Lentil and Sweet Potato Chili

So, you are hosting a party and one of your friends is vegetarian. You dig up a recipe on Pinterest, hunt down the obscure ingredients, sweat over it for half a day, and then it ends up sitting in the fridge for a week, minus a spoonful consumed by said vegetarian friend.

People (vegetarians included) may despise vegetarian dishes for a number of reasons:
1. They taste like crap
2. They don't resemble the meaty equivalent they were supposed to resemble
3. They have low nutritional value or are extremely unhealthy (see any pasta available as the only vegetarian option at a number of banquet facilities)

To quote our friend Lizzie: "I wish I could cook good vegetarian food. She loves vegetarian food (Pointing at her daughter). All I can cook is boiled cauliflower. Who wants to eat fucking boiled cauliflower?"

For those reasons, carnivores opt for the tastier, healthier meat dishes and vegetarians suck it up and curse the unimaginative hosts under their breath.

Here's a vegetarian dish that is unbelievably nutritious, and will be consumed by meat lovers before they realize there was no meat in it. It is loaded with plant protein, fiber, high-GI carbs and just a touch of healthy fats.
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, peeled and diced
  • 1 celery stalk, diced
  • 1 T chili powder
  • 1 T ground cumin
  • 1 T dried oregano
  • 1 t smoked paprika
  • 2 - 3 oz chipotle in adobo sauce (about 1/3 of a can), chopped
  • 1 cup dried green lentils
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (or 3 Roma tomatoes, blanched, peeled and diced)
  • 3 - 4 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 - 2 jalapeno peppers, diced (seeds in or out, depending on your heat preference)
  • Salt, to taste
This dish takes about an hour and a half to cook to perfection. It's a great one-pot dish. This recipe will serve 6 - 10 people.

Heat the oil in a heavy pan on medium heat. Add onions, garlic, celery, carrots and a little salt. Sweat for about 5 minutes, until the onions begin to caramelize.

Add the spices and adobo peppers and cook for 2 - 3 minutes. Then add the lentils and stir for another minute, until they are coated in oil.

Add about two cups of water. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook until the lentils are beginning to soften but are still al dente. This should take about half an hour but is dependent on the lentils. Add more water if needed as the lentils absorb it like crazy and will stick if there is not enough.

Now add the tomatoes and the sweet potatoes. Add more water to cover. Bring to a boil and cook until the sweet potatoes begin to soften, about 15 minutes.

Add the peppers (bell and jalapeno), give it another stir and cook for 10 more minutes. If you like your chili mushy you can smash the sweet potatoes with a wooden spoon against the side of the pot at this point. I like mine somewhere in the middle.

Turn the pot off and let it sit for half an hour or so to let the flavors get to know each other. Serve with flaky buttermilk biscuits and a dollop of sour cream.
Submitted by Alex

Comments

  • Be the first one to comment
    *
    Your name
    *
    Website
    Email address (not displayed)
    Would you like to receive our newsletter?      Yes       No
    Are you human?
    *
        2 + 3 =
    * Required fields
More delicious recipes at www.BillAndAlex.us