Almost irresistible, this one !

Should I apologize for my single-mindedness ? – naah.

I’ve completely rearranged my pantry so that my spices & stuff now have their own section; and have fallen in love with cooking new recipes all the time. Only problem is storage; and I’m about to run out of room in the frig and the freezer. Will be obliged to stop cooking for a while.    :\

Bean, Potato & Vegetables Bake


  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 3 large potatoes, 1 red capsicum and 1 large-ish zucchini, all cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 8 or so large-ish button mushrooms, halved
  • 400g tin whichever beans you like best, drained and probably rinsed
  • 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tsps smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp hot chilli powder OR 1 long red chilli, sliced
  • salt
  • black pepper
  • 75g cheddar, grated
  • 3 pieces dark chocolate, bashed to bits with the base of your cooking knife (or whatever)
  • Fresh parsley to serve


  • Pre-heat oven to 200°C
  • Spread the diced potatoes out in a large casserole or baking dish, add the oil and toss. Roast, tossing again halfway, for 50 minutes or until the cubes are starting to get crisp.
  • Add all of the vegetables to the dish, along with the kidney beans, tinned tomatoes, and spices. Season generously, and mix well to combine. Return to the oven for a further 30 minutes, until the vegetables are soft and the tomatoes have formed a rich sauce.
  • Scatter the chocolate and stir it well in; then top with the grated cheese and bake for 15 more minutes.
  • Serve topped with parsley if desired.

This one created a real storage problem, as I wanted to keep it the more-or-less single layer it was cooked in. Had to leave it to go totally cold, and could then pick the remaining three-quarters in three sort of solid bits; each went onto a dinner-plate, into a big freezer bag and then into the frig. So now you know why storage is at a premium !

I think I’ll have to invest in those foil food-keepers with lids that Nigella uses so much. Reusable and all, and not plastic – win|win, right ? Besides, they don’t take up as much room as the plastic ones do, so I could cook, like, more ..   [grin]

Oh yes: note that this dish takes a tad under 1¾ hours to cook, allowing for the taking out of the oven and steaming up the specs and swearing, stirring, and returning to the oven again (X 2) ..

This is one damned fine (and VERY yummy) chilli !



  • 2 large-ish sweet potatoes, chopped into small cubes
  • 2 tbsps olive oil
  • 2 tsps medium chipotle seasoning (1 if hot)
  • 1 tsp salt


  • 2 tbsps olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 red capsicum, diced (sorry, Sue 1: see additional bit at bottom ..)
  • 2 long red chillis, seeds in, sliced fine OR a jalapeño, seeded and sliced (2)
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tsp hot chilli powder
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes (3)
  • water as needed
  • 1½ tbsps polenta
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 squares dark chocolate
  • 2 cans black beans, drained, rinsed
  • sour cream to garnish


  • Preheat oven to 220C. Line baking sheet with baking paper. Combine chipotle, tsp salt and 2 tbsps oil in a large bowl, mix, and toss to coat the sweet potatoes. Spread the cubes on baking sheet in a single layer, and roast in preheated oven until the outside is crunchy and inside is tender, 20″—25” (good idea to turn them over half-way through). Let cool.
  • In a slightly cavernous dutch oven put the olive oil, onion, garlic, capsicum, chillis, chilli powder, cumin and oregano: stir well and cook over medium heat until onion is softened (~ 5”).
  • Add tomatoes, and some water to cover, and bring to simmer. Add polenta, salt and chocolate. Bring back to simmer, stirring constantly; then reduce heat to low and simmer for 30”.
  • Stir drained black beans and cooled sweet potatoes into the mixture. Add water if it’s too thick. Simmer about 15”. Season to taste and serve topped with sour cream.

I forgot to drain the  black beans; but that meant the chilli didn’t get dry. Every cloud.   :)

Sweet potatoes can be hard to chop – a bit like .. oh, pumpkin. Or maybe it’s that I don’t have the hand strength of yore. I chopped mine into ¾-of-the-top-joint-of-my-little-finger-sized chunks; but next time I’ll make ’em a bit bigger, I think. Might even go the whole of the top joint ! – I do like to live dangerously from time to time ..

The sour cream on any chilli (and I’m making a lot of these) is simply heavenly ! But of course you can serve chilli over rice; and this one’s great for rice because it has luverly sauce.

And here’s something for Sue, to whom nearly all the recipes I post are no good on account of their various nightshades content:

Replacing the nightshades in cooking

Have you come across her posts before ? – if not, I grin smugly. If so, I trudge off dismally ..