Getting your timing’s right

One of the best cooking tips I got from my Dad when cooking for a large group was that ‘TIMING IS KEY’. When I was younger I completely ignored all advice he gave me in the kitchen, as he was such a backseat chef (sorry for everyone that I have cooked with, as I seemed to have inherited this trait too!), but I have slowly realised that he knew exactly what he was talking about!

With this recipe, whilst the beans are simmering and the sauce thickening for the chilli, you have just the right amount of time to prep the other components of the dish. 

As soon as you are done with the beans, rinse the rice before bringing it to boil and then get started on the salsa.

Once the salsa is happily bubbling away, step away from the hob and prepare the guacamole and other toppings.

You can leave everything for a while whilst everyone settles in and has a drink. The longer you leave it the richer the flavours become (perfect when cooking for the masses!)



  • 1 clove crushed garlic 
  • 1 red onion finely diced 
  • 2 peppers roughly chopped (I like to use a combo of red and yellow!)
  • 2 tin of beans (chickpeas/kidney beans/black beans/pinto beans – whichever bean combo you are feeling, I would not recommend baked beans tho, that doesn’t work!) 
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tin unsweetened sweet corn 
  • 4 handfuls of spinach 
  • Splash of red wine (and a glass for you!)
  • Mexican spice blend [ 1 tbsp smoked paprika + 2 tsp ground coriander + 2 tsp ground cumin + 2 tsp normal paprika + 1tsp cayenne pepper (depending on your spice preference) + ground pepper +  1tsp of cacao powder ] 


  1. Sauté the onion, garlic and peppers until soft, before adding in the mexican spice blend with 1 tbsp tomato puree and a splash of water
  2. Stir in the tinned tomatoes with a tin-full of water
  3. Mix in all of the beans with a large splash of red wine 
  4. Leave it to bubble away whilst you prep everything else, and just before serving add in the spinach and some more seasoning to taste 


  1. Over a medium heat cook 1/2 red onion very finely chopped, 1 clove of garlic crushed and finely chopped, 2 large handfuls of fresh tomatoes, roughly chopped, with a splash of balsamic vinegar, sprinkle of sugar, S+P, chilli flakes and a spash of water
  2. Leave to bubble away on a low heat to break down the fresh tomatoes & thicken up the sauce