|This Vegan Lentil Chili has both brown and red lentils, and it's loaded with flavor.|
I have to admit I am enjoying the challenge of coming up with a meatless recipe every Sunday so it's ready on the blog for Meatless Monday, even when it's a Month of Daily Phase One recipes, which makes finding those vegetarian recipes a bit more challenging. Luckily dried beans and lentils are approved for phase one, and this Vegan Lentil Chili was so flavorful that I think it's a perfect Meatless Monday recipe idea. I love all things lentil, and couldn't resist adding some red lentils along with the regular brown lentils this recipe started out with. I also added roasted red peppers and sliced olives for a little more flavor, and used canned vegetable broth as the base of the chili. This was delicious as-is, but if you like tart flavors I think a generous squeeze of lime juice would really be good.
You can find more meatless recipes by using the label Meatless Monday or checking Vegetarian Recipes in the recipe index. For Meatless Monday ideas from other bloggers, check Meatless Monday at BlogHer, where I write a weekly post spotlighting one of the fabulous meatless recipe ideas I find around the web.
Heat the oil and then saute the onions until they're starting to brown. Add garlic and saute about one minute more.
Then add the chile powder, ground cumin, dried oregano, and ground chipotle powder (or cayenne) and saute about 90 seconds more.
You can use all regular brown-green lentils like you normally find in the grocery store, but if you have red lentils, they will dissolve a little faster and thicken the chili, and the red ones add a nice sweetness.
When the spices are fragrant, add the brown lentils, red lentils, vegetable broth, water, and tomato sauce and start to simmer.
When red lentils are mostly dissolved and brown ones are nicely tender, add the sliced green onion, sliced olives, and diced roasted red bell pepper and simmer about 15-20 minutes more. Serve hot.
(Makes 4-6 servings; recipe adapted from Lentil Chili with Cumin and Green Onions in the February 2008 Bon Appetit Magazine. I could not find the recipe online.)
2 tsp. olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped in small pieces
2 tsp. finely minced garlic
2 T Chili Powder (I used Penzeys Regular Chili Powder, which is quite mild.)
1 T ground cumin
1 tsp. dried oregano (preferably Mexican oregano)
1/8 tsp. dried Chipotle chile pepper (or cayenne; use more or less depending on how spicy you like it)
1 cup brown lentils
1/4 cup red lentils (or use more brown lentils if you don't have red ones)
3 cans ( 14 oz. can) vegetable broth + 1 can water
1 can (8 oz.) tomato sauce
1/2 cup sliced green onions
1 can (6 oz) black olives, drained and sliced
1 jar (12 oz.) roasted red peppers, drained and chopped
lime slices for serving (optional)
Use a large dutch oven type pan so you have a big surface area for cooking the vegetables. Heat olive oil over medium heat, then saute the chopped onion until it's starting to brown. Add garlic and saute about 1 minute more. Add the chili powder, ground cumin, dried oregano, and Chipotle or Cayenne powder and saute about 90 seconds more, or until the spices are fragrant.
Add the brown lentils, red lentils, vegetable broth, water, and tomato sauce and heat until the mixture comes to a low boil. Reduce heat to a low simmer and let the mixture cook until red lentils are mostly dissolved and brown lentils are well-softened. Cooking time will depend on how fresh the lentils are, but I simmered this for slightly more than an hour, adding more water a couple of times. (Tomatoes make the lentils cook a bit more slowly, so if you're in a hurry don't add the tomato sauce until lentils are starting to get tender.)
While the mixture cooks, slice the green onions, drain olives and cut into slices, and drain the roasted red pepper and chop into small pieces. When lentils are cooked, add green onion, olives, and roasted red pepper and let the mixture simmer 15-20 minutes more. Serve hot, with slices of lime to squeeze into each serving if desired.
This freezes well. For best results, thaw in refrigerator overnight and then heat in microwave or in a small pan on the stove.
South Beach Suggestions:
Dried beans and lentils are approved for all phases of the South Beach Diet, but they are limited to 1/3 to 1/2 cup serving for Phase One. However in a recipe like this where there are lots of other low-glycemic ingredients besides the lentils, you could have a larger serving. I would limit this to a relatively small bowl for Phase One though, with something like a nice green salad on the side.
More Vegan Ideas with Lentils for Phase One:
Lemony Yellow Split Pea Side Dish with Garlic and Ginger from Kalyn's Kitchen
Mexican Red Lentil Stew with Lime and Cilantro from Kalyn's Kitchen
Lebanese Lentil Salad with Garlic, Cumin, Mint, and Parsley from Kalyn's Kitchen
Slow Cooker Vegan Lentil and Chickpea Soup from Soup Chick
Spicy Red Lentil and Tomato Soup from Andrea Meyers
(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)