Friday, March 25, 2016

Lentil & Black Bean Chili

So the other day I was feeling vegetarian. Like most, I just needed a break from meat. I scourged the internet for something that was meaty yet vegetarian. I wanted something filling. I happened upon and found this absolutely great recipe for Lentil Chili. I loved what this recipe offered so I took it home and made it my way. Here's my recipe:

Lentil Chili:
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
16 oz bag lentils,
14 oz can diced tomatoes
15 oz can black beans, drained
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon paprika
2 bay leaves
2 tsp oregano
1 tbs season salt
1/2 tbs tomato paste
1 tbs Worcestershire
-1 tbs veggie oil
4 cups water or chicken stock
salt and black pepper to taste

1. In a large pot, saute onion and bell pepper in a touch of veggie oil.
2. Add garlic, paprika, chili powder, season salt, and tomato paste. Let spices and tomato paste cook until you can smell the flavors. We are waking them up!
3. Add lentils, worcestershire, diced tomatoes, oregano, bay leaves, and water or stock.
4. Bring to a boil, cover the pot, and lower to a simmer for 15 minutes.
5. Add black beans and let simmer for another 15 minutes.
6. Taste. Add salt and pepper if needed. If you need more salt and pepper, add it and let this chili simmer for another 10 minutes or so.

This makes a HUGE amount. I let the chili cool all the way and packed up half of it and set it in the freezer. To plate this up, I just sliced up some cheddar/jack cheese and serranos and used those as a garnish. This was a delectable meal! I couldn't believe how delicious it was and how easy! I thought I'd miss the meat but it was so hearty that you really don't need the meat. I'd like to try some shredded chicken just to see what it would do to this recipe though. It may add another layer of texture that could really be delicious!

And for those that love Frito Pie, oh my gosh you have to try this as a substitute for regular chili. I did it one day for lunch and it was killer! If you have never tried a frito pie because you're a vegetarian, do it with this chili! You'll soon become an addict like the rest of us!

If you're gonna make this, I highly recommend keeping it vegetarian. Add some mushrooms for extra "beefiness" if you really need it. I promise you, you'll love this recipe!

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