It is like a bowl of warmth. And this winter, I NEED warmth.
It is not just because of the actual temperature, the spices of chili warm you from your taste buds to your toes.
Today I am sharing with you my latest creation.
Vegetarian Lentil Chili
Have you ever tried lentils?
Maybe not. Maybe they sound scary to you.
Trust me, my meat loving husband is not even opposed to lentils. Nor are my children.
What are lentils? They are a high protein part (called a pulse) of a plant that has been dried.
Okay….that makes tons of sense 😉
Why should you cook with lentils?
- Extremely high in fiber and protein
- Great substitute for meat
- Extremely inexpensive
- High in iron and Vitamin B
- Quick cooking
If you are still not convinced, try this Lentil Chili–it is so hearty and packed full of crazy flavor, I am pretty sure it’s taste will do all the convincing you need that lentils should be included in your diet.
Vegan Lentil Chili is hearty, filling, easy to make, inexpensive, and bottom line: IT IS GOOD!!!
In fact it is so good, that while enjoying watching the snow fall (IN GEORGIA!!!) my family ate 2 bowls each (Yes, my meat-eating midwest husband ate 2 servings of Meatless Chili!) . My son ate 3. So much for leftovers!
A Few Notes on Easy 30 Minute Lentil Chili:
- Lentil Chili is good plain, with a dollop of yogurt or sour cream, maybe some cheese, even scooped up with chips. I personally enjoyed it with some Greek yogurt and a squeeze of fresh lime juice.
- The red wine is optional in this Gluten-Free Chili, but it adds a rich depth of flavor. If you omit, replace vegetable stock.
- Any variety of lentils work in Lentil Chili.
- Any beans–pinto beans, red beans, black beans, all work in this Chili.
- I blended one can of tomatoes to give the soup more liquid and for texture preference. This step is not necessary. Or you can blend both cans of tomatoes.
- I like my chili stick to the spoon thick, feel free to thin out with more broth–just be sure to adjust seasonings.
- Sneak in some veggies by adding 1-2 cups of pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie filling) to the chili.
- To make this as Crock-Pot Lentil Chili, place all ingredients into your slow cooker and cook on low for 6 hours or high for 4 hours.
I am telling you, this meatless chili will make you a believer in the power of lentils, or at least how delicious they can be!
Vegetarain Lentil Chili
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small onion diced
- 3 cloves of garlic minced
- 1/2 cup dry red wine optional
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 16 oz can diced tomatoes blended
- 1 16 oz can diced tomatoes not blended
- 2 cups water or vegetable broth
- 1 cup yellow lentils or any variety you prefer
- 2 cups beans canned or dried and cooked
Heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and spices. Saute until onion is softened.
Deglaze pan with wine and allow to boil for 1 minute.
Add tomatoes and broth (or water). Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low.
At this point you can allow the broth to simmer for 1 hour to intensify in flavor, or you can add the lentils and beans and cook until lentils are tender--about 15 minutes.
Season with salt and pepper as needed.
Alternatively--you can place all ingredients into the slow cooker and cook for 6 hours on low or 4 hours on high.