Weekly Dish: Lentil Chili

No beans in this household at the moment. But it’s Fall and who does Fall without Chili??? So here is a seriously delicious version of traditional Chili. (Of course, you can always just make your own Chili recipe and replace the beans with Lentils)

LENTIL CHILI

1-2 T Butter and/or olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 large bell pepper, chopped
5 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 carrots, chopped or sliced
2 celery ribs, chopped or sliced
6-7 C chicken broth, homemade
2 1/4 C Lentils, soaked overnight in enough water to cover
1 28oz. can diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 Tablespoon ground cumin
2 Tablespoons chili powder
1/4 Cup cilantro, chopped
salt & pepper, to taste

Method: Saute onion, bell pepper, carrots and celery in saucepan over medium heat until translucent. Add garlic and cook until just fragrant, 30 seconds. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Cover and cook on medium-low until lentils are almost tender, about 30 minutes. Remove cover and cook 10 more minutes. Stir in cilantro and season with salt and pepper as needed.

[You can also saute all the vegetables and then add the whole thing to the Slow Cooker and cook on low for 4 hours or so.]

Top with a squeeze of lime, cheese, sour cream, and avocado. Serve!

Add-ins or Variations:

Use Fire-Roasted Diced Tomatoes
Add a few Chipotle peppers in Adobo
Add a Sweet Potato
Add Mushrooms
Add Beans and/or Corn
Add Meat
Add Green Chiles or Roasted Peppers

 

I am sharing this post at Real Food Wednesday!

Florentine Rice & Lentils

I’m always on the lookout for a good slow-cooker meal. Here is a great one. It is also highly versatile so really it doesn’t have to be italian. Make it mexican, make it Cajun, make it Irish, make it Asian!

Florentine Rice & Lentils

3/4 cup dry lentils
1/2 c brown rice
3 1/2 C homemade chicken stock
1 cup tomato sauce
1 chopped onion
1 chopped green or red pepper
1 grated or finely chopped carrot
2 cups cooked, shredded chicken
1-2 handfuls of spinach
3 teaspoons Italian seasoning (or oregano)
2 cloves minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
dash black pepper

Marinara sauce (homemade: 1 28oz. can crushed tomatoes, olive oil, garlic)
1 cup grated mozzarella cheese
sprinkle parmesan cheese
Combine rice and lentils and cover with water. Soak overnight in slow cooker with the machine turned off. In the morning, drain the water, then add all other ingredients except marinara sauce and cheese. Mix and cook in slow cooker on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours. 10 minutes before serving, add marinara sauce to top, then cheese and allow it to melt.

Variations:

For Mexican version use Taco seasoning instead of Italian seasoning. Add salsa instead of marinara. Use Jack cheese instead of mozzarella.

For Cajun version use Cajun seasoning, add celery and kidney beans. Omit marinara and mozzarella.

For Irish version, add lager beer in place of the liquid. Add thinly sliced green cabbage. Top with Irish Cheddar.

For Asian version: Use ginger and soy sauce, pineapple chunks, green onions and serve in lettuce cups.

Sweet and Sour Lentils

Wow, it’s been a long time since anything was posted on here. It has been a very busy past two months and I am just now getting back into some sort of routine. Soon to come: more recipes, new homeschool/housework schedules, and lots of thoughts on REAL food!

This recipe was different and yummy! Even Mr. 4-year-old “I don’t like lentils all of a sudden” liked this meal. It is sort of a compromise because of all the sweetness in it, even if it is made with natural sweeteners. But once in a while a sweet main dish is good after a lot of savory ones!

Sweet and Sour Lentils

1 cup green lentils, soaked overnight or for 7 hours to remove anti-nutrients
1 bay leaf
2.5 cups water or broth
1 T olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 cups diced carrots
2 cups diced bell pepper
1/4 cup sugar (sucanat/rapadura or maple syrup)
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup fruit juice (apple, pineapple, mango, papaya, etc…)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 pinch ground cloves

1. Simmer the lentils and bay leaf in the broth for 20-30 minutes, or until tender.
2. In a separate pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Saute the onion and garlic for 2-3 minutes. Add in carrots and saute another 2 minutes. Add bell pepper and saute until all veggies are crisp tender.
3. Combine maple syrup, vinegar, juice, salt, cinnamon and cloves in a bowl. Mix to combine and set aside.
4. Deglaze the veggie pan with the dressing mixture. Heat through.
5.  Remove bay leaf from lentils. Add lentils to the veggies and heat through. Taste and adjust seasonings.

Serve over arugula or rice/quinoa/couscous/other grain…

Lentil Hamburger Casserole

Just about every week I try a new recipe. Sometimes they are good, once in a while they really bomb. This one was good… for a dirt cheap meal that is quick and easy.

This isn’t really a casserole because you don’t bake it after its assembled so it’s kind of ┬ájust a bowl of slop (I’m great at marketing, aren’t I?) but the flavors are really great.

Lentil Hamburger Casserole

2 Cups Lentils

1 Quart Water

1 Bay Leaf

1 pound ground beef

1 large onion, diced

1 8oz. can tomato sauce

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon vinegar

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1/4 teaspoon dried basil

1/4 teaspoon dry mustard

In a large saucepan over Medium heat, bring to boil lentils, 1 quart water and bay leaf. Reduce heat, cover; simmer 30 minutes or until lentils are tender.

Meanwhile, in large skillet, saute beef and onion until meat is cooked through. Drain lentils, reserving liquid.

If necessary, add water to make 1 C liquid. Discard bay leaf. Stir lentils and liquid into meat mixture. Add remaining ingredients. Stir well.

Serves 6.