Lentil Chili

This is one of those recipes that I really do not mind having to test over and over again because it’s so healthy and delicious. I have had it twice this week and I’m planning on making it again this weekend :) It also makes a great dish to serve when you are having guests over because it meets nearly every dietary restriction: Dairy-free, Gluten-free, Vegetarian, Vegan, safe for both diabetics and those following and Engine 2 diet. You can always serve it with mix-ins on the side, like Greek yogurt and grated cheese, for those not following a special diet. This recipe makes a mild chili, and I find that mild is better for a crowd, however you if you want it spicy just add an extra teaspoon of cayenne pepper, or use a spicy chili powder (I usually use mild chili powder). I recommend making it a little milder the first time until you figure out how much spice is enough for you. Just remember, you can easily make this stew spicier just before serving by sprinkling in a little cayenne. It is much more difficult to take that spice away. If you want this chili to be mild make sure to use mild chili powder, sweet paprika (not hot) and omit the cayenne. You can make this in the slow-cooker or on the stove top. You just need to cook it long enough for the lentils to soften. Here are some quick cooking times: Stove top at simmer: 40 min Slow-cooker on high: 3.5 hours Slow-cooker on low: 6-8 hours

Makes: 6 servings

Preparation time: 15m
Cooking time: 15m
Total time: 55m


Ingredients:

  • 4 cups low-sodium vegetable stock (or water)
  • 1 cup dried green lentils
  • 1 cup dried red lentils
  • 1 can garbanzo beans (drained)
  • 1 can white beans (drained)
  • 2 14.5oz cans diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups frozen spinach
  • 1 cup diced carrots (about 1 large carrot)
  • 1 cup diced zucchini (about 1 large zucchini)
  • 1 shallot (diced)
  • 3-5 garlic cloves (minced or pressed )
  • 2 tablespoons chile powder (these range from mild-hot, get the one that suits you)
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano (or dried thyme)
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt and pepper (to taste)

Equipment: Slow cooker or large saucepan (min. 5qt)


Instructions:

  1. Put the water, lentils, beans, tomatoes, spinach, carrot, zucchini, shallot, garlic, chili powder, oregano, paprika, cayenne powder and bay leaf into the cooking vessels of your choice.
  2. Stove top: bring the chili to a boil then reduce heat and simmer until the lentils are soft (about 30-40minutes).
  3. Slow-cooker: high for at least 3.5 hours, or low for 6-8 hours.
  4. Cook until the lentils are soft.
  5. Taste then add salt and pepper as needed.
  6. Divide into bowls and serve hot. My INLINE-LINK-START title="Whole Wheat Drop Biscuts" href="../../../recipes/whole-wheat-drop-biscuits" target="_blank">Whole Wheat Drop Biscuits INLINE-LINK-END make a great addition to this chili!