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Kids friendly Chilli con Carne
I have to confess that the South American specialty dish, Chilli Con Carne, was, until recently, a mystery to me. I don’t eat spicy dishes and that’s why the word “chilli” made me think of something very spicy, so I wasn’t curious to find out what it was actually about.
So, my first interaction with this meal was when I bought a Multicooker, the same one in the video. That’s when I found a recipe for this dish in the recipe book that came with the cooker and I realized that this dish can also be served in the non-spicy version. It’s actually extremely simple not to add chilli and so you get the same dish, but suitable for people who don’t want to eat spicy, or even for children.
In addition, to make it kid-friendly, I have added to this recipe several ingredients full of vitamins, such as the vegetables that I recommend you to use while fresh, when they are in season and you can find them in the gardens or markets. Obviously, you can also use frozen vegetables if you have no other choice, because they are also a good source of vitamins and minerals.
What ingredients do you need?
First ingredient for the best chilli con carne: beans, which is one of the basic ingredients for this dish, I prefer to use it pre-boiled, because dry beans take a long time to prepare, and in addition, it is recommended to boil and drain the water in which the dry beans were cooked, at least for 2 times, to eliminate those substances that can lead to the appearance of the feeling of bloating. So, to skip this complex process of boiling and draining dried kidney beans, I prefer to use canned, precooked kidney beans, which are extremely tasty and filling.
The meat I use for this dish is beef leg, but depending on your preferences, you can use chicken, turkey, pork, or even a mixture of two or more types of meat. If you choose chicken or turkey, I personally think it would be better to use thigh meat instead of chicken/turkey breast, as it is a more tender, juicy meat that does not dry out when used in the chopped version.
Another important aspect about the meat used for this dish is that I choose to mince my meat at home, using a meat mincer. I could also use the Thermomix to mince the meat, but for this I need semi-frozen meat, and I always buy fresh beef, and mince it before using it.
Why am I doing this? It seems to me that if I mince the meat before cooking it and don’t buy it directly minced or store it for a long time in the refrigerator already minced, it has a different taste. It is tastier, mixes better with the rest of the vegetables and ingredients, and produces a more consistent, more homogeneous sauce. But that’s just my opinion, you can use whatever meat you prefer or is eases you in the cooking process.
A meal full of nutrients
Now, let’s talk about the kid-friendly version of this dish. I named it so because by adding more vegetables, such as carrots, red peppers, onions, fresh tomatoes or homemade tomato sauce, the dish gets a special flavor and, in addition, it is full of nutrients necessary for the development of children.
Let’s take them one at a time:
– Carrots: 100 g of carrots provide the daily requirement of vitamin A and beta-carotene, and in addition, they represent an important source of vitamins from the B complex. What do they help us with? Well, vitamin A plays an extremely important role in the healthy development of vision. This vitamin also helps maintain skin health and prevent premature aging. Vitamins from the B complex contribute significantly to strengthening children’s immunity and also create the conditions for a healthy digestive transit.
– Red pepper: just like carrots, red peppers are rich in vitamin A content, vitamins from the B complex. These vitamins encourage the synthesis of collagen in our body, if consumed regularly. As you’ve probably heard from other sources, collagen is the main protein in the body that helps keep blood vessels, skin, internal organs and bones healthy.
– Beans: represent an extremely important source of protein, vitamin B6, iron, calcium and potassium. In addition, it has a high content of vitamin C, which is a basic tool of the body for strengthening the immune system.
– Onion: although we use it in extremely many dishes, you have probably never asked yourself what benefits onions have on our body. Well, they so have… and I will only mention here the most important advantages of eating onions, such as the fact that they are an important source of soluble dietary fiber and also have antifungal and antibacterial properties. These compounds have an important role in preventing the body from getting sick and can even have an anti-diabetic effect.
Chilli con carne: Super-easy meal
If you are still not decided, I will tell you one more VERY important thing: it is extremely simple to cook. Whether you use a Multicooker, like I did, or you choose to cook in a pot, using an electric or gas stove, this dish needs very little attention and a relatively short cooking time.
So, you can follow the steps in the recipe for traditional cooking and the final result will be just as tasty.
Remember, this dish is filling, simple and healthy, suitable for adults and children. For those who like spicy food, all you have to do is add some chilli, according to your own taste, along with the rest of the ingredients. I usually prepare this dish for lunch, but it can also be an extremely suitable option for dinner.
If you make a larger amount of this dish, it can be kept in the fridge for a few days without any problems. My recommendation would be that when you want to eat this dish, stored in the refrigerator, heat in a smaller pot only the amount that you are going to eat at that time, do not heat the whole amount of the refrigerated dish, because several reheating processes can alterate the product.
If you want to add a side dish, I strongly recommend using plain rice, because that way the rice can be mixed with the meat and bean sauce, making it easier for the kids to eat. Other options would be nachos (preferably homemade) or mashed potatoes. Whatever side dish you choose, please remember one very important aspect: add grated cheddar cheese at the end, on top of the meat sauce! It gives it a wonderful flavor!
I hope I managed to convince you to try this dish. I’m already drooling, so I’ll probably cook this dish as soon as I finish writing the article 😊
Full Recipe – Chilli con Carne
Please find below the complete recipe and the video version, step by step, of the preparation of this amazing Chilli con Carne, the Kidsfriendly version!
Chilli con Carne – Easy Kids Friendly Recipe
- 1 CrockPot Express Multicooker/Large pot
- 700 g Ground beef meet
- 250 g Pre-boiled kidney beans
- Red pepper bell
- Homemade tomato juice
- Garlic cloves
- Olive oil
- Sweet paprika
- First, select the program BROWN/SAUTEE on your Crockpot Express for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, chop your vegetables; DON’T FORGET TO USE THIS PROGRAM WITHOUT THE LID.
- When the pot is heated, pour the oil inside and then add the chopped vegetables (onions, garlic, carrots, red pepper) and let them sauté until the program ends. Add salt, pepper and paprika according to your taste and mix all the ingredients in the pot from time to time;
- Add the minced meat
- Once the program is ready, add the pre-boiled kidney beans
- Add the tomato juice. THIS IS THE MOMENT WHEN YOU CAN ADD OTHER SPICIES OR CHILLI. For a kidsfriendly meal, I will use only salt, pepper and sweet paprika. Close the lid and select the SlowCooking program, using HIGH temperature for 4 hours;
- When the meal is ready you can use rice, pasta or nachos as side dishes. Enjoy!
I hug you and wish you bon appetite and a wonderful day with your loved ones! Enjoy 😊
Step by step Video Recipe – Kids Friendly Chilli Con Carne
Where does chilli con carne come from?
Chilli con Carne, which translates to “chilli with meat”, originates from Texas and is considered the official dish of the state. It combines influences from Mexican and Texan cuisines and became popular in the 19th century.
What is chilli con carne served with?
Chilli con Carne is incredibly versatile and can be served with various sides. Some popular options include rice, cornbread, a dollop of sour cream, grated cheese, sliced avocado, or tortilla chips. You can also use it as a filling for burritos.
What type of rice with chilli con carne?
The type of rice served with Chilli con Carne depends on personal preference, but long grain white rice or brown rice are often used. However, for a more authentic feel, you might opt for Mexican-style rice.
What is ‘carne’ in chilli con carne?
‘Carne’ in Chilli con Carne refers to the meat used in the dish. Traditionally, this is usually beef, but variations of the recipe can use other types of meat such as pork or even turkey.
Is chilli con carne healthy?
Yes, Chilli con Carne can be a healthy dish, depending on how it’s prepared. It’s packed with protein from the meat and fiber from the beans. You can also add various vegetables for additional nutrients. However, be mindful of your serving sizes and toppings to keep it balanced.
Why is it called chilli con carne?
The name “chilli con carne” is Spanish and translates to “chilli with meat”. This accurately describes the dish, which is a spicy stew containing chilli peppers, meat, and often tomatoes and beans.
What type of cheese for chilli con carne?
Cheddar cheese or Monterrey Jack are commonly used with Chilli con Carne due to their sharp flavor and good melting properties. However, you can experiment with other types according to your preference.
How to serve chilli con carne?
Chilli con Carne is typically served hot, either in a bowl on its own or over rice. It’s often topped with shredded cheese, sour cream, and diced onions. It can also be served alongside or over cornbread, or used as a filling for tacos or burritos.
Can chilli con carne be frozen?
Absolutely, Chilli con Carne freezes well and can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months. Make sure it is cooled completely before transferring it to airtight containers or heavy-duty freezer bags.
Can chilli con carne be reheated?
Yes, you can reheat Chilli con Carne. If it’s been frozen, thaw it in the refrigerator overnight, then heat it in a saucepan over medium heat until it’s hot all the way through. If refrigerated, it can be heated in the microwave or on the stovetop.
Is chilli con carne gluten-free?
Traditional Chilli con Carne recipes should be gluten-free as they contain meat, beans, vegetables, and spices. However, always check the labels of any store-bought ingredients like stock cubes or sauces, as they can sometimes contain hidden gluten.
Chilli con Carne is served with?
Chilli con Carne is commonly served with a side of rice, cornbread, tortilla chips, or a fresh salad. It can also be served with toppings such as shredded cheese, sour cream, and avocado slices.
Can toddlers eat chilli con carne?
Yes, toddlers can eat Chilli con Carne. However, you may want to reduce the spice level and ensure all ingredients are cooked until they’re soft enough for the child to eat safely. Always supervise young children while they’re eating.
Can babies eat chilli con carne?
For babies over 6 months who are starting on solids, you can serve them a modified version of Chilli con Carne. Make sure the ingredients are cooked until very soft and use less or no chilli to make it baby-friendly. As with all new foods, introduce it slowly and watch for any adverse reactions. Always consult with a pediatrician when introducing new foods to a baby.