Who’s in the mood for Mexican comfort food? This week I’ve got a delicious recipe in store for you that is perfect for Thanksgiving, New Year’s Eve or any cold winter night: Chili Sin Carne with Sour Cashew Cream and Avocado by Samantha ‘Sam’ Hadadi from Nourished Naturally. I usually make a triple batch and store leftovers in the freezer. A lifesaver on busy weekday nights when you’re craving a big bowl of warming veggie stew! Since I’m experimenting with a high fat low carb ketogenic way of eating at the moment, I’ve included a ‘keto’ version too.
Sam is a British health journalist, mom of three wonderful boys & an incredibly talented recipe developer. She’s one of my favorite ladies on Instagram and I’m so grateful to count her amongst my friends. Definitely check out her gorgeous Instagram @samanthahadadi for more inspiration. Enjoy this delicious veggie chili!
Chili Sin Carne with Sour Cashew Cream and Avocado (Vegan, Gluten Free + High Fat Low Carb Keto Options)
SERVES: 6 squares
EQUIPMENT: large cooking pot or pan, blender
Chili Sin Carne
1 tablespoon extra-virgin coconut oil
1 medium onion + 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 stalks of white celery, sliced
1 box of mushrooms, sliced
1 to 2 teaspoons Himalayan crystal salt or sea salt
1 to 2 teaspoons ground cumin
½ to 1 teaspoon cinnamon
Cayenne pepper, to taste
1 large bottle (800g) of tomato passata (or chopped tomatoes)
2 cups vegetable stock (2 cups water + 2 teaspoons yeast free vegetable stock powder)
2 tablespoons pure tomato purée (no added sugars)
3 jars of beans, rinsed (such as kidney beans, black beans, chickpeas)
1 square 85% dark chocolate
To serve: avocado, cilantro, finely chopped spring onion, corn (optional)
Sour Cashew Cream (small 1 ½ cup)
1 cup cashews
¾ cup water
¼ cup lime or lemon juice
¼ to ½ teaspoon Himalayan crystal salt or sea salt
Chili Sin Carne
1. Gently heat some oil in a pan until hot. Tip in your onion and garlic, and fry until the onion is translucent. Add in your carrot, celery and mushrooms together with the cumin, cinnamon, sea salt and cayenne. Stir to combine and fry for another couple of minutes on low-medium heat.
2. Add the tomato passata, as well as the veg stock, tomato purée and the beans. Stir well and bring to a boil before reducing the heat and simmering for 20 minutes or longer. In the meantime, make your sour cashew cream.
3. Add the dark chocolate right before serving. Stir well, taste and adjust the seasoning if needed. I love adding a spoonful of apple cider vinegar too.
4. Serve with avocado, cilantro, spring onion, sour cashew cream and corn. You could lightly roast the corn with smoked paprika and sea salt for extra flavor.
Sour Cashew Cream
Blend all ingredients until completely smooth, adding more water if needed.
JULIE’S TIPS & TRICKS:
• This chili sin carne will stay fresh for at least 3 days in an airtight container in the fridge. I even think the flavor gets better after a couple of days! You can store leftovers in the freezer for at least 2 months too.
• I love serving this chili in a taco wrap. For a raw vegan ‘keto’ version, you could use a lettuce leaf, collard green or chard leaf too.
• For a high fat low carb ‘keto’ version:
– Replace the carrots with 3 extra stalks of white celery
– Replace the beans with 2 extra boxes of mushrooms
– Replace the roasted corn with nuts/seeds for garnish (optional)
– Enjoy with a generous serving of avocado or guacamole + sour cashew cream
– I love adding 3 large handfuls of leafy greens (like spinach) too
Now I would love to hear from you!
Do you like Mexican food too? What’s your favorite Mexican dish?
Would you like me to create a high fat low carb grain-free ‘keto’ version?
Let me know by leaving a comment down below.
1. Where do you live?
I live smack bang in the middle of England – Leicestershire, to be precise!
2. What sparked your interest in health & plant-based cooking?
I’ve had an interest in healthy eating since I left University. When I was younger, I battled with depression, and it was this that led me towards embracing a healthier, happier lifestyle. Even today, exercise and healthy living have, for me, kept my demons at bay! However, the big turning point for me was when I had a miscarriage at 26. I fell into a pretty dark place, blaming myself (although now I realise that it was never my fault!) and I stopped eating. I looked like a walking skeleton, but I just couldn’t eat. Miraculously, during this time, I fell pregnant with my eldest son, Zayn. When I first felt him wriggle inside me when I was just 11 weeks pregnant, I knew I had to make a change, I knew I had to get healthy for him, and I read everything I could about eating healthily for me and for baby. I was lucky because I then sailed through pregnancy and labour, and loved every moment!
3. What used to be your favorite meal as a child? Any special childhood food memories or anecdotes?
I’m one of those people who never has a favourite food because it always depends on my mood! However, childhood faves always involved pudding in some way! For me, childhood food is all about my mum’s beautiful lemon meringue pie, or a bubbling fruit crumble – apple and blackberry, with the blackberries picked fresh from the bushes with sticky fingers and my nanna!
4. What are the ingredients you can’t live without?
This one’s tricky! However, my cupboard staples are a good quality vanilla paste (I add vanilla to nearly everything!), turmeric, almond or coconut milk, cacao powder (my family are real chocolate fiends!), cinnamon for natural sweetness and warmth, and maple syrup. I tend to go through those quicker than anything else!
5. What’s your typical breakfast, lunch, snack & dinner?
I always struggle with feeling hungry at breakfast, so I tend to make it a protein smoothie on the go, full of ingredients for hormonal balance – plant mylk, flax seed, chia seed, plant protein (my favourite is one by Rejuvenated), spinach, avocado and courgette. I love courgette in smoothies because it doesn’t taste of much and is a great way of boosting fibre, vitamins and creaminess!
For lunch right now, I’m all about homemade soups with fresh, crusty sourdough! I just made a batch of spicy parsnip soup for the week ahead.
Dinners are also comfort food. I love soups, stews, chilli, one-pot pasta dishes – anything that can be whipped up quickly, but still tastes delicious!
6. What’s your favorite dessert?
Anything resembling apple crumble! I love crumble bars served with coconut cream.
7. If today was your last day on earth, what would you eat?
Oh, that’s a tough one! Probably pizza or a huge bowlful of pasta (I have no such thing as portion control!), then all the puddings imaginable – brownies, apple crumble, ice cream. I’d eat until I burst!
8. Who and what inspires you?
There are so many people who I find inspirational! The Instagram community never fails to amaze me as it’s so warm and supportive, and full of ideas. There are so many on there who I look to for inspiration, particularly you, Julie! Some of my favourite accounts include @rainbowplantlife @naturallyzuzu @the_balanced_kitchen @addictedtodates @odilejp although there are hundreds of others!
9. Do you have any tips or tricks for anyone who is just starting on their health food journey?
Listen to your body, follow your own path and experiment! It can seem overwhelming at first, but there is so much support and advice out there – you truly can transform your life with food, with a little know-how. If you’re stuck, use Instagram to bookmark ideas and then have a go at home. Just be prepared for some disasters – I have had plenty of recipes go disastrously wrong when experimenting! – but always do it with a smile!