Monday. Let me tell you guys something…it is even harder to get excited about Mondays when you spent a weekend away in Las Vegas with friends. Add to that the fact that it’s been raining all day and well let’s just say I was feeling cozy and lazy today.
This weekend was filled with pool time (think 80s and sunny), a few adult beverages, some gambling, lots of dancing, and even more laughter. Seriously, I feel like Seattle and the relationships I have developed out here feel more like home every day :) They say surround yourself with those on the same mission as you. A room full of passionate, ambitious, young, and adventure-seeking humans… makes for one epic vacation.
Well now I am home, cozied up to a nice warm cup of green tea, reflecting on the weekend, and sharing this twist on chili with you. I needed some veggies in my life, but with this rainy weather I wanted some comfort food. Drum roll please…VEGAN CHILI. I decided to avoid beans in this chili and stray even further from the traditional chili recipe. Mainly because lentils are packed with fiber and protein and are a legume so they replace the beans that you normally find in chili. If you really are craving that beany taste, feel free to add a can of rinsed kidney or black beans. I kept my batch on the sweeter side (corn and sweet potatoes) and added heat and freshness by topping each serving with pickled jalapeño slices and cilantro. This is a great hearty dish that will warm your soul.
More nutritional tidbits about lentils: high in folate, thiamine, phosphorous, and iron. I was shocked when I found out that Canada is the largest exporter of lentils in the world…who would have thought?!?!
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 40 minutes
1/2 red onion, diced
1 celery stalk, chopped
1 large sweet potato, peeled and cubed (2 cups of cubed sweet potato)
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 green bell pepper, diced
14.5 oz can stewed mexican style tomatoes
1 C green whole lentils, rinsed
1 C frozen corn
3 C water (additional water if needed to thin out the chili)
1 vegetable bouillon cube
1 heaping T ground cumin
2 t chili powder
1/2 t smoked paprika
salt and pepper to taste
- In a dutch oven, over medium high heat warm 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil. Cook onion, celery, and sweet potato for ~5 minutes, until sweet potato starts to brown/soften and onion is translucent.
- Add bell pepper and garlic and sauté an additional 1-2 minutes.
- Combine the remaining ingredients in the dutch oven and bring to a rolling boil. Cover dutch oven with lid and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add additional water if desired and adjust seasonings to taste. Remove from heat and allow the chili to cool for 10 minutes before serving. Serve warm with fresh cilantro and pickled jalapeños.