I saw some tofu looking at me from the fridge in the organic shop and fancied something quick and easy.

There was a small courgette left over from the couscous I made for a friend last night, so I decided to a hastily thrown-together variation on chilli sin carne which, with some courgette, turned out to be this chilli con tofu.

Start with the rice, as it’ll take the longest. I’m currently using the supermarket’s own-brand organic “rice trio” which is a mix of red long rice, whole long rice and wild rice. My method of cooking this is to use two and a half parts water to one part rice, and I don’t really measure it much more accurately than that.

Bring the salted water to the boil, then add the rice. Reduce the heat to a vigorous simmer then cover the pan and leave it to do its stuff while you get on with preparing the sauce. For this, I used:

  • ~100g courgette, grated
  • ~80g onion
  • 2 large cloves garlic
  • 100g red pepper
  • 125g tofu
  • 2 medium tomatoes
  • small jar red kidney beans
  • chilli powder
  • cumin
  • paprika
  • turmeric
  • parsley (in the absence of coriander)

Heat some oil in a pan and gently fry the spices. Use quantities of spices that please you; I used the turmeric and paprika for for colour and the chilli and cumin for heat, though I didn’t use too much cumin.

Chop the onions and garlic, then stir them into the oil and allow to fry gently. Grate the courgette and add it to the pan.

Meanwhile, cut the pepper into strips and the tofu into small cubes. Add the pepper and the tofu to the pan and fry, then season.

Chop the tomatoes. Add a squeeze of tomato purée and a little water, stir, add the tomatoes, reduce the heat and cover. When the peppers are cooked, add the kidney beans and parsley, cover the pan and allow the beans to heat through.

Serve with rice and garnish with more parsley. I only used parsley because I ran out of coriander last night when I made the couscous.

Today’s shopping was for tofu (2,16€ for 2x125g), tomatoes (1,65€ for four of which I used two) and a baguette (1€). Out of the cupboard came a 250g jar of red kidney beans (1,57€). I bought the pepper last week (2,40€ for two, of which I used half of one).

The two-meal chilli cost roughly 4,07€.

Lunch today was a slightly dull emergency soup (from a brick) with bread and cheese. As there is enough of this left over from tonight, I won’t have to repeat that tomorrow!

I have worked through the receipts for March and April and my monthly spends were 183,08€ for March (oops!) and 151,09€ for April (phew!).

So while the fiver-a-day idea is holding up for the most part, the pot is a little bit overdrawn due to some careless shopping in February and March which probably goes to prove that using cash is much better idea than a card.