• Hungry Pumpkin

Chili sin carne

As many who follow plant-based diets know, ideas for dishes often come from dishes that contain meat. This then means that we need to somehow substitute the meat with a vegan alternative, thus resulting in a dish that can be even better and more nutritious than the original! Naming the dish normally involves just adding the word "vegan" to the title. Today, however, things went a bit differently.

Chilli con carne is a traditional dish from Northern Mexico and Texas. It consists of meat, tomatoes, beans, onions, and sometimes other ingredients. They often enjoy it alone, or as a sauce along with rice or tortilla chips. It is named after hot peppers (chilli) and meat (Spanish word: carne). Literally, the name of the dish is “chilli with meat.” Since the dish is rich enough in both taste and nutritional value, it was not difficult to "veganise" it - the meat was easily omitted from the recipe. Since we were preparing the meal for friends, some of whom do not like spicy food, we left out the chilli.

So what is the name of the dish then? We decided to go Spanish with it and call it "chilli sin carne" which translates to "chilli without meat."

Recipi, preparing the meal and cost

To start, we chopped up our onions and threw them in a pan with some oil. We then followed this up by adding diced carrots, potatoes, and peppers. Canned beans, corn, and peeled tomatoes were our next addition, including the water from the cans. This was seasoned with garlic powder and pepper before being cooked for 30 minutes. A bit before the end of the cooking, we added sundried tomatoes that had been preserved in oil.

The rice was cooked in slightly salted water with no other spices being added.

The price for our lunch for 4 people was € 3.13, which means less than 80 cents per person! We have proven time and time again that we do not need a lot of money for a healthy vegan diet with our delicious and nutritious lunch. However, if you wanted to feed as many people as possible with a small budget, you could make some adjustments. The most expensive ingredient was the fresh bell peppers as they were out of season. Peppers could be omitted from the recipe and replaced with doubled amounts of carrots and some paprika. Instead of canned beans, you could use raw beans and cook them yourself. In doing this, at least one more person could be fed for the same amount of money. It is interesting to note that the dried tomatoes were no more expensive than the fresh ones, even during their growing season. This is due to the relatively demanding methods involved in the transport and storage of fresh tomatoes.

Nutritional value

Though today's lunch contained only one dish, we were able to easily get a good 25% of our daily energy requirements and even more (over 26%) of our protein requirements. Of all the ingredients used today, only beans are considered a good source of protein. Indeed, beans contributed the most protein, as much as 5 g. However, it should be remembered that other plant foods also contain proteins: rice yielded 3 g, while potatoes, tomatoes, and corn each provided more than 1 g; with some of the other vegetables included, we consumed almost 15 g of protein! We were also very well supplied with fibre (50% of our daily needs), iron (almost 70% of our daily needs), and Vitamin C, in which this single daily meal met our minimum daily needs. We only had a significant shortage of calcium (just under 10% of our daily needs), which we would be able to make up for with other meals if we consumed foods such as spinach, poppy seeds, sesame, tofu, etc. As usual with plant foods, we did not consume any Vitamin D and B12 with our lunch today.

The table does not indicate the % of daily requirements for carbohydrates and starch because the differences between individuals are too large and that for sugar is not listed either because it is not an essential nutrient.

If you have questions about today's meal or ideas for a future meal then send us an email to hungry.pumpkin.blog@gmail.com and we will respond to your questions!

Have a great week!

The Hungry Pumpkin Team