Fire Cracking, Chocolate Chilli Con Carni 

Chilli con carni hasn’t lost it’s appeal, ever since I was a little rip. This is the perfect dish to serve up on bonfire night, with a jacket potato or rice, for me nothing could be nicer.
But I think the best thing about this chilli, is all of the beans and veg that goes into it. You can sneak this in by grating or chopping it up into really small pieces, so that if you have a fussy eater, then hopefully they won’t notice as they are shovelling it into their gobs. The sweetness of the peppers and paprika make me start to dribble, and then the rustic lovely courgette just finishes it off. So, actually if you sell it to your daft children that this has chocolate in it, then they will glaze over that you will really be giving them 6 different vegetables, plus pulses, kapow, take that kids!

Also *cue dramatic music* this recipe actually doesn’t have any meat in it. You can of course add some mince if you wish, but there really is no need.

Serves 4:

1 onion finely chopped

1 stick of celery, finely chopped

1 grated courgette

1 red or yellow pepper, chopped up finely

1 tin of kidney beans

1 tin of white beans

1 can chopped tomatoes

Handful of frozen sweetcorn

1/2 teaspoon of cumin

1/2 teaspoon of paprika

1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg

6 squares of chocolate

1 stock cube


Finely chop the onion and grate all of the vegetables.

Add to a small amount of oil in a frying pan and along with all of the herbs and spices. Mix well and make sure that the vegetables are coated in the spices fully. Cook on a medium heat for 5 mins, continually stirring.

Add the chopped tomatoes, beans, sweetcorn, stock cube and stir. Simmer for 5 minutes.

Then add the squares of chocolate and stir it into the sauce, which will make it thicker.

Then simmer on a low heat for 15-20 minutes.



Pap-Eureka! Mexican Rice

This is another side dish really, and so nice as lunch the next day popped in a fajita with sour cream on top, que dribbling.

A tip here is to mix everything thoroughly and add the blue cheese when the rice etc is still warm, as this way it will melt and can be stirred through aswell. I created this by accident and sort of felt it was quite Mexican with the lime and kidney beans. Feel free to experiment with the cheeses and ingredients. I’ve left the measurements fairly approximate so that you can add as much as you like, depending on what you like the most.

Serves: 2-4 (depending on main dish or lunch)

2 cups of brown rice (or you could use cauliflower rice here)

Juice of 1 lime

4 shakes of paprika

2 shakes of cumin

4 spring onions, cut finely

Handful of kidney beans

Handful of Sweetcorn

1/2 red onion, cut finely

Blue cheese to crumble on top (as much or as little as you like)

Jalapeños (again as much or as little as you like)


Pop the rice on to boil, this should take about 20 minutes.

Chop all of the vegetables finely. And add the kidney beans and sweetcorn with the rice 5 minutes before its finished cooking.

Then add the spices and lime juice first, mixing and coating well, add more of you think it’s needed. Then add all the veg and mix again. 

Finally, add the blue cheese and jalapeños and wait for the cheese to melt for a few minutes, then give a final stir.

Serve with sour cream.



Quesadilla Puns Are Too Cheesy

This is basically a Mexican toastie, but uses tortilla wraps. They are really quick and easy, the hardest part is flipping them over, and if you really are rubbish at this, then grill the one side instead. Cut the vegetables quite finely and don’t use any oil when frying or it becomes too greasy, which makes it healthier than a toastie. You can experiment with different fillings, including using leftovers.  I love the crispy, crunchy outside and the gooey, oozy middle.

Serves 1-2


2 tortilla wraps

Large handful of grated cheddar or Red Leicester cheese

1/4 orange pepper

1/4 courgette

1 spring onion

A few kidney beans

Chillis or jalapeños if you like heat


Cut all of the vegetables into small pieces.

Place a tortilla into a frying pan on a low heat. Then add the cheese and vegetables, making sure that it’s evenly spread throughout the tortilla, then add another tortilla. Cook for about 3 minutes until you can see it start to brown, then using a spatula, flip over and cook the other size until brown.

Cut into four and serve with sour cream or guacamole.

The Bearded Taco

As it’s Mexican week I thought I’d share these tacos from heaven by Bearded Tacos, which is a rude phrase for lady bits!  They are a regular at Depot, in Cardiff, which hosts a variety of street food in a very cool warehouse. The two guys that own and run the mobile street food van have luxurious beards and ooze cool vibes, this is emulated in their menu. Which hosts international flavours with locally produced food served in a homemade tortilla, and all gluten free. I had the The Bahn-Miguel (great pun) which includes Vietnamese BBQ pork with pickled carrot and daikon fresh chillis, coriander leaves, and sriracha Mayo. Their menu also consists of gin soaked tempura avocado and fish finger tacos, also with great pun names. 

Have a further look at these bearded beauties on Twitter @thebeardedtacos 

Also, for more info on Depot Cardiff, 22 Dumballs Road, Cardiff, CF10 5FE visit

Griddle Me This…

This looks colourful and inviting on the table for guests or make a bowl for yourself, and take the left overs for lunch. Slice all of the vegetables in strips, roughly the same size, then roast them all together on a griddle or on a BBQ, which takes minutes. Then serve with some steak or haloumi and segments of lime.

You can also serve in fajitas to brighten up a wintery evening, or actually last week when it was non stop raining!

Serves: 4


2 limes, cut into quarters

Baby sweetcorn x8  , or 2 x corn on the cob, cut in halves

Red, green and yellow peppers, cut into long strips

Avocado, cut into strips

Steak or Haloumi

Courgette, cut into strips, or peeled with a potato peeler into ribbons

3 spring onions, cut smaller than the strips

Romain Lettuce



Griddle the strips of vegetables until they are softened and brown griddle marks on the outside.

Then place to one side, and griddle the strips of steak or haloumi until cooked to your preference.

Then place the romain lettuce on the outside of a large serving bowl, then in sections place the vegetables.

When cooked place the steak or the haloumi over the top. Give a few squeezes of lime and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Then finish with a handful of spring onions scattered over the top and some jalapenos.




Mexican Fiesta

To mark the two days of summer we have had, this week I thought I’d pay homage to Mexican dishes. Sorry to keep banging on about BBQ’s but it is summer, and it is 30 degrees, when I was writing this, so why not try a twist on your BBQ and have a Mexican theme. All of this weeks recipes will satisfy the veggies at your BBQ aswell, and looks very impressive on the table. Serve with some Margarita’s, pop on a Sombrero and  you’ll have a Mexican feast in no time.