Good evening beautiful people, I hope everyone is doing well 😊
I was at a bit of a loss as to what to make for dinner tonight; I had pre-cooked green lentils in my fridge and cooked black beans too. So, I opted to my easy one-pot lentil chili which I’ve made practically once a week ever since I made it for the first time.
I used to make Chili con Carne from time to time, however, I’ve decided to cut down on my animal food intake and I’ve been cooking mainly vegan and vegetarian dishes at home in an effort to decrease environmental damage and to increase plant food intake (which has been proven to be very good for our health and well being).
I’ve made this over and over and over again, always a little bit different because my cooking tends to depend HEAVILY on what I have in the fridge. So I’ll be sharing the recipe for my favorite variety – but as long and you have a good base, feel free to use the veggies you have on hand in this one!
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon hot paprika
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon tomato paste
650 grams chopped tomatoes
1 teaspoon sugar
8-10 heaped tablespoons green or brown cooked lentils (the whole ones)
8-10 heaped tablespoons cooked black beans (or red kidney beans)
4 heaped tablespoons sweet corn
Optional: bell peppers, swiss chard, frozen spinach.
sliced avocado (obviously)
natural Greek yoghurt
This makes about 4 large platefuls. I like to make a batch and then take leftovers to work the next day or the day after that. This is one of those dishes that gets even better the day after so don’t make a small batch!
Also, I’m not a huge fan of spicy food because I just can’t handle it to be totally honest so my chili isn’t too hot. It’s quite spicy (which is why I add yogurt and avocado to tone down the heat) but if you like super spicy food, try adding some more chili or hot paprika.
Start by heating a tablespoon of olive oil in a large pot – make sure you use a pot that would be suitable for soup because this is going to be a large batch! To the oil, add 2 chopped onions and all the spices (so chili, paprika and smoked paprika). Cook the onions with the spices for a couple of minutes then add the chopped garlic. Once cooked for an additional 2 minutes, or until everything is mixed well and very fragrant, add 1 heaped teaspoon of tomato paste (kunserva) and 1 teaspoon of sugar and mix well. Add you crushed tomatoes and a bit of water. I like adding a bit of water at a time to make sure it’s not too runny. I like a more thick stew-like chili. However this is definitely a matter of preference, so add as much or as little water as you think you would enjoy. Just add a little bit at a time.
At this point, I normally add any veggies I have in my fridge that I don’t know what to do with. This time I had chard, spinach and bell peppers. So I chopped them up and added them to my base. This is of course optional but it’s a great way to use up your veggies and get added nutrients and fiber without too much effort or fuss – win win!
Once everything is incorporated, add your lentils, beans and sweet corn – again I have made this dish without the corn but I would recommend using it if you have it. The natural sweetness of the corn balances out the heat really well in my opinion.
Then just let it simmer for as long as you can – the minimum time is around 15-20 mins, however, if you have the time to leave it on a low heat for longer, it tastes even better. When I’m not in a rush I let it simmer for up to an hour -so good.
To serve, you could add it to a bowl of rice; but honestly I prefer eating it as it is. I just add the chili to a bowl and top generously with sliced avocado and yogurt. You could also eat this with some pita bread, that’s a really good combination too!
Whichever way you like it, I think this is a really good week night winter staple – quick, easy, warming and loaded with veggies that don’t taste like plain old boring veggies. Try this out and let me know what you think 🙂
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Until my next post, be well xXx