I often make this using basmati rice, which is what I usually have in the cupboard. But here I used a packet mixed with long grain and wild rice. It was quite cheap at around £1 per 500g.
I love the nutty texture of the wild rice which adds something to the whole dish.
If you can get hold of star anise - then add this to the pot. It's not necessary, but it does add a hint of something 'different' to the dish. We tend to use star anise more, since discovering it. Unlike lots of spices which can easily accumulate… This woody spice can be added to many other dishes e.g. stews. The only thing you have to remember is to remove it before serving, as it's not very pleasant if you end up chewing on it.
The minced beef was very simple to put together too, and a portion of this will set you back somewhere around 300 calories (or 450 calories including the rice).
Here's how we made the chilli:
MINCED BEEF CHILLI
-500g pack of minced beef
-1 large can chopped tomatoes
-1 large can of kidney beans
-500ml stock or water
-glass of red wine (optional)
-2 large onions
-2 large cloves of garlic - finely chopped
-tablespoon tomato puree
-2 star anise (don't worry if you don't have this)
-1 whole chilli
-1 tsp chilli flakes
-1 tsp paprika
-salt and pepper
Fry the minced beef until brown then drain on kitchen paper.
Chop the onions and fry in a little oil until lightly browned. Add the garlic, chilli flakes and paprika to the onions and stir in the tomato puree.
Transfer beef and onion mixture to a large saucepan. Add the stock/water, can of tomatoes and kidney beans. Place the whole chilli into the pot along with the star anise.
If you are using red wine, put this into the saucepan first and turn up the heat until it bubbles away. Give it a good stir to pick up any bits left from cooking the other ingredients. Tip into the saucepan.
Bring the saucepan of ingredients to the boil, then turn down to a simmer and cook for 45 minutes. Taste the dish and add salt and pepper. We've found if we don't add enough salt, the chilli heat won't come through, so I recommend adding salt a little at a time and tasting as you go.
Don't forget to remove the chilli and star anise!
If we need to thicken the sauce, we tend to use cornflour. A tablespoon of cornflour mixed with enough cold water to loosen it first. Then add some of the hot chilli liquid to the cold flour mix before adding to the chilli. Cook for 2 minutes to get rid of the floury taste.
Serve with your favourite side - jacket potato, rice, bread etc.
Do you know how many calories you are allowed each day? Once we found out, our weight loss really began to take shape.
Here's a link to our very first blog post about our weight loss journey, which began in January 2011. We started this blog as a way of recording what we ate while losing weight. The blog is a food diary, and contains lots of recipes, tips and ideas about losing weight.
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Tonight we had some home made chilli con carne with a jacket potato. We used beef mince today instead of beef cubes, and browned the mince first then cooked it in the saucepan for an hour. I also added some tinned pinto beans this time, as I was making double the quantity of chilli and I wanted to have something other than kidney beans. Mushrooms help bulk out the dish without adding calories so we made good use of these. (We doubled up on the previous recipe's ingredients and used about a kilo of LEAN minced beef).
Our estimate for the beef chilli is about 300 calories - if divided by about 8 portions. Our huge jacket potato was about 300 calories bringing our meal to approx 600 calories in total.