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Red Lentil Chili

Here's a protein & fiber-rich plant-based meal that's sure to fill you up. It's one of my favorite quick meals to make when I am at home and I don't want to cook for a couple of days, because this pot is sure to last you. 

As I am traveling I had to find ways to get creative with the meals I am cooking, and I figured why not make this chili, it will last me a few days and save me some money from eating out all the time. After making this chili the other day on my IG story i had a lot of people hit me up for the recipe so I figured I'd share it on here. 

Super easy, and super versatile. You can really use whatever beans you have on hand, which is what I did, but the recipe I adapted from Minimalist Baker actually calls for Kidney Beans and Black Beans. I love chickpeas and used to make a really great turkey chili that had zucchini and chickpeas, so I added that to my version of this recipe and, its amazing. 

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INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 Tbsp  coconut oil
  • 1 white or red onion, diced 
  • 1 red pepper, diced 
  • 1 zucchini diced 
  • 1/2 tsp each sea salt and black pepper, divided (plus more to taste)
  • 1 jalapeño, diced with seeds
  • 4 cloves garlic (2 Tbsp)
  • 3 Tbsp  chili powder, divided
  • 2 Tbsp ground cumin, divided
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 15-ounce  cans diced tomatoes (if unsalted, add more sea salt)
  • 3 Tbsp  tomato paste
  •  1 vegan "beef" bouillon cube (optional)
  • 1 3/4 cup water, plus more as needed
  • 3/4 cup dry red lentils, thoroughly rinsed in cold water + drained
  • 1 15-ounce can kidney beans, slightly drained
  • 1 15-ounce can black beans, slightly drained
  • 1-2 Tbsp  coconut sugar (or maple syrup)
  • optional: 1 ear of corn (or 1 15-ounce  can corn, drained)

DIRECTIONS:

  • Heat  pot over medium heat. Once hot, add oil, onion, red pepper, zucchini. Season with a good pinch of  salt and pepper and stir. Sauté for 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently.
  • Add jalapeño and garlic to a mortar and pestle and crush into a rough paste (or, blend in a small food processor, or finely mince). Add to the pot with onion and red pepper, and season with another pinch salt and pepper.
  • Add 2 Tbsp chili powder, 1 Tbsp cumin, paprika, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, bouillon and water, and stir to combine. Bring to a low boil over medium high heat.
  • Once boiling, add lentils and reduce heat to medium-low or low, so it's at a gentle simmer. You want to see bubbles, but you don't want it boiling. Cook for 15 minutes, or until lentils are mostly tender. As it's cooking you may need to add more water if the mixture is looking too dry and the lentils aren't submerged (I didn't find that necessary, plus I like thick chili).
  • Next add kidney beans, black  beans, 1/4 tsp each salt and pepper, and remaining 1 Tbsp cumin, and 1 Tbsp chili powder, and stir to combine.
  • Bring to a simmer over medium heat, then reduce heat slightly to low (or medium-low), add corn (optional), cover, and gently simmer for 20 minutes to meld the flavors together. Stir occasionally.
  • Taste and adjust seasonings as needed, adding more chili powder or cumin for smokiness, salt for saltiness, or a little coconut sugar to balance the heat and draw out the other flavors.

I hope you guys enjoy. Seriously it's so delish! 

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Rikki Wright