil Chilli
Serves 6-8

Ingredients

For the stew

  • 300g dried black beans
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 300g dried beluga (black) lentils
  • 2 × 400g tins chopped tomatoes
  • 2 yellow onions, finely chopped
  • 500g assorted mushrooms, roughly chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
  • 20g coriander, leaves and stalks, finely chopped
  • 1 large red pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 courgette, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp Magical Mushroom Powder (see recipe below) or vegetable bouillon
  • 200g spinach, chopped

To serve

  • cooked grains, cauliflower rice, baked potatoes or corn chips
  • vegan sour cream or Chipotle Cashew Cream (see recipe below)
  • Pink Pickled Onions (see recipe below)
  • sliced fresh or dried ground chillies
  • tinned or grilled sweetcorn
  • diced avocado
  • additional chopped coriander leaves
  • fresh lime, to squeeze

Method

Rinse the black beans and look over them for any stones. Soak overnight or during the day, then drain, but not fully as the black sediment at the bottom of the pot is what gives this chilli its incredible flavour. Place in a large saucepan with 1.4 litres water, bring to the boil then add salt and lower to a simmer. Cook until you can easily squish a few beans on the side of the pot, this can be between 40 minutes and 2 hours, depending on the age of the beans. Keep the water level topped up during the cooking time, adding enough boiling water so that the beans are always covered by about 2cm.

Once the beans are soft, add the lentils, tomatoes, onions, mushrooms, garlic, coriander, red pepper, courgette, tomato paste and mushroom or bouillon powder. Increase the heat a little and cook for another 30 minutes, stirring frequently, until the lentils are soft and the veggies are cooked. Add the spinach and cook for another 2 minutes, then remove from the heat and cover with a lid until ready to serve.

It’s rare that we eat this the same way twice. You can either enjoy this chilli on its own or pick something filling and starchy to ladle it onto. Andy’s favourite way to eat it is on top of corn chips, but it’s also so good on top of baked potatoes and incredible with a grain or cauliflower rice. Top with lots of yummy garnishes such as the ones suggested or anything else you have on hand. Enjoy!

Magical Mushroom Powder

Ingredients

  • 60g dried mushrooms (I use a combination of shiitake, chanterelles and porcini)
  • 125g sea salt

Method

Place the mushrooms and salt in a good quality food processor, blender or spice grinder. Pulse until you have a fine powder. Store in an airtight jar until ready to use. It will keep for a couple of months.

Chipotle Cashew Cream

Ingredients

  • 150g cashews
  • 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, or 1 tbsp chipotle paste

Method

Soak the cashews overnight or boil them in water for 15 minutes. Drain and rinse the nuts, then place in a high-speed blender. Add the pepper or paste and enough water so that the cashews are just covered. Blend until smooth, adding a little more water if necessary. Transfer to an airtight container and place in the refrigerator until ready to use. This will keep for 2-4 days, depending on how cold your fridge is, so this is another one you can definitely make the day before, if wished.

And, of course, if you are cooking for people who are sensitive to spice, you can make this creamy deliciousness without the chipotle.

Pink Pickled Onions
(For a 750ml jar)

Ingredients

  • 375ml white wine vinegar
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 1½ tsp salt
  • juice of 2 limes (add this to vinegar solution)
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • 4 red onions, peeled and thinly sliced

Method

Place the vinegar, sugar and salt in a small saucepan over a medium-high heat. Stir frequently until the sugar and salt are dissolved. Meanwhile, crush the garlic (if using), and place in the sterilised jar along with any spices. Peel and chop veggies as suggested and tightly pack into the jar.

Pour the hot vinegar solution into the jar and top up with boiling water, if necessary. Secure the lid, allow to cool and then transfer to the refrigerator or pantry until ready to use.

 

Extracted from Vegan Goodness Feasts by Jessica Prescott (Hardie Grant, approx €17). Photography © Jessica Prescott.