Crash Test Vegetarian

Vegan to Omnivore outreach program

Lentil Chili with Roasted Red Pepper and Black Olives

on January 23, 2012

I actually have a number of other recipes that should be posted before this one, but this ended up being somewhat of a rare occassions when the sun and the moon and the stars and Jupiter and Mars all aligned, so it gets to jump the line.

Why?  Let me count the ways.  But first, have a gander.

Lentil Chili

So every week I make 1-2 “pot meals,” as I call them.  Basically something that makes a large portion of food that we eat for lunch the day I make it (usually) then we pack them away for lunches for the week.  We make two so we can alternate.

Well this week my husband and I recieved some significantly devastating news that we can’t even really talk about because there’s still 5 more months until the outcome is certain, and unfortunately even then it may be dragged out more…. but I digress.

The point is, our routine got knocked off kilter a bit by a wave of depression which was subsequently followed by take-out Chinese and Subway.  No pot meals were made, and over the weekend I (my husband doesn’t work on the weekends) ate off leftover chinese.

So here Sunday rolls around and I’m still wondering WTF I’m going to make for the week.  It’s really difficult for me to cook on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, so I needed to figure out something – fast.

While I was looking for recipes, Kalyn posted one that sounded interesting for her Meatless Monday recipe.  But after reading the ingredients list I realized that I literally had all the ingredients on hand – which has never happened.   So this morning I made it and I didn’t change a thing other than I only had not-chicken bullion, so I used that rather than vegetable broth.

Everything about it is brilliant, and it hit number 3 on my omnivore husband’s favorite soup list.  It was easy, I was able to prep the cooking while the foster baby was noshing on some cheerios.

Lentil Chili

Incidentally, this recipe contains black olives – which yes, sounds odd, but turned out to be REALLY good and, in my opinion, essential – even though I’m not a huge black olive fan.

In a small amount of oil in a soup pot or dutch oven, sautee until brown
1 medium to large (I used large) onion, chopped finely

Once the onion browns a bit add in
2-3 cloves garlic, minced

And continue cooking for about a minute ore until the garlic is fragrant.    Once the garlic and onion are cooked, add in the spices:
2-3 Tbsp Chili Powder
1 Tbsp Ground Cumin
1 tsp dried oregano
1/8 tsp (more or less depending on taste) Chipotle powder

Sautee the spices for about another minute or two until the spices are very fragrant.  You may need to add a smidge more oil, or about a Tablespoon of water to make sure the spices don’t burn.

From there, you’re going to add the bulk of the chili
1 cup brown/green lentils, rinsed and drained
1/4-1/2 red lentils, rinsed and drained
6 cups vegetable broth, or equivelant water/bullion (I used not-chicken bullion cause that’s all I had)

Bring the entire mix to a low boil then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until the lentils are soft.  The time will depend on the age of the lentils, mine took about 45 minutes.    Now’s a good time to taste to adjust the spice or add salt if you want.

Once the lentils are tender, add in
1 8 oz can tomato sauce
1 6 oz (I used more) can black olives, drained and chopped
1-2 jarred roasted red peppers, chopped
1/2 cup sliced green onions

Continue cooking for another 15-20 minutes, or until the chili thickens.

Kalyn suggests serving with wedges of lime, but I did not test this suggestion yet.

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5 responses to “Lentil Chili with Roasted Red Pepper and Black Olives

  1. Kalyn says:

    So glad you enjoyed it, and thanks for the mention!

  2. Love the looks of this and enjoyed your post. I’ll definitely give it a try (and check out Kalyn’s blog too.)

  3. Yummers…that looks so hearty and delish! I’ve never used lentils in chili, so I think I need to give it a whirl. Thanks!

    • Izzy says:

      I used lentils for the first time recently. Once you try them in the chili you will be hooked. They are so easy to work with, I am so addicted to them.

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