Black Bean & Lentil Chili

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!

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