It snowed today. First snow of the winter (not counting the Halloween snow storm we had). For some reason, I always crave something hearty and ultra-comforting when it snows. I stumbled upon this recipe for a vegetarian chili on weightwatchers.com and decided it would be perfect for today (especially since I had all of the ingredients in the house already…no going out in the cold for me!).
I pretty much followed the recipe to a tee. My only alterations were increasing the garlic and adding some shredded cheddar cheese at the end. (Find it here: http://www.weightwatchers.com/food/rcp/RecipePage.aspx?recipeid=171391.) For only 6 PointsPlus a serving, this was a very satisfying meal. I didn’t even miss the meat! (Amazingly, neither did my husband, which is a rare occurrence.) It was my first time working with dried lentils, but thankfully they were really easy to work with.
Start with the lentils…
- Add 1.5 cups of dried lentils to the bottom of a saucepan.
- Cover with water.
- Bring to a boil.
- Then reduce the heat and simmer for about 15-20 minutes. (You want the lentils to be soft but still have a little bite to them.)
- Drain and set aside.
Meanwhile, prep the veggies…
- Chop 1 red pepper, 1 large onion, and 6 cloves of garlic.
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat.
- Coat the bottom of the pan with EVOO.
- Add the vegetables and cook until soft, about 15 minutes. (Remember to stir!)
While the veggies cook, make the spice mix for the chili…
- In a small bowl combine 3 tablespoons chili powder with…
- 2 teaspoons oregano…
- 1.5 teaspoons ground cumin…
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper…
- and 1 teaspoon salt.
- Mix well.
- When the veggies are soft, add the spice mixture.
- Stir to coat and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Add 2 smalls cans of fire roasted diced tomatoes.
- Add 2 small cans of black beans, drained and rinsed.
- Stir, cover, and simmer for about 15 minutes.
- Mince up some cilantro while the chili cooks.
- Shred some cheddar cheese (if using, which you definitely should. What’s chili without some cheesy-goodness on top?).
- After 15 minutes have passed, add the lentils.
- Add the cilantro.
- Stir to combine and cook for about 5 more minutes.
- Serve with the cheese on top.
Next time, I think I would add 1 more can of tomatoes. I would have liked more in each bite. It also could have used a little more heat in my opinion. Maybe next time, I’ll add some red pepper flake to the spice mixture. Other than that, it was delicious! Enjoy!