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Vegan Lentil Chili

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Vegan Lentil Chili CollageThis vegan lentil chili was my Mothers Day gift from my daughter a few years back. She chose this day for two reasons. The first, she wanted to cook a vegan meal just for the two of us to make the day special. I know, sweet right? And the second reason, Grandpa (my dad) said he was taking Grandma out to dinner and we usually try out new recipes when on ourselves before sharing them with our non-vegan family.

It should be noted this vegan recipe adventure took place during the same trip to the deep south as the one involving the chewy vegan brownie recipe debacle. See last week’s post for more details on that.

Vegan Chili Putting Stuff in the PotOk, so we excitedly poured over recipes, weighted the merits of grated vs chopped carrots, assembled all the ingredients for our vegan lentil chili and got busy. We chopped, onion, peppers etc. Measured (more or less) our spices and tossed it all into the crock pot. Then we went happily about our day.

Note: We also made vegan corn bread with flax meal for the first time with this meal but we’ll leave THAT tale for another post.

Come dinner time we discovered that Grandma and Grandpa had decided, for reasons they never told us, to skip their Carnist feast at Golden Corral and eat chili with us. This was both a pleasing and terrifying turn of events.

Let’s just say that we thought the meal was delicious, especially for a first try recipe, but my parents were less than impressed. That is if my mother’s exclamation of “YUCK!” and subsequent aimless stirring of her food, like any good toddler who doesn’t want to eat something, is any indication.

Now, I’m not telling you this story to elicit sympathy, though your hugs are gratefully accepted. No, we tell this tale so those of you suffering similar indignities will know YOU ARE NOT ALONE!

Something else you should know. Though we have gone on to make many different kinds of vegan chili, which we will share with you as time permits, this vegan lentil chili is the one we come back to most often as we find it to be the most versatile. We like it straight up in a bowl but we also find it works REALLY WELL as a topping or filling for other dishes such as vegan green chili wet burritos, burrito lettuce wraps and vegan nachos.

So without further ado, here is…

Your Vegan Lentil Chili RecipeVegan Lentil Chili Ingredients

1 bunch green onions, diced

1 can green chilies, diced

1 jalapeño, dice, leave seeds in if you want HOT chili

1 red pepper, chopped

1 yellow pepper, chopped

1 orange pepper, chopped

2 large carrots, shredded

2 1/2 cups vegetable broth

2 cans tomato sauce (15 oz)

2 cans diced tomatoes (15 oz)

1 bag lentils (16 oz)

2 cans beans (15 oz)(we used pinto & black beans)

3 tablespoons chili powder (we used 3 tablespoons)

2 tablespoon cumin

1 tablespoon garlic powder

Salt and black pepper, to taste

Chop and dice all your veggies. Toss them and the rest of the ingredients into your slow cooker. We use our 7 quart crock pot for this but you can use a 6 quart if that is what you have.

Cover and cook on high for at 4-6 hours. Cook at 6-8 hours if you want to use low heat. We cook ours for the longer period of time but it will be “done” at the lower time range. We just really like our chili to “cook down” and give the spices time to mingle. But your millage may vary. Test it and see. You can always let it cook longer.

Serve warm or let cool and package in air tight containers for later. This stores in the refrigerator for 2-3 days or can be frozen for 6 months or so for use later on.

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