Vegetarian Lentil Chili

I love chili. It’s hearty, usually healthy and you can do a LOT with it. You really can customize it and make it your own. That said, I’m going to have to get inventive with the names because “vegetarian lentil chili” covers a multitude of concoctions.

I wish  I had a photo of tonight’s masterpiece, but I don’t. It really was so simple, though, that you can just imagine French lentils and tomatoes.

Alrighty . . . here goes . . .

1 cup French lentils
2 cups water
1 can no-salt-added tomatoes
1 Tbsp minced garlic (I use the stuff in the jar — so much easier even though I don’t mind mincing garlic)
1 Tbsp butter
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried cilantro
1 Tbsp cumin
2 Tbsp chili powder
1 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)

I started by putting the lentils and water in a pot on high heat. While that heated up, I simmered the garlic in the butter in a separate pan. After the lentils started to boil and soften, I added the browned garlic, herbs and spices. I like spicy chili, so I’m a little more liberal with the dosage of cayenne.  Anyway, after all of the spices have been added, let it simmer for a few minutes (like, five) and then open the can of tomatoes, drain the liquid and pour in. Stir, let it heat up and then serve! I put a splash of Tapatio in mine (because apparently, it just wasn’t spicy enough) along with a bit of shredded cheddar cheese.

I would have loved to have added onion, celery and maybe even some carrot to the mix, but I didn’t have any and didn’t feel like making a special trip to Trader Joe’s.

Confession: when I’m cooking on the fly, I rarely measure. I kind of eyeball it. I also don’t really time myself either. I have a feeling that this isn’t the best practice for recipes, but you know what? It works for me. Sorry I’m not sorry.

And that’s that. Hope everyone else ate something tasty today. I also watched “You’ve Got Mail” while cooking — I had every intention of watching the news, but flipped on the TV where it was still on AMC (from watching “Mad Men” last night) and saw one of my all-time favorites and, well, you know . . . I just didn’t want to couldn’t turn it off.

What’s your favorite go-to recipe? Do you have recipes that you rely on when you’re busy/tired/stressed?

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2 responses to “Vegetarian Lentil Chili

  1. Confession: I hardly ever measure anything when cooking. I’m terrible. But unless I’m baking something that needs to be perfect, I just throw a dab of spice here and a splash of olive oil there and call it a day. Rock on!

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