September 24, 2010

lentil chili

The idea for this came about the other day when I was contemplating what to do with the cooked ground beef I have in the fridge. I was about to make it into taco meat when I saw the bag of lentils lying around in our pantry. I've never made chili with lentils before but why not. Not only did it turn out fast and easy to make but the lentils were also a perfect substitute to the pinto beans that I often use. I've always made lentil soup minus the ground beef which has more Mediterranean flavors. This was a very tasty version that I will not hesitate to make again. Soups are often a part of our meals at home pretty much all year round even when the heat's unbearable outside. For this chili version, just brown some ground beef and add chopped onions. Add the rinsed lentils. The lentils may also be cooked ahead. Season with chili powder, paprika, a little cayenne pepper, salt and pepper to taste. Add chopped fresh or canned tomatoes and enough chicken broth then simmer until the lentils are tender. Adjust the seasonings and add more water if needed. Garnish with sliced chili peppers if desired. Simple and satisfying comfort food.

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