Planet of the Scapes: Cold days, warm chili

by Pearl Pirie

There are a lot of recipes out there for chili that are from the “Add Campbell’s Era”: add cream of tomato soup, canned mushrooms, a can of baked beans. Some even suggest oleo or red wine. I’ve been thinking about complexity of layers of flavours. The long list of ingredients may seen daunting but it isn’t complex. The sweeter spices and the hotter spices work to balance each other.


Main Dish: Chili Sin Carne

Finely chop these veggies and fry in two tbsp oil:

2 small bell peppers
1 or 2 cloves of garlic (to taste)
2 yellow onions
3 stems celery

1 cup frozen corn
1 cup lentils, cooked with a bovril cube
28 oz canned tomatoes
1/2 cup texturized vegetable protein (TVP)
19 oz can kidney beans

Some nice spice:
3 tbsps ground chilli
2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp salt
2 shakes chipotle chilli pepper (to taste)
sprinkle annatto (for a deeper red), optional
couple grates of nutmeg
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp sage
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cayenne
1 tbsp maple syrup (or brown sugar)

More wet:
3/4 cup of water
1/2 cup of ketchup
1 cup tomato sauce

Bring all ingredients to a boil, then simmer uncovered 20-25 minutes. Top with grated old cheddar and serve with a side of multigrain bread.


Dessert: Lava Cake

Oil or butter the inside of two mugs or ramekins.
Divide across two mugs and mix until smooth:
2 tbsps melted butter
3 tbsps sugar
4 tbsps all purpose flour
3 tbsps cocoa
pinch of salt
3 tbsps of almond milk
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 lump crystallized ginger, minced
Add on top:
1 square of cocoa camino chocolate (or a Lindt ball)
1 tbsp water
Microwave for one minute. Let sit for two. Invert onto a plate, or eat it straight from the mug.