Les petits chefs – Food Revolution Week 3


Another super easy recipe and one we *heart* (hence the shape above!)  – chilli con carne. I really liked the idea of showing the boys what goes into a “real” chilli – so often the chilli we eat is just brown/red mush with no identifiable ingredients.  I love this recipe because it’s so simple, you can modify it to suit your tastes (or if, you know, you forget the carrots like I did!!) and you can actually see and identify every single main ingredient!  The boys demonstrated superb cutting skills again this week.

First with the celery.

Then the cilantroThen the onions (these were challenging because we didn’t have a 10 inch chef’s knife, like I am used to using)The peppers (check out that precision!).  Then we minced garlic, cooked the beef and drained the chick peas and kidney beans and left the lot to simmer…

Whilst we waited for the chili to cook, I showed the boys an easy guacamole made with avocado, red onion, tomato and cilantro (I forgot lime or lemon juice but it was still delicious!)

The boys particularly enjoyed the part where they got to “bash” the ingredients and thought it was a lot of fun!

Here is Jamie’s chilli recipe from the Food Revolution cookbook:



Jamie Oliver’s Good Old Chilli con Carne

Ingredients and method here

• 2 medium onions
• 2 cloves of garlic
• 2 medium carrots
• 2 sticks of celery
• 2 red peppers
• olive oil
• 1 heaped teaspoon chilli powder
• 1 heaped teaspoon
• ground cumin
• 1 heaped teaspoon ground cinnamon
• sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 1 x 400g tin of chickpeas
• 1 x 400g tin of red kidney beans
• 2 x 400g tins of chopped tomatoes
• 500g good-quality minced beef
• 1 small bunch of fresh coriander
• 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
• 400g basmati rice
• 1 x 500g tub of natural yoghurt
• 1 x 230g tub of guacamole
• 1 lime

Jamie says: What a classic this dish is. Most of my mates love the chickpeas, but butter beans or even cubed potatoes will work well in their place. Feel free to pep up this dish with more chilli depending on your taste. This will make enough for six portions, so simply freeze the extra if you’re only cooking for four – it’s so damn good the next day, even on a jacket potato!

To make your chilli
• Peel and finely chop the onions, garlic, carrots and celery – don’t worry about the technique, just chop away until fine
• Halve the red peppers, remove the stalks and seeds and roughly chop
• Place your largest casserole-type pan on a medium high heat
• Add 2 lugs of olive oil and all your chopped vegetables
• Add the chilli powder, cumin and cinnamon with a good pinch of salt and pepper
• Stir every 30 seconds for around 7 minutes until softened and lightly coloured
• Add the drained chickpeas, drained kidney beans and the tinned tomatoes
• Add the minced beef, breaking any larger chunks up with a wooden spoon
• Fill one of the empty tomato tins with water and pour this into the pan
• Pick the coriander leaves and place them in the fridge
• Finely chop the washed stalks and stir in
• Add the balsamic vinegar and season with a good pinch of salt and pepper
• Bring to the boil and turn the heat down to a simmer with a lid slightly askew for about an hour, stirring every now and again to stop it catching

To serve your chilli

• This is fantastic served with fluffy rice
• Just divide the rice and chilli into big bowls or serve in the middle of the table and let everyone help themselves
• If you don’t fancy rice it’s equally good with a nice hunk of fresh crusty bread, over a jacket potato or with couscous
• Put a small bowl of natural yoghurt, some guacamole and a few wedges of lime on the table, and sprinkle the chilli with the coriander leaves
• I love to add a nice green salad to round it off


Did the boys like it?  Well they could hardly wait for me to snap the finished dish before they dove in. It was proclaimed “delicious” and parents I spoke to today also thoroughly enjoyed it!!


47 Responses to Les petits chefs – Food Revolution Week 3

  1. bunkycooks April 15, 2010 at 06:52 #

    Keep those kids cooking! I think it’s great they are making healthy dishes.

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite April 18, 2010 at 14:02 #

      And the wonderful thing is, they’re healthy without being “health” foods – just simple, real ingredients prepared simply…

  2. Jamie April 15, 2010 at 08:09 #

    Oh so fabulous to cook with kids, instill in them a love for cooking. The pictures are great and so is this chilli! Og course with guacamole!

  3. Belinda @zomppa April 15, 2010 at 08:17 #

    Brilliant!!! Gives lots of hope to the future.

  4. penny aka jeroxie April 15, 2010 at 09:45 #

    I made this dish before! And I still use an adaptation of his recipe when I made con carne. Wicked!

  5. A Canadian Foodie April 15, 2010 at 12:51 #

    We’ll do this, too! YUM!

  6. Carolyn Jung April 15, 2010 at 13:11 #

    I love how Jamie Oliver’s recipes are so non-intimidating, no matter how old you are or what level of cook you are. And are you not digging his new show on TV? Kudos to him for trying to help lessen the obesity epidemic in this country.

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite April 18, 2010 at 14:00 #

      Yes this is absolutely the best thing about the recipes – apart from how they taste – how easy they are!

  7. Fuji Mama April 15, 2010 at 13:27 #

    I love that you can actually identify all the ingredients–now THAT is a good chili!

  8. Kenzie (Healthy Purpose) April 15, 2010 at 17:29 #

    This is great! I love your idea of a kids’ cooking club. They did a great job–it looks delicious!

  9. Mr. Neil April 15, 2010 at 18:15 #

    Mardi never takes pictures of my little hands…

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite April 18, 2010 at 13:59 #

      Your kinfe skills are far superior thanks to a certain someone who gifted that George Brown course for you along with those beautiful knives….

  10. Daniel@CocinaSavant April 15, 2010 at 21:19 #

    looks fantastic!

  11. Conor @ HoldtheBeef April 16, 2010 at 01:20 #

    Another great success with the boys!

    Mardi I’m curious – are you getting feedback from the parents about this? Or are the boys telling you they’re making things at home? Are you able to gauge how your teaching is changing their eating/cooking outside of school?

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite April 18, 2010 at 13:58 #

      I am getting great feedback about how the dishes are tasting! Next year, I will incorporate the “pass it on” philosophy into the club where they learn to make a dish and go home and make it. Baby steps…

  12. Cara April 16, 2010 at 08:30 #

    I really love what you are doing! I think it’s so important that we don’t lose the art of cooking as Jamie calls it, and that future generations continue to understand and appreciate where food comes from. Thank you for making a difference.

  13. Mathilde's Cuisine April 16, 2010 at 09:13 #

    I love the work you do with the kids, well done!

  14. Jordana April 16, 2010 at 13:40 #


    I love this chili con carne recipe. It’s a staple in our home. Anyway…I was recently in Austin, TX and ordered guacamole which was made fresh at our table. The server squeezed the juice of half an orange in the guacamole. Um. WOW!!! You should try it. I’m usually a lemon or lime girl but I’m now swinging for the orange team!


  15. Christine @ Fresh Local and Best April 16, 2010 at 17:15 #

    I adore all of the bright refreshing flavors in this dish. I can’t wait to meet you in person in May!!!

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite April 18, 2010 at 13:56 #

      Yes, I loved that this dish, whilst being a comfort food dish, was still fairly light! Can’t wait to meet you either!

  16. Nicole @ Making Good Choices April 16, 2010 at 20:12 #

    wow, once again I am super impressed with you and your students. every time I see this I am so jealous that you can do this as a club! Your pictures are also gorgeous and really show off the amazing food they made!

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite April 18, 2010 at 13:56 #

      Yes Nicole, I am VERY lucky to work in a school that allows us to offer all sorts of interesting clubs.

  17. Lauren April 16, 2010 at 23:51 #

    loving how you arranged the photos in this post! they look great!

  18. Megan Gordon April 17, 2010 at 01:46 #

    So great, Mardi! Love that they’re involved in this way (and impressed those little hands navigate sharp knives). I’m really liking the photo arrangement on this post, too. Using a new program to do that??

  19. Brie April 18, 2010 at 18:09 #

    yum, great looking dish!

  20. Cat April 19, 2010 at 21:46 #

    yum! simple recipe, good healthy ingredients, fun in the kitchen – you’re doing something revolutionary with these students, mardi. once again, very impressive!

  21. Skylar April 20, 2010 at 15:52 #

    I almost drooled on my keyboard. Looks fantastic

  22. Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction April 20, 2010 at 21:58 #

    Yum… That’s my kind of food! What a tasty dish, and beautifully prepared by your students!

  23. Carole Sabiston April 22, 2010 at 03:29 #

    As a Nana of one of your ‘petit chefs’ I am thrilled with your well rounded kitchen experience you are giving as a life long knowledge to these 10 year old’s. When grandson visits this summer, we will have another continuing adventure on Canada’s West Coast, as foodies. Endless thanks.

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite April 23, 2010 at 06:39 #

      Thank you so much for visiting Carole – I am thrilled that our escapades in the kitchen warrant telling to Nana!!! I am sure Oliver will be pleased to share his skills!

  24. Thippi December 8, 2011 at 11:00 #

    I LOVE chili, it’s my go to comfort food especially in cold/rainy days. Love all the color I see!

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