We all live busy lives, which can make it difficult to stick to a meal plan and can lead to cutting a few corners for the sake of convenience or cost. We’ve all been there at the end of the month living on beans till the faithful payday gracing us with it’s presence! That’s why it’s important to have some quick, easy and most importantly cheap recipes in your repertoire to whip out in times of need!

(serves 3-4)

You’ll Need:

2 cans of chopped tomatoes
1 onion (chopped)
2-5 teaspoons of chili powder (or chili pepper)
2 teaspoons of garlic powder (or 2 cloves of garlic)
4 tablespoons of red wine OR red wine vinegar OR three teaspoons of sugar (depending on your preference)
A big handful of soy mince (optional)
2 cans of kidney beans (can substitute for preferred beans or chickpeas)
Your choice of carbs (rice, tacos, nacho chips, jacket potato, tortilla wraps)


Fry the onion in oil with the garlic and 1-2 teaspoons of chilli powder. After a few minutes add the chopped tomatoes, as many teaspoons of chili powder as you can handle (4 is a good number) and a few good splashes of red wine. If you don’t have any red wine or red wine vinegar, sugar can be added or you can skip this part – it won’t taste quite as amazing, but it is good on a budget.

Leave to simmer strongly for 5-10 minutes before adding the soy mince; you can use your best judgement on how much to add. If you don’t have any soy mince you can use red or puy lentils – uncooked lentils will need another 20 minutes in the mixture. If you want to use soy mince and lentils, go ahead! Maybe add a bit of frozen veg at this point too – sweetcorn, peppers and mushrooms go well with chilli.
After simmering for another 10-20 minutes, add the kidney beans (or black eyed beans, pinto beans, etc). Mash up the kidney beans first to soak up some of the chilli. Stir for a few minutes then serve with your choice of carbs and any condiments you may have – salsa, guacamole (mash a ripe avocado with salt, pepper and lemon juice) or vegan cheese.

Using the basic outline of this recipe and value ingredients (minus added carbs such as tortillas), this meal will only cost around €1.35, and will serve 3-4 people. The perfect quick, cheap and cheerful recipe to satisfy your cravings!

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