Hi Chaps, its all a bit bonkers here, what started as new windows has developed into rotten lintels, dry rot, floorboards up, ceilings (lathe and plaster) down, walls hacked off and builders who I now know very well. I am one of those home birds, my house is my castle and it is difficult to continue in my daily routine when there is chaos around me. So thats my excuse for not really getting my act together food wise. Hence on Friday morning I realised I didn’t have a clue what I was going to feed the family that night and honestly couldn’t give them pasta again!
To add to the pressure you should know that my kids love Friday, we both pick them up from school, they tumble out with shouts of ‘sweetie day’ and we go to the local sweet shop where they take the business of choosing and buying sweets far more seriously than the Brexit negotiations appear to have been taken. Dinner has to be a celebration so either candles adorn the kitchen table along with various dishes that we help ourselves too or as a very special treat, it is something in a bowl and allowed to be eaten in front of the fire whilst watching the TV. I love that it is the little traditions that make them the happiest.
So this is why for the first time ever I cooked with soya mince. I found a pack of Granose Soya Mince in the cupboard (Other brands are available). I presume I bought it for the other half during one of her ‘regimes’. I have no recollection of buying it and as it was just out of date I presume it was some time ago. Anyway needs must and all that. I made a chilli and honestly it is rather good and I quite pleased with my little self. I also (after a quick Google) now realise that Soya mince is cheap and will keep on the shelf for some time (probably not a good idea to leave it as long as mine), is easy to rehydrate and use and with added flavour it really is quite good.
So here is how I made a chilli using dried Soya Mince. A quick heads up, we are not hot chilli eaters, so this is quite smokey and has a gentle chilli heat, you my wish to up the chilli level for your own taste. Also please feel free to add or remove any veggies or pulses that you have hanging around or the family will eat. This is just a suggestion to inspire your dinner idea not a pedantic recipe.
1 x pack of Granose Soya Mince
1 onion chopped
2 sticks of celery chopped
2 large carrots chopped
a handful of coriander stalks chopped finely
3 x garlic cloves finely chopped
teaspoon ground cumin
half a teaspoon of mild chilli powder (add more for your taste)
2 teaspoons smoked sweet paprika
pinch of dried oregano
salt and pepper
400g tin chopped tomatoes
2 x tins red kidney beans in chilli sauce (bought by accident as I didn’t have my glasses on)
Half a tin of sweetcorn (found languishing in the fridge)
Rehydrate the soya mince as per packet instructions. Slosh some olive oil into a deep pan, and gently sweat the onion, celery, and carrot until it softens and glistens (I didn’t cut mine extremely finely as we like the texture but do as you need – you could grate if you have suspicious Small People). Add the garlic and coriander stalks, mix together for a few minutes then add the spices and mingle together. Pop in the soya mince and mix it well with the flavoured base of veg and spices. Add the tomatoes, beans and sweetcorn (or whatever you are using), simmer for 10 minutes, check for seasoning and its done.
Serve with whatever bits and bobs your brood like with their chilli Eg. rice, wraps, wedges, tortillas, sour cream, cheese, guacamole etc etc.
The texture of the Soya Mince is different to meat.
The look and taste of the Soya Mince when you rehydrate it, isn’t appealing. Basically it is a blank canvas for you to add flavour too. It is also very pale so adding colour is helpful – i.e. the chilli sauce the beans were in helped, but of red wine, Worcestershire sauce, turmeric etc would all help.