I’ve been looking for a good vegetarian chili recipe for a while. When I say good, I mean healthy, flavorful and filling without missing the meat. I found a few that called for interesting and non-traditional ingredients like lentils and quinoa – all darlings of healthy eating and a good source of protein! So I decided to give it a go for a Meatless Monday family meal.
I think its imperative to serve with some good bread. And by good bread, I mean the best bread you can find. Around here, Acme bread reins and I can find it at my local Safeway too.
And of course serve with a side of more veggies – it’s Meatless Monday, go all out! I made a 2 ingredients salad. Roasted Golden Beets and Kale with a simple apple cider vinaigrette.
A couple of notes.
- I love heat, but my kids can’t take too much yet so I added half a jar more tomato sauce to tone it down. After I realized the chili was too spicy for my 4 year old’s taste, I asked the google how to reduce spiciness. So adjust the spices to your liking.
- Sky’s the limit on variations of this. Some ideas I’d like to try spotted on the internet include: squash, zucchini, sweet potatoes, kidney beans, chick peas, etc. Just load it up with the good stuff!
- And ditto for the toppings. I went California style and added avocados (the lemon tops in the picture above were to keep them from browning) and cilantro, chopped onions and some shredded cheddar cheese for the kiddos.
- Chili is a mom’s best friend. Makes great leftovers and is freezable. #momwin
Here’s the recipe adapted from TasteLoveandNourish.com
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large sweet onion, diced
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 4 large carrots, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 tablespoons paprika
- 1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
- 1 teaspoon allspice
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- 1 bay leaf
- 5 – 6 cups vegetable broth
- 2 cups lentils, sorted and rinsed (I used 1 cup lentils and 1 cup quinoa)
- 29 ounce can tomato sauce (I added more to adjust the heat)
- 29 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup frozen sweet corn kernels
- 12 ounce jar roasted red peppers, diced
- salt and pepper to taste
- In a large heavy pot over medium high heat, add the olive oil, then the onion, celery and carrots. Sauté until the onions have softened, then add the garlic and continue to cook for just one minute.
- Add the spices. Cook for about two more minutes to get them fragrant.
- Add the broth (start with 5 cups first, you may need an additional cup later to thin the sauce out), lentils and tomato sauce and raise the heat to high, bringing the broth to a boil. Once it boils, reduce the heat to medium low and simmer for about 30 minutes to get the lentils tender.
- Add the black beans, corn, red peppers and continue to cook for about 20 more minutes. Add the extra cup of broth, if needed.
- Serve in bowls with the toppings of your choice.