Dave’s Chilli Con Carne

Recipe by Helen Gough

Serves: 8  Prep Time: 20 mins  Cooking Time: 1 hour


This dish is simple to make. You don’t have to be rigid in terms of the vegetables you can add. Sometimes, I just open the fridge and if there is courgettes rather than broccoli, sweet potato carrots chopped into cubes rather than peppers, I’ll substitute them. If you have children who hate vegetables, it's a great way to slip them into their diet.

It can also be made ahead of time as it even tastes better the next day and can even be frozen in any portion size in Ziplock bags. It is full of nutrients because of the veg, the meat and the kidney beans and if you have a problem with tasting your food due to your medication you can vary the amount of chilli accordingly. The spicy flavour can help with taste problems associated with chemotherapy.

If you are conscious of your smoked or processed meats intake or have already had several other smoked food in the week, simply remove the rashers from the recipe or half the amount in the recipe. Serving it with a salad and pasta, rice or baked potato provides you with a rich source of a variety of nutrients.



  • 1 large onion chopped finely
  • 3 or 4 cloves of garlic chopped finely
  • 1 KG 95% lean mincemeat
  • 1 put of smoked rashers cut into small pieces
  • 1 red and 1 yellow pepper cut into bite size strips
  • 200g mushrooms, sliced finely
  • 1 courgette chopped into bite size pieces
  • A handful of parsley or basil leaves, chopped
  • I large jar of tomato pasta or two tins of tomatoes
  • 1 tin of kidney beans
  • Add chilli seeds and chilli powder to taste
  • Salt and pepper



  1. Sauté onions until soft and add chopped garlic.
  2. Add mince and chopped rashers.
  3. Gently cook until turning brown.
  4. Add all the veg and the tomato pasta.
  5. Add the chilli flakes and the chilli powder (we make it quite hot so try a little first, keep tasting until you get the flavour you like).
  6. Add the chopped parsley and or the basil.
  7. Cook on a gentle heat and if required add water if it begins to dry out. Cook for about an hour until veg and meat are cooked properly.


Serve with

Grated cheddar cheese, creme fraiche, side salad. Rice or baked potatoes or pasta can be served with it also. Double up on recipe and you will have enough for the next day (place in fridge overnight) if you are not up to cooking that day. It also freezes beautifully.


Nutritional Benefits

This nourishing dish is packed full of goodness that your body might need as you go through your treatment. The mince meat is a great source of protein and iron and is more easily digested as it is minced. Add the vegetables and beans for fibre and natural phytonutrients, the tomatoes to form a sauce and keep the dish moist ideal for chewing difficulties, the chilli and pepper to liven up the dish. Mixed dishes like this are ideal for delivering all you need on the one plate.