Today I’m bringing you a chili recipe that is packed with protein, deliciously healthy, and of course- full of PLANTS! Not to mention, the PERFECT thing to toss in the crock pot on this rainy day.
In my previous vegan chili’s, I would often toss ‘groundless beef’ in- which is always a huge hit with my carnivorous friends… but it is still a ‘processed’ alternative, and therefore I wanted to create a version that was just as delicious, but cheaper to make with better ingredients. And let’s just say…. I’ve done it
The star of this recipe (as with a lot of my comfort foods) is red lentils. Not only are lentils extremely high in protein, but the are a hearty and versatile food that is EXCELLENT as a meat-alternative. A giant bag of organic red lentils is only a few dollars, as compared to the processed meat-alternatives OR of course, meat itself! The nutrition benefits of lentils include the ability to improve and maintain heart health, weight-loss, blood sugar control to prevent diabetes or low energy levels, improved digestion, cancer management, prevention of anemia, and better electrolytic activity due to potassium. They also aid in the prevention of atherosclerosis and in maintaining a healthy nervous system… and the BONUS: they are AMAZING for both pregnant women and as an anti-aging superfood. #yassssplease
- 1 medium organic sweet potato (peeled & diced small)
- 1 medium butternut squash (peeled, seeds removed, and diced small)
- 1 small organic onion (peeled & diced)
- 1 cup organic red lentils
- 2 tablespoons avocado oil
- 2 28oz cans organic diced tomatoes (feel free to sub fresh)
- 1 14oz can (or 1 1/4 cup pre-cooked) organic kidney beans (drained & rinsed)
- 1 14oz can (or 1 1/4 cup pre-cooked) organic cannellini beans (drained & rinsed)
- 1-3 cups low-sodium vegetable stock (depending on consistency)
- 2 tablespoons paprika
- 2 teaspoons oregano
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
- 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 3/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste (optional- I prefer it without)
STEP 1: In a small pot, bring 3 cups of water and 1 cup of lentils to a boil. Reduce to low-medium and cook until soft and doubled in size. Once done, remove from heat, and strain to remove excess water. *Make sure to watch as they will easily boil over.
STEP 2: In a large pot over medium heat, sauté onion in avocado oil until translucent. Add butternut squash and sweet potato, and sauté for 3-5 minutes. Add remaining ingredients including the strained red lentils and seasoning. Add vegetable stick depending on consistency desired, more liquid = thinner chili.
STEP 3: Turn heat down to medium-low, and cook for 45 minutes until squash and sweet potatoes soft. Stir often while cooking. Serve with toasted whole grain ciabatta bread (O’doughs is my favourite) with a light smear of organic extra-virgin coconut oil to replace butter.
NOTE: To make in the crock pot, simply follow instructions until you have sautéed the onion, sweet potato and butternut squash, and then toss everything into the crock pot including the cooked lentils. Stir well to combine, and cook on high for 3 hours or low for 6.