Saturday, August 10, 2013

Awesome chili

This chili was inspired by Chef AJ's Red Lentil Chili, but in the end I think I only had a few overlapping ingredients, ha.  Well I didn't have red lentils, and I had a bunch of wonderful veggies I wanted to cook up it went.  I did like her spices though and followed them pretty closely.  Here's my version, and as usual, the amounts and even the ingredients don't matter too much, use whatever you like or have on hand.

1 lb of beans.  I used 1/2 lb pinto, and 1/2 lb lentils (half green, half brown).
2 15-oz cans of tomatoes
1 large onion
1small bulb of garlic or 1/2 large
a bunch of your favorite veggies:  I used eggplant, carrots, zucchini, and a giant red bell pepper.
Something sweet:  1 large beet (or 2 medium) or a sweet potato or some mango or some pineapple, or some dates or some maple syrup (take your pick or picks)
spices and herbs:   I had some fresh parsley, sage, chives and rosemary
1.5 Tbsp salt-free chili powder or to taste
2 tsp smoked paprika (smoked is key)
1/2 tsp chipotle powder (also gives a smokey flavor)
more chipotle if you like it hot, and some crushed red pepper if you like it hot (I don't really).
2 Tbsp apple basalmic or apple cider vinegar (more if you want).
I forgot scallions but that sounds pretty good as a topping if you want it.

cook up the beans in a large pot (soaked overnight, or do a quick soak:  boil then sit for an hour) or open up a few cans of beans.
prep the veggies:   cut them up, peel as desired.    I cooked the beets separately because I wanted to blend them.  the rest I put in a large pan with 1 cup water, covered in foil, baked at 375 for 1 hour.  don't bother cutting the garlic, just put the bulb in (see picture).

When this was done, I blended the beets and one cat of tomatoes and the garlic.  For the garlic, cut off the bottom, and then sqeeze out the garlic--super easy!  I took the rosemary out and poured the veggies into the bean pot.  I added the beet/tomato/garlic puree and the other spices and herbs.   It was delicious before adding the spices so I knew it was going to be good.  

Here is a bowl served up with lunch.  Someone else got a brat so everyone was happy.

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