THIS. Is the best veggie chili you will ever eat. It is so flavorful and hearty, that you will not even realize that the ground beef/turkey you are used to in your chili-meal has actually been replaced by red lentils!! Super sneaky :). My kids love it. The first time I made it their response was: “I could totally be a vegetarian!!” Hold your horses, guys, Mommy likes bacon.
If you are looking to lower your grocery bill, reduce your carbon footprint, and enjoy a healing meal - add this to your repertoire.
***I know this may seem like a billion ingredients - but most of it you will have on hand!!
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 red onion
- 1 yellow pepper (the bright color is nice :))
- 3 or 4 carrots
- 1C chopped cherry tomatoes
- 3 tsp chili powder
- 2 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp corriander
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 can pinto beans
- 1 can kidney beans
- 2 C chicken stock
- ¾ C red lentils
- Sour cream
***If you really want to tell your body you love it so, serve this over a bed of arugula. Dream world.
Here’s how to make it:
30ish min before you start cooking, start soaking your red lentils in a bowl of water.
***This releases the small bit of natural toxins that exist in legumes and beans, leaving it in the water and not in your chili. This also makes your lentils fluffy before you add them to the pot of chili, which reduces your cooking time and keeps the lentils from soaking up the broth and becoming mush.
T-30 min before dinner, heat the EVOO on med-high heat in a large pot or dutch oven. Chop the onion and carrots, add to the hot oil and stir. Chop the tomato and yellow pepper, and add to the mix. Salt and Pepper lovingly. Add the spices. Stir and let cook for 3 or so minutes, until veggies begin to soften.
Add the tomato paste and beans, stir to incorporate. Drain the lentils that you soaked, and pour them in, followed by the chicken stock to deglaze the pot (all those browned bits at the bottom are full of flavor). Bring to a simmer and let bubble for 15 min while you set the table and wrangle those kiddos.
Serve with toppings or without! Savor every bite, and the experience of hearing your children say “mmmmm… this is delicious… may I have seconds??”
I hope you enjoy this incredibly healthy chili!! My husband has been amazing by how full but not heavy he feels after meals like these. Feel free to indulge in some cornbread and maybe a spicy marg on the side - just so you don’t start feeling too shiny :). Enjoy!