Thursday, 27 June 2013

Badger-friendly Chilli

I'm furious that the government and the NFU are pressing ahead with the pilot badger culls in Somerset and Gloucestershire. My MP is writing nonsense to me trying to justify it all by saying badgers are killing all the hedgehogs and bees (! honestly - smacking of desperation there, Nick Boles!)

I refuse to support beef farmers who are supporting their union in wanting to exterminate badgers and therefore I won't be eating or buying beef in the future.

I don't eat much meat as it is but I will miss a nice hot Chilli Con Carne. I have therefore devised a delicious meat-free vegetarian alternative for those who want to join me in boycotting beef. Here's the recipe (barring the oil for frying the onion and garlic, it's also sin free on a Slimming World Green Day!)

Serves two greedy adults with enough left over for lunch for two the next day with a buttered jacket potato, DH says he prefers this version to the one I make using beef mince.
  • Slurp of olive oil
  • 1 large finely chopped onion
  • 3 rounded tablespoons of green puy lentils
  • 3 rounded tablespoons of red lentils
  • 1 500g carton of passata (or large can of tinned plum tomatoes including juice)
  • Half a pint of stock (preferably vegetable but if you don't mind it not being vegetarian, chicken would be fine too) I use half a teaspoon of Vecon (available from bigger Holland and Barratt shops) but go easy on the salt if you use it because it's highly seasoned already
  • 4-5 medium carrots finely diced (around 400g)
  • Sliced green pepper
  • Can of red kidney beans drained and rinsed
  • 2 level teaspoons chilli powder (or add however much you like to make it as hot as you prefer!)
  • 1 rounded teaspoon of cumin
  • A little salt to taste
  1. Fry the onions and garlic on a low heat until softened
  2. Add lentils and stir til coated in the oil
  3. Pour in the passata or tinned tomatoes and the stock
  4. It will seem quite liquid at this point but don't worry, the lentils will swell and absorb a lot of liquid
  5. Add tomatoes and green pepper
  6. Season with chilli powder and cumin
  7. Bring to the boil and simmer for around half an hour, checking it's not getting too dry - add a little more Water if it needs it
  8. Add the kidney beans, simmer for a further 15 minutes
  9. Check seasoning, add salt to taste if required
  10. Served in my photograph with boiled brown rice

By adjusting the seasoning and some of the ingredients, this can also be adapted for spaghetti bolognaise or cottage pie.


Monday, 24 June 2013

Where did two months go to?!

Not much blogging lately! Two months have just flown by!

I've been a busy bee making beads though, as the photograph shows, these are the latest ones for sale in My Etsy bead shop. I'm calling them Cosmos beads and there will be lots of different colour varieties in the future. Why Cosmos? Because they remind me of photographs taken by the Hubble telescope.

So what's been happening on the house renovations? Some but not as much as we'd like! The scaffolding is still up around the new ensuite, the external cladding was finished some time ago. It's all watertight now and we've had several downpours which have held testimony to that definitely being true!

The cladding is green oak which will darken overtime as it weathers and then gradually lighten up again.

We're waiting for Jed to come and put on the roof tiles, guttering and then remove the scaffolding. It's a tiny job for him and he's busy at the moment and so he's going to fit us in when he can. 

We could be getting on with the inside ... here it is all insulated and looking silvery ... quite like the look actually. Next job is the plastering, Geoff hasn't got any plastering contacts who are working at the moment, so he's putting feelers out about that but once that's done, our electrician and plumber are ready to get the second fix underway. Just decorating and blinds to put up then! 

Geoff's business has taken a clobbering with the economy and unfortunately hasn't had that much work to keep him occupied and so you'd think he'd spend more time on it but he's spending all his time looking for more clients/work so we don't run out of funds! He gets very nervous when we use our savings to live on, I guess I should be grateful he's so conscientious but I'm so CLOSE to this ensuite, I'd really like to get it finished ... (hint hint, in case he's reading!!!) :-)