I know that my last post was a soup recipe and here I am again with a recipe for chili, but it is the season for warm bowls of comfort food, so hopefully you don't mind!
I've been wanting to make a chili ever since the temperatures first dropped in the fall, but I didn't get around to it until last week, and I ended up with enough servings to last me the full week - something I always appreciate!
Chili is something you can't really go wrong with in my opinion - there are so many different versions of it and as long as you include some beans (although I know many people would disagree with me on that point), veggies, and lots of spices then you'll end up with a hearty vegetarian chili perfect for warming up with on a January night!
For this version, I added sweet potatoes, carrots, and green pepper for the main veggies, and instead of the more traditional kidney beans, I used a combination of black beans and lentils. I loved the mix of textures and the way the lentils kind of dissolved into everything else to create a thick and chunky base.
To build extra layers of flavour, I also added a dose of cocoa powder and used a dark stout as the liquid. The chocolately notes in the beer combined with the hint of cocoa powder added a nice depth and richness to the chili without being too detectable (as in, you probably wouldn't guess that they're in there if you didn't know).
Serve this with a piece of cornbread and add your favourite chili toppings (I ate mine with crushed tortilla chips), and you've got a filling meal perfect for those nights when you want some comfort food that's still on the healthy side!
Veggie Black Bean & Lentil Chili with Stout
1 tbsp olive oil
1 yellow onion, peeled and diced
3-4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 large jalapeno, seeded and minced
1 medium carrot, peeled and diced
1 medium sweet potato (~3/4 lb), peeled and diced
1 large green pepper, seeds removed and diced
1 tbsp chili powder
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp cayenne
3/4 tsp sea salt
1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
12 oz dark stout beer
2 cans (398mL/14oz each) fire roasted diced tomatoes
1 can lentils, drained and rinsed
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 tbsp pure maple syrup
Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, and jalapeno, then stir in carrot, sweet potato, and green pepper. Saute, stirring occasionally, for 5-7 minutes. Add spices (chili powder to salt) and cook, stirring, for another minute. Add cocoa powder and beer and let simmer for 6-8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until beer has reduced slightly.
Stir in tomatoes, lentils, and black beans. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer for about 25-30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until veggies are tender. Remove from heat and stir in maple syrup. Taste and add more salt if desired.
Let sit until chili is cool enough to eat. Serve with your favourite chili toppings if desired (I recommend coarsely crushed tortilla chips!).
Makes 4-6 servings