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Chilli con Carne

Chilli con carne is simple, cheap and delicious. It is easy to adapt, simple to add veg to, and can be batch cooked to save time and money for the future, too! We’ve gathered some expert tips and small steps to help you take your current chilli from good to great!

Why is chilli so great?

Chilli con carne is simple, cheap and delicious. Spice levels can be adjusted to suit adults and children and it is easy to add veg to without changing the flavour or texture of the dish. By adding more veg and less meat, you’ll make your money go further all while eating better.

Its adaptability means chilli can be as healthy, cheap, easy and quick as you choose to make it, meaning it’s a perfect basic family recipe to have under your belt to make small tweaks to over time.

You can make a big batch of chilli and eat different meals from it – over rice with guacamole one day, in a jacket potato with sour cream and sliced spring onions the next, then stuffed into a taco with some shredded lettuce and a little cheese for a third variation.

Finally, chilli is – as you can see from its variations – a great vehicle for trying a small amount of new veggies, perfect for kids! Try offering a couple of veg toppings and let them “build your own” chilli (find suggestions in our veg tips below).

Use the basic recipe, small tweaks and tips below to take your chilli from good to better!

How are your chilli con carne skills?

Getting
started

I’m just starting out.

Next
Level

I’m ready to take it to the next level.

Engaging
Kids

How can I get my kids involved and interested?

Getting Started

Chilli con carne is simple, cheap and delicious.

Spice levels can be adjusted to suit adults and children and it is easy to add veg to without changing the flavour or texture of the dish. By adding more veg and less meat, you’ll make your money go further all while eating better.

Here is a simple recipe for Chilli con carne which you can use as a base and build on over time…

Chilli Con Carne

Claire Wright

Effort:
Complexity:
Cost:

Ingredients:

Minced meat or veggie alternative

A jar of chilli sauce

Tinned kidney or black beans

Share:

Method:

  1. Cook the mince in a pan with a little oil until browned and cooked through. Pour in the chilli tomato sauce and simmer for a few mins until heated through.
  2. Drain and rinse the beans, then add to the sauce and cook for another 2-3 mins until everything is hot.
  3. Serve with cooked rice or couscous.

There is no need to go any further with this recipe until you are confident with it and feel up for the next step.

Feeling ready? Let’s see how you can get your next small victory without battles…

Engaging Kids

Engaging Kids

Kids who engage regularly with veg through veg-themed activities, such as arts and crafts, sensory experiences, growing and cooking are shown to be more likely to eat the veg they engage with. Encouraging kids to engage and play with veg is the handy first step to them developing a good relationship with veg and life-long healthy eating.

Kids in the kitchen

Kids in the kitchen

You could get the kids to help with browning the mince, or  getting the rice ready.

Master these skills:

Weighing,  Tasting
Activities

Activities

While getting kids to interact with veggies for real and using their senses to explore them is best, encouraging hands off activities like arts & crafts, puzzles & games or at-home science experiments can be a great start, particularly for those who are fussier eaters or struggle with anything too sensory. Use these veg-themed activities as a stepping stone to interacting with the veg themselves. We have loads of crafty downloads here, puzzles here, and quirky science with veg here.

Sensory

Sensory

Once you feel your child is ready to engage a little more, you can show them how to explore the veg you have on hand with their senses, coming up with playful silly descriptions of how a veg smells, feels, looks, sounds and perhaps even tastes. Find ideas, videos and some simple sensory education session ideas to get you started here.

Serving

Serving

The moments before food is offered can be a perfect opportunity for engagement that can help make it more likely a child will eat it! Giving children a sense of ownership in the meal can make a big difference to their feelings going into it and the pride they take in it. You know your child best, but if you aren’t sure where to start, we have some fun and simple ideas for easy roles you can give them in the serving process over here.

NEXT LEVEL

I Want To Improve My Chilli con carne

If you are feeling confident with your favourite spag bol recipe, but you’re wondering if there are some small tweaks you could make for the better, this is for you.

We’ve outlined some simple stages for continually improving on a basic chilli to get you from good to great. Find where you feel your current recipe sits and see if the next step is something you could aim for. You don’t have to go any further, but if you choose to, make sure you are feeling confident with this new stage before you try the next one.

And remember, the MOST important thing is that the family enjoys the meal! These changes and swaps can take as long as is needed if your family isn’t ready for big changes all in one go. Small simple improvements over time may not even be noticed.

And remember, the MOST important thing is that the family enjoys the meal! These changes and swaps can take as long as is needed if your family isn’t ready for big changes all in one go. Small simple improvements over time may not even be noticed.

engaging kids

Play is essential!

Think of children helping in the kitchen as a role play game with plenty of fun for maximum effect. One of the best ways to develop a love of veg in kids is to get them involved in the prep of the veg. Not only is cooking an essential life skill for kids to learn, but it’s a great, fun way to get them engaging with healthy foods!

DO you have a question you’d like one of our experts to help you with?
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