November has arrived, so I thought it would be fun to offer some inspiration for those of you who will be coming in cold from a firework display. It wouldn’t be Bonfire Night without Jacket Potatoes – Vivaldi, Sante and Melody are the best varieties to use. Inexpensive, full of vitamins and minerals and fat-free – what’s not to love? Make sure you prick them, and then cover in Olive Oil and Salt; don’t wrap them in foil unless you are going to cook them directly in the flames of a bonfire or BBQ. Partner them up with my delicious Chilli Sin Carne and you’ve got a guaranteed crowd pleaser for all your guests.

Chilli Sin Carne

A fantastic alternative to traditional chilli suitable for vegetarians and meat eaters alike.
Serves 4


For the sauce (if you want to cheat substitute with a jar of passata)!!

  • 1 level teaspoon cayenne pepper, plus extra for sprinkling
  • 1 heaped teaspoon ground cumin, plus extra for sprinkling
  • 1 level teaspoon ground cinnamon, plus extra for sprinkling
  • Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • Olive oil
  • 1 Onion
  • 2 Cloves garlic
  • 1 Fresh red chilli
  • 1 Fresh green chilli
  • 2 x 400g tinned chipped tomatoes

For ‘padding’

  • 2 Medium sized sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into bite size chunks
  • 1 Butternut squash, peeled and cut into bite size chunks
  • 1 Red &1 yellow pepper
  • A bunch of fresh coriander
  • 2 x 400g tinned kidney beans (or chickpea, pinto or cannellini all work fine)

Serve with Soured Cream, Guacamole, Tortilla Chips, Jacket Potatoes, or Brown Rice.


  • Pre-heat the oven to 200oc, 400of, gas mark 6.
  • Sprinkle the potatoes and squash with a pinch each of cayenne, cumin, cinnamon, salt and pepper. Drizzle with olive oil and toss to coat, then spread out on a baking tray and set aside.
  • Peel and roughly chop the onion, then peel and finely chop the garlic.
  • Pick the coriander leaves and put aside, then finely chop the stalks.
  • Deseed and finely chop the chillies.
  • Place the sweet potatoes & squash in the hot oven for 40 minutes, or until soft and golden.
  • Meanwhile, put a large pan over a medium-high heat and add 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add the onion, and garlic and cook for 5 minutes.
  • Add the coriander stalks, chilli and spices and cook for another 5-10 minutes, or until softened, stirring every couple of minutes.
  • Halve, deseed and roughly chop the peppers.
  • Drain the beans, then tip them into the pan with the tinned tomatoes. Stir well and bring to the boil, add the chopped peppers and then reduce to a medium-low heat and leave to tick away for 25-30 minutes, or until thickened and reduced. Keep an eye on it, and add a splash of water if it gets a bit thick.
  • Stir the roasted sweet potato & squash through your chilli with most of the coriander leaves. Taste and season with salt and pepper, if you think it needs it.
  • Scatter the remaining leaves over the top, and serve.


In season this month;

Fruit, Nuts & Fungi
Apples, medlars, pears, quince, raspberries, chestnuts, horse mushrooms, oyster mushrooms, truffles, walnuts, wood blewits

Vegetables & Herbs
Artichoke, beetroot, Brussels tops, cabbages, cardoons, carrots, celeriac, celery, chard, chicory, endive, greens, kale, leeks, lettuce, onions, parsnips, potatoes, pumpkins, salsify, swede, turnips, nettles, watercress

Meat & Game
Wild goose, grouse, hare, mallard, partridge, pheasant, rabbit, wood pigeon

Fish & Shellfish
Code, crab, lobster, mackerel, mussels, oysters, prawns, scallops, sea bass, sprats, squid, whiting

Suzanne is a professional chef, wife and mother who has lived in East Dulwich, London all her life. You can email Suzanne with any comments or questions at

You can email Suzanne with any comments or questions at

This feature first appeared in the November 2015 issue of SE22 magazine.