For the past six months or so, we’ve been trying to become more vegetarian. This can be difficult for us, given that we are omnivores, but we are tying to do it just the same. For me, this means I’m generally trying to be vegetarian at lunch, except for the times when we have leftovers for dinner. For the rest of the family, this involved the introduction of “Meat Free Monday.”
We’ve had good success with Meat Free Monday since September. When it was first launched by the McCartney family in 2009, the boys declared that it would be “impossible” for us to do Meat Free Mondays. At the time, that was true because Monday was “Hot Dog Night” after racing back from a full afternoon of swimming lessons. But that’s no longer true, so now we are trying in earnest. For the most part, we are following it. There are the odd Mondays when it doesn’t happen, like the time we had to eat some Sausage of the Month sausages we had bought at Dring’s over the weekend but wanted to eat before they went off. But for the most part, we are on board.
I made Gwyneth’s vegetarian chilli not for Meat Free Monday, however, but for a dinner party we had last weekend in the midst of London’s snowstorm. The vegetarian chilli was a big hit, both at the party, and then again as leftovers on Meat Free Monday. Not only is the chilli vegetarian friendly, but it’s vegan friendly too, which is healthy for us, but handy for my vegan friends too.
It was hale and hearty, which is what you need in a cold January. By using three different kinds of beans, it was very filling. It also had a nice kick to it, but that might have more to do with my liberal inclusion of chilli flakes, and less to do with the recipe. I would definitely make this again, and might even use this version more often than our usual meat chilli recipe.
(A digression: If you live anywhere in Great Britain, you heard about this snowstorm we had last week. For those of you who don’t live in Blighty, you may have missed the news. For that reason, I’m going to insert a gratuitous snow picture here.)
Now back to the recipe. The only problem with this recipe was that it called for chipotle chillies in adobo sauce, which after a thorough search of the food stores in Greenwich, I could not find. Apparently, I need to order them through a specialist retailer, which I will do because I plan on making this again.
It was also a good choice for a party, because I made a huge pot of it in the afternoon (I triped the recipe), then it sat on the stove as the flavours got to know one another before the party. It was even better two days later, as it turns out that the ingredients got on famously with one another.