You know, I haven’t had chilli con carne for years! In fact, I’m not sure I’ve even made it before? But back in my vegan days, I remember it as being tart, slightly powdery, a touch bitter and usually the own vegetarian option on pub menus and quite frankly, it got quite boring.
I was beaned out. But last night, my fiance asked for it out of the blue. It mostly surprised me as he’s not that fond of heat or spices.
If you want to follow along with me on how I make it, then you can scroll down to the bottom to find the recipe.
But making my own Syn Free version has been a revelation! I tasted it as a I went along and it was rich, smooth and warming. It was incredibly easy for an every day weekday meal and the best I’ve ever tasted!
As the nights have now got cooler and darker, I’ve really been craving pure comfort food. To me, this is one pot dishes, like cosy stews or casseroles after a long day where I’ve been able to throw all the ingredients in a pot or slow cooker together.
I can pop a lid on it and walk away and try to work my through my load against the seasonal changes.
So, getting back to heat in dishes. My fiance and I don’t share the same pallete. I enjoy and can tolerate much more chilli than he can. I discovered this because one day when we’d not been living together that long, I made a butternut and chilli soup.
It was a Lorraine Pascale recipe (from Home Cooking Made Easy) and I’d followed it to the letter. It was my first proper experience cooking with chilli and I really wasn’t sure what size to use. And as I tasted it, my tongue became quite immune to the heat. Don’t get me wrong, it was still hot.
And when my fiance got home from work, he could only master a few mouthfuls. The trouble is, some people suffer the following day. I won’t go in to too much details, because it’s not something I experience. And it’s taught me a lesson to go easy on the chilli and make it mild-ish for both of us. So I make sure every recipe, including this, is family friendly and too overpowering.
HOW MUCH CHILLI SHOULD I USE?
For this recipe, I used one medium deseeded and finely chopped red chilli. I actually chop it up with disposable gloves that I can discard, because too many times have I poked around my eye shortly after and, well… I’ve learnt my lesson.
So, personally, I think it’s best to start small and taste as you go. With one chilli, it’s rather mild, so I also added 1/2 tsp enhance it, but would be best leaving towards the end of cooking time just to make sure you’re happy with it.
You can’t really remove the heat if you’ve added too much and sometimes it takes far too much natural yogurt to counteract it which can ruin the taste completely.
TIP FOR STORING YOUR CHILLI LEFTOVERS
Chilli con carne is perfect for batch cooking. You can double or even triple the ingredients and leave it in your slow cooker (or sometimes my massive jam pan) and prepare ahead. They can be stored in freezeable lidded containers and store in the freezer for around a month, or a fridge for up to five days.
When defrosting, sometimes I cheat by heating through my meals in the microwave, similar to a ready meals. If I’m not in a rush, I leave them to defrost in the fridge or windowsill (ok, I know this isn’t technically the safest ideas).
Many meals do separate, but once they’re heated up, they usually combine back together.
Chilli is so versatile, but here’s what I know it goes great with other than a good dollop of fat free natural yogurt, cheese and fresh herbs:
- Baked potatoes
- Cubed potatoes, baked with frylight
- Slimming World Syn Free chips
- Potato wedge dip
- Like a Sloppy Joes in a wholemeal breadbun
HOW TO ENSURE THIS IS SYN FREE = HEALTHY TO NON SW MEMBERS
To ensure you’re not consuming any surprising syns or extra calories to protect your weightloss, then you will need to make sure you choose a lean mince meat that has 5% fat or less in it. It used to be quite difficult to find them in supermarkets a few years ago, but thankfully, there’s now more demand for it which I find has generally lowered the price for it.
For those that don’t understand the Slimming World lingo, then syn free means a food you can eat lots that will help you stay fuller for longer and almost no fat it them. But, as with everything, things still must me in moderation; however, this does not mean your meals must be tiny. I find “moderation” here has a different level compared to, say, eating donuts.
There are other simple ways to make sure you’re not stacking up the calories and that is to:
- Use Frylight instead of oil (I use about 5-8 sprays per pan)
- Reduced fat cheese *I eat up to 40g a day for my Healthy Extra A as allowed.
- Avoid prepacked rices and just boil your own rice
- Use a fat free natural yogurt. Low fat versions have syns, but not that many.
If you want to get in on what Slimming World recipes we’re talking about and generally looking for inspiration, then feel free to click above to join our Facebook group, TastefullyVikkie.com Slimming World Recipes & Ideas. We’re a friendly, non-judgemental bunch and all aiming for the same thing.
TELL US YOU MADE THEM!
IF IN DOUBT
I am in no way associated with Slimming World or trained to give advice. I’m just a regular paying member who loves to cook and eat great food that is as good for me as possible. I take a lot of time to develop and calculate the syns of my recipes.
At the time of publication, the syn information is accurate using their Food search and Syns Calculator tools. All of which are available via the Slimming World app. But, if you’re ever in doubt, always ask your consultant, or call the Slimming World Syns Hotline: 09068 518 518. Syn information can sometimes change to help protect your weight loss, and food manufacturers often change the ingredients they use.
OTHER RECIPES YOU MIGHT LIKE…
Slimming World Sweet Chilli Sauce A very low syn sweet chilli sauce with plenty of heat, made over the hob.
Slimming World Korean Crispy Beef I love how tasty this is with thick noodles that can be made in a jiffy.
Slimming World Chilli & Lime KFC Style Chicken This is one of our old favourites, using blitzed wholemeal breadcrumbs and baking the coated chicken in the oven.
Slimming World Syn Free Slow Cooker Mild Beef Bhuna An authentic beef bhuna, slow cooked and full of flavour. Also great with chicken!
One of the best! Instead of macaroni, it’s packed with beef and cheese.
Slimming World Syn Free Not Butter Chicken A simple but delicious alternative to butter chicken.
Slimming World Syn Free Beef Stew Not only is this healthy, it’s also the best stew I’ve ever eaten and beautifully thickened with a touch of oats
Slimming World Syn Free Sloppy Joes Sometimes life’s too short to make burgers and these Sloppy Joes offer far more flavours. They’re messy, but so tasty and fun!
CAN’T MAKE IT NOW? THEN WHY NOT PIN ME FOR LATER?
Slimming World Syn Free Slow Cooker Chilli Con Carne
This delicious syn free chilli con carne is perfect for every day easy cooking. Just brown the mince and chuck everything in the slow cooker and leave while you're at work. Job's a good'un!
- 500 g Extra lean beef mince
- 1 large onion peeled & diced
- 1 red pepper deseeded & diced
- 3 cloves of garlic peeled & minced
- 1 medium red chilli *(or 2 if you don't want it mild). peeled & finely diced
- 2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 2 beef stock cubes
- 2 x 400g tins of chopped tomatoes
- 2 tsp oregano
- 3 tbsp tomato puree
- 1 x 400g tin of kidney beans washed and drained
- Seasoning *Generous amount of salt and pepper
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- Sprinkle Low fat grated cheese *Must syn if not using as part of your Healthy Extra A
- Dollop Fat free natural yogurt
- Fresh herbs of your choice I use coriander
First, we're going to brown off the mince meat so it doesn't totally disintegrate in the pot. To do this, spray a large frying pan with frylight, then place the lean mincemeat in and cook until brown.
Meanwhile, prep all the veg below and place in the slow cooker. Note, I wear disposable gloves for the chilli, so I can discard after and not accidentally get any in my eye.
Once the meat has browned, also add that to the slow cooker, then give everything a good stir.
Place the lid on top and cook on low for 6 - 7 hours or overnight, or on high for 3 - 4 hours.
Serve with rice, a dollop of fat free natural yogurt, a sprinkle of reduced fat cheese, fresh herbs (such as coriander) and enjoy!
If you enjoyed it, then why not tag me on Instagram (#TastefullyVikkie) so I know you made it? I LOVE seeing your creations!