Vegetarian Chili in Roasted Pepper with Homemade Tortilla Chips

Making your own tortilla chips is suuuper easy. When I was looking for recipes online most of them just said 'buy tortillas, put salt on them, throw them in a pan of hot oil'.

But that's cheating. Don’t do that. You don’t want to be known as the person that cheats
Besides, you probably have all the ingredients for tortilla chips at home already.
And did I mention that it’s super easy??

Tortilla Chips from scratch (makes 1 serving)
1/2 cup cornflakes*
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tbsp chives
salt to taste
1/2 cup water
oil for frying

*Yes, I used cornflakes.....as in the thing you eat with milk for breakfast. It was a mission impossible to find cornmeal here, so I just got a pack of unsweetened cornflakes. It works perfectly!!!

Use a blender to blitz the cornflakes until they resemble cornmeal. Mix in the flour and seasoning. I chose cayenne and chives but you could also try to make paprika chips or salt and pepper chips. 

Slowly add water to the mixture until it forms a ball of dough. It shouldn't be sticky so you might not need all of the water.
Divide the dough into two balls. Roll them each out as thinly as possible between two pieces of parchment paper. 
Put about a tablespoon of oil into a frying pan and fry each side of the tortilla until golden.
(Now you could use these tortillas for wraps or quesadillas)
Cut each tortilla into 8 equal triangles.

Transfer the tortilla triangles into a pot of hot oil (about 2 inches of oil are enough). Fry them again until they are starting to crisp up.
Take the chips out and quickly put them on some kitchen paper so they don't become soggy.

When you are all done making your homemade tortilla chips and you feel proud, like you should be, you can start thinking about what to dip those beauties into. If you can resist to eat them straight out of the frying pan that is.....

I decided to serve my chips with some chili stuffed peppers.
The chili I made tastes more like Mexican chili than the Gringo version. Are only Mexican people allowed to call Americans Gringos? I am not Mexican. But my boyfriend might be…that would explain the insane amount of burritos he scoffs down.

Anyway….Chili is one of those dishes that you don't really need a recipe for. Use whatever veggies you have sitting in your fridge waiting to be used up. Put chickpeas in it. Try lamb or minced beef if you like it meaty. Heck, add a whole habanero chilli if you feel particularly brave. 
I left out barbecue sauce since barbecue sauce is gross and the sauce of the devil (truth!), and I added a bit of lime and cilantro instead. There you have it, Mexican chili.

Vegetarian Chili in a Roasted Pepper*
1 big red pepper
olive oil
2/3 cup diced onions
1/2 cup sweet corn
1/2 cup kidney beans
1 cup diced red and green pepper
1/2 cup diced tomatoes
1/2 cup vegan mince
2 grated cloves of garlic
1 chopped jalapeno
1 cup vegetable stock
1/2 cup double concentrated tomato puree
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp granulated sugar
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp ground coriander
some fresh coriander leaves
juice of 1/2 lime
1/2 cup cheddar cheese

*The measurements are estimated, it's best to taste your chili constantly while you make it so you can adjust all the flavors to your liking.

First de-core the red pepper, cover it in some olive oil and salt and roast it in the oven at 200C for about half an hour so it gets soft and sweet.

Add olive oil and the onions to a big pot and let the onions caramelize a bit before you put in all your vegetables. Let the veggies cook a bit in their own juices. Add the vegetable stock, tomato puree and the seasoning. Now let it all simmer for a while so it reduces down and the different flavors can develop.

When you think your chili is done, add some fresh coriander and fill it into the roasted pepper. I put some cheese at the bottom of the pepper and to top it off and put it back into the oven for about 10 minutes so the cheese is melted nicely.

So now you have created a delicious chili, to be enjoyed by both Mexicans and Non-Mexicans.


Butterscotch Cupcakes

I don't know if this makes me a really bad baker, I'd like to think it makes me adventurous....Okay, I admit it, I'm lazy.

But the thing is: I don't like following recipes. 

In fact, I hardly ever measure anything. If the measurements are in grams and my plastic orange kitchen scale is nowhere to be found, I'm like "Challenge accepted", I'm just gonna add flour until the dough feels right, be grand. 

Today was a lucky day. My laissez-faire attitude towards recipes paid off. 

Throw a couple of ingredients together in a bowl, add a bit of this, add a bit of that, a dash of salt for good measure and boom - delicious butterscotch cupcakes with a butterscotch icing. A butterscotch explosion in your mouth. A butterscotch punch in the face. A butterscotch heaven on earth. 

Yes....they are that good. 

Butterscotch Cupcakes (makes 6 cupcakes)
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
dash of salt
1/4 cup butterscotch sauce*

Bake for 15-17 minutes at 175C.

Butterscotch Buttercream Icing
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup icing sugar
2 tbsp cream
1/4 cup butterscotch sauce (or more if you like)*

*Butterscotch sauce is super easy to make. You basically throw butter, brown sugar and cream together in a  saucepan, let it boil, let it cool, and stuff it in your face on basically everything. Ice cream, cookies, cake, marshmallows, bananas, toasted bread, cereal....Too far?

This makes roughly a cup of butterscotch sauce.
3 tbsp butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
A pinch of salt
Some drops of vanilla extract
1/2 cup of cream


Super-Healthy Banana Bread

So this is my first ever blog post. I am excited to see where this goes. I am ready to get knee deep into a big mess of flour and butter and discover new food. 
I'm here to learn. This is my learning space.

There is no doubt I will fail sometimes. Those unsuccessful experiments will  probably never make it onto this blog but still be consumed by my loving boyfriend. I should have mentioned that this man is the main inspiration and consumer of my creations. Not a very harsh critic though. My boyfriend lives/eats by two rules. Mottos. Laws. If it’s savoury it has to be spicy hot. Like fiery hot. The kind of hot that makes him cry. And if it’s sweet it must contain chocolate. 

But I’m working on this. Don’t worry, he will learn to love a good dessert that has fresh fruit in it.....

I am a huge fan of Banana bread. I would have no problem whatsoever with eating this moist, rich and flavorful cake (let's not fool ourselves....it's cake) for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

But Summer is here (even in Ireland) and I really really want to wear pretty dresses and short shorts and butter is not exactly the best friend of skinny thighs.

So I made the ultimate guilt-free super healthy banana bread. Seriously....that's as healthy as it gets.

I used a tiny loaf pan, for a normal 9x5 loaf pan you would probably have to double the recipe.

Super-Healthy Banana Bread
1 big mashed overripe banana
1 egg
1/2 cup low fat yogurt
2 tbsp honey
A pinch of salt
3/4 cup coconut flour *
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup spelt flour **
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda

Mix together the banana, egg and yogurt.
Combine all the dry ingredients.
Mix the two mixtures together.

Bake it for at least 45-50 minutes at 180C.
Check with a fork if the dough is cooked through. If it comes out clean, you're all good. But leave it in the oven for a couple of minutes longer anyway because you don't want your Banana bread too soggy. 

*Coconut flour is amazing. You should totes get some coconut flour if you don't have it at home already. It contains more of the good stuff and less of the bad stuff than normal plain flour. It is gluten-free, full of fiber, protein and the good fats. In this recipe it works very well as a substitute. 

**Again, spelt flour is healthier than plain flour because it contains more fiber, but feel free to use normal all-purpose flour instead. 
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