No Meat Lentil Chili

My husband called me last night and asked the million dollar question: “What’s for dinner”? Hahahahaha… yesterday was grocery shopping day, and I had NOT gone grocery shopping yet. Plus side? I still had 1 meal left from my meal plan that I had not yet made… LENTIL CHILI!!! I told me husband as much, and his response was actually less than excited… can you imagine?! HA! J/K. I knew he was going to be a bit hesitant when he heard the word “lentil”. You think of anything but chili when you hear the word lentil.

I didn’t want to thaw my last pound of ground beef, I was saving that to make meatballs for my littles today, and I didn’t want to use it in chili if I didn’t have to. So… lentil chili it is! And you know what? We LOVED it!! My husband cleaned out his bowl and went back for seconds! And, if you change a few of my ingredients, you can make a vegetarian version for sure!!! This was a winner, don’t be scared off  by the word lentil, even your kids would like it! Just wait until after they are done to tell them it was meat free deliciousness!

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INGREDIENTS
  • 2 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/2 medium sweet yellow onion, chopped
  • 3-4 mini sweet peppers (multi-colors), chopped
  • 1 tsp Minced Garlic
  • 3 tsp. Chili Powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • Dash cayenne pepper
  • 2 TB Cornmeal mixed with 1/4 cup water to thicken chili
  • 1/2 cup to 1 cup frozen whole kernel corn (or fresh)
  • 1 can Organic Black Beans (rinsed)
  • 1 1/2 cups rinsed brown Lentils
  • 1 28 oz. can Fire Roasted Crushed Tomato
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 1/2 cartons (48 oz) Organic Low-sodium chicken Broth(use vegetable broth to go for the Vegetarian Option)
  • ⅓ cup fresh chopped cilantro
  • sea salt and fresh ground black pepper
  • Optional toppings: sour cream, cheddar cheese, croutons, tortilla chips, avocado
  • salt and pepper to taste

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INSTRUCTIONS
  1. In a large soup pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and chopped peppers; saute the vegetables for 8 minutes or until onion is soft and lightly browned.
  2. Stir in garlic, cumin, cayenne, black beans and chili powder; cook for 1 minute.
  3. Add lentils, tomatoes, bay leaf and chicken broth (or veggie broth). Bring to a boil, lower the heat to medium-low and simmer partially covered for 30 minutes or until lentils are tender. Add the water and cornmeal mixture and let simmer for 5 minutes to thicken.
  4. Remove from the heat and discard the bay leaf.
  5. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Stir in cilantro and serve.

Top with: more cilantro, cheese, sour cream, avocado pieces, etc!!! ENJOY, you seriously will!!

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And now, for the quote of the day:

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