Lentil Chili

I found this recipe AGES ago over at Hillbilly Housewife, a fun website about low cost cooking from scratch. I’ve had it in my recipe book for a long time and finally got around to making it last week. Click here for the original recipe. Here’s the way I made it, with a few modifications:

Lentil Chili
Serves 4

1 & 1/4 c dry lentils (half a pound)
4 c tap water
2 tbsp oil
2 tbsp dry onions
3 tsp vegetable Better Than Bouillon
1 quart diced tomatoes from my freezer (or a 15oz can of tomatoes)
2 tsp chili powder
Dash hot pepper flakes
1/4 tsp black pepper

Place the lentils and the water in a large pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer. Cook for 30 minutes. If the lentils begin to get dry, or if their water boils away then add more water. You want the lentils to remain juicy while they cook. After 30 minutes, add all of the remaining ingredients. Simmer the chili for 15 to 20 more minutes.

My take on it: The only real change I made to this recipe was to swap veggie bouillon for beef bouillon. Other than that, I picked red pepper flakes over hot sauce and used diced tomatoes from my freezer (from the garden last summer) rather than canned.

Honestly this chili is not much to look at. But it’s not to be looked at, it’s to be eaten! And this chili was good. It doesn’t taste like regular chili, at least to me, but it’s still really good. And it was really easy. The best part about this recipe was NO CHOPPING. It was nice not chopping anything for a change.

It does take about an hour, so we made this on a Sunday night. The leftovers were excellent for lunch on Monday. The chili was super filling, super cheap and super good for you.

Next time I think I will add more chili powder, probably a full tablespoon or more. I will also add some ground cumin. Increasing the chili powder and adding cumin may give it more of that chili flavor that I felt it was lacking.

I served this with Vegan Cornbread from PPK, which I also enjoyed very much.

If you don’t want to make vegan cornbread, you can make this cornbread. By the way, cornbread is so easy to make from scratch. Avoid the box! All you need is a container of cornmeal. You probably already have the rest of the ingredients. It does not take much longer to measure out flour and baking powder than it does to open a box. So if you have never made it from scratch please try it. You won’t go back to the box.

Bottom Line: I will make lentil chili again.


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