Sunday, January 22, 2012

pssst. i've got a secret.

I have a secret dream of becoming vegetarian.

You might think this is a little strange... considering most people tend to choose that lifestyle because they feel some sort of moral obligation to furry creatures, etc etc... I don't. I think it just sounds cool. 
Guess what? I'm a vegetarian. 
Kind of rolls of the tongue eh?

Vegan Lentil Chili with Roasted Red Peppers, Olives, and Green Onion
from Kalyn's Kitchen

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 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.

Did I mention that this winter has been one of the driest that I have ever seen in Eastern Idaho? It's crazy. 
Kinda feels like Mexico I think. 
(If I see anyone come into town with their Hawaiian-print shirt, I'll know that someone is reading this...)

But it snowed yesterday!
Jess = :)



  1. dude, sorry to tell you this, but rexburg is nothing like mexico. no-thing. but yes, it has been quite "balmy" here lately. I've been diggin' it. :)

  2. I just love you my friend! Remember all of our cooking adventures as roommates? I'm excited to try this chili, thanks for the recipe (and confession, hehe)!