Simply perfect [Brussels Sprout Chili with Cauliflower Couscous]

There are recipes that come together on a whim and are so simply they hardly seem worthy calling a recipe. However, when thinking about the type of recipes I prefer on other blogs and in cookbooks it’s actually just this kind that I’m most likely to try. Yes, the fancy stew that calls for roasting vegetables, at the same time multitasking the homemade vegetable broth on the stove and baking your own biscuits to go along with it is tempting.

Giant white bean chili

Taking it away right here: this recipe isn’t anything like that. Let’s be honest: who has the time and patience for a dish that takes more than twice as long to prepare as eating it does? At least on a weekday afternoon or night? If you need any more convincing of how easy and fast this is the day I first tried this I had just come home ready to chew my arm off. Granted, there may or may not have been a spoonful of peanut butter and some cereal to tide me over while the chili cooked on the stove. But it still isn’t too much work to whip up on a weekday – and even less if you’re doubling the serving size.


Don’t be surprised by the random odds and ends coming together in this dish. It’s just what happens when I’m working on another produce stash that has grown into large dimensions without me noticing. And sooner than I’d like I’m faced with the task of using them up as soon as humanly possible. Or sooner.

Chili VI

When deciding what to have for lunch I knew I wanted creaminess but also a tomato-y element. Out of soy creamer I knew tomato sauce alone wasn’t going to satisfy and when I spotted the tiny remainder of butternut squash in my fridge it seemed worth a try. And it was a good try.

Brussels Sprout Chili with Cauliflower Couscous

  • ½ cup passata/tomato sauce
  • ½ cup cubed butternut squash
  • 1 heaped tbsp of salsa
  • 1/2 cup [100 g] kidney beans
  • 1/4 cup [50 g] giant white beans
  • A handful of Brussels sprouts, washed, outer layers removed and sliced thinly into disks
  • 1 cup [100 g] cauliflower
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp chili flakes
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp dark cocoa powder

1. Heat the passata in a pot over medium heat with the cayenne pepper and oregano.

2. Add the butternut squash and let simmer until it is tender.

3. Blend the butternut squash and passata to create a thick sauce. Add about 1/4 cup of water if it’s too thick. You’ll want it to be more saucy than like a stew before you add the beans and Brussels sprouts. Let simmer for about 5 minutes. Stir in the salsa.

4. Meanwhile, process the cauliflower in a food processor until it reaches couscous/rice consistency.

5. Add the cauliflower couscous to the chili. You might need to add some more water at this point as the ‘couscous’ absorbs some of it. Cook for about 2-3 more minutes so the cauliflower softens slightly.

6. Stir in the cocoa powder, add salt and pepper and adjust seasonings to taste. It tastes best when left to sit for a while before serving to let the flavours mingle a little.

Serve whichever way you like to eat your chili. I enjoy adding a dollop of plain soy yogurt on top and a spoonful of peanut butter mixed in.


Because I hope others agree there can never be enough easy and quick recipes in my opinion I’m linking up with Laura, Kierston, Healthy Vegan Fridays, Allergy-Free Wednesdays and Wellness Weekends. Head over to all of them for even more meal inspiration.

Have a delicious and happy Friday!

Happiness inducing today: One of my articles for the newspaper being accepted right away – and it was even for the Sports department which really isn’t my specialty.

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What’s your favourite way to eat chili? With some crusty bread for dipping? Yogurt? Hot sauce?

Are you more intrigued to try simple or more involved recipes?

22 thoughts on “Simply perfect [Brussels Sprout Chili with Cauliflower Couscous]

  1. Sarah says:

    This looks fantastic! I love meals that come toether out of the foods that have to be used up or limited selections remaining. It alway makes me experiment with ingredients that I otherwise probably wouldn’t. And I agree, a spoonful of peanut butter to spicy tomato-y anything is a true delight 🙂

    • Miss Polkadot says:

      The experimentation is the best part of limited or over-stocked produce drawyers – if it turns out well, that is 🙂 .
      I go through phases with peanut butter but right now I can’t get enough and add it to almost everything.

  2. Meghan@CleanEatsFastFeets says:

    Despite the fact I don’t eat meat, I fancy myself a chili purist (meat lovers would be appalled at my chili) and I think this resembles more of a delicious veggie stew. Beautiful pictures too.
    I love meals that come together without much planning or prep work, although I can also appreciate the ones that take twelve steps. I usually research those in advance and then make sure to do them on a weekend when I have plenty of free time. If I’m really ambitious, I try to do some of the prep work earlier in the week. I’m rarely ever that ambitious. 🙂

    • Miss Polkadot says:

      Meatless chili for the win! I’ve been vegetarian for so long I can’t remember the last time I ate the ‘original’ version. So yes, no vegan chili will ever convince omnivore crowds. But calling it a stew with the dozens of stews already in my repertoire wouldn’t have given it the attention it deserves 🙂 . Anyway, I feel we should have a vegetarian chili dinner one day. Soon.

  3. lovenataliemarie says:

    You have yet again another spot on recipe! The pictures have me drooling over here! This is filled with all delicious veggies. I’m going to venture on into the kitchen and make this one day. Thanks girlie for sharing!

  4. Ms.J says:

    This is such a creative spin on chilli – well from the recipes I’ve come across. The cauliflower couscous must give it such great texture! I must say my eyes slightly bulged when I saw cocoa in there hahaa..but chocolate can only do good things to whatever its added to 😉

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