Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Vegetarian Chili

Okay, I admit it.  I had some crunchy cheetos over the weekend.  Totally processed and totally unhealthy.  I also had a few other things not in my food realm and didn't feel like myself afterwards.  As soon as I came back home on Sunday night, I tried to think of dishes to make that wouldn't hold me down but was still filling and satisfying.  I came across this chili recipe.  I loved the chipotle in this vegetarian dish.  I love my spice!

From My Father's Daughter and I added minor notes
Makes 4 servings

2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
1/2 large yellow onion, peeled and finely diced
1 large carrot, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch dice
1/2 large red bell pepper, seeds and ribs removed, cut into 1/4-inch dice
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
3/4 tsp mild chili powder
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
1 tsp chipotle in adobo
1 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes with their juice
1/2 cup de Puy lentils (small, dark French lentils that hold their shape well), rinsed and drained
1 14-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 14-ounce can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
Big pinch coarse salt
3 tbs tomato paste

Heat the olive oil in a medium soup pot over medium heat.  Add the onion, carrot, bell pepper, garlic, chili powder, cumin, and black pepper.  Cook, stirring, for 15 minutes, or until the vegetables are softened.  Add the chipotle and stir to combine.

Turn the heat up to high, add the tomatoes and their juice, crushing them a bit with your wooden spoon, and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 40 minutes.

Add the lentils and beans (I rinsed my lentils and beans before adding them in).  Fill one 14-ounce can with water and add it to the pot, along with the salt.  Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer for 40 minutes.

Stir in the tomato paste and cook for 20 more minutes, or until the lentils are soft and the flavors are melded.

The chipotle in adobo is pictured below on the right.  You can add a little more in this recipe if you want an added kick.

Make sure you get the dark green French lentils for this recipe and do not replace with another lentil variety because the dark green ones really do hold up their shape a lot better than the other kinds.  

I topped the chili with non-fat plain yogurt and minced cilantro.  This dish totally hit the spot!

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