Hearty Lentil Chili
In a recent post I wrote about my plans for January, where I wanted renovate a space in my garage to make room for a better storage system, improve the workout space my husband has got going on, and maybe park one car in there. Well I'm happy to say, it is still only the first week and [we] already got a lot done. Yesterday I rented a u-haul truck, one with of getting a 1-month free deal on a storage space, and loaded that shit up with all the tupperware boxes filled with useless crap, season stuff, two bikes and three pieces of furniture that I have nowhere to put. My plan was to return to the u-haul center the next day to unload the stuff into storage but my sister-in-law and I got so much done in such little time --in addition to taking multiple breaks where we recorded ridiculous videos on our IG stories-- that we decided to take it to storage the same day. We were also able to remove the doors off of the f-ugly cabinets in the garage and create a space for dump, a space for relocating, and a space for what we are keeping and may need in the time we have the storage space (ex. foldable chairs, carpet washer, ladder, etc.) The garage looks like someone is about to move out of the house and my goal is to keep it that way (we can only hope).
Yesterday was also the day before a storm-week and in Northern California, we treat all rain as a storm. So imagine hauling boxes, cleaning, shifting, moving a bunch of stuff around in a cold-cold garage where wind had no shame (my house sits by a free-way and a canyon behind it so we get just as much wind as Dorothy knocked out in her flying house) and even if my body heated up during the process, any tiny break would cool it down so fast that I felt like I was in the dead-set winter of Chicago. After six-hours of hard work, we dropped off the u-haul and headed to the grocery store. I already had lentils thrown in the crock-pot in the morning, so I knew exactly what would be perfect to end this cold AF day.
A few notes about this recipe:
- I used home cooked lentils (soak for 24 hours, drain and transfer lentils to crock pot with water and a little salt for 3 hours on high).
- You can create your own tomato sauce (here's an easy recipe) or choose canned tomato sauce but be sure to select one with no salt added and packaged in a BPA free lined can.
- This recipe calls for 1 jalapeno, one in which I did not remove the seeds. For a batch of chili this size, the jalapeno will not increase the spiciness. You're welcome to omit the jalapeno or at least seed it.
- Of course, I used my new Le Creuset dutch oven but you can use any pot to your liking. I used a 3.5 quart dutch oven and it created 4-6 servings.
- for the spicey lovers out there, my husband highly recommend's using Mellow Habanero's Heaven Hot Sauce. I tried my second serving of chili with it and I have to agree!
- 1 small yellow onion chopped
- 3 garlic gloves minced
- a spoonful of coconut oil (or any oil of your choice)
- 1 pound of ground chuck (I used half pound beef and half pound pork)
- 1 cup bone broth
- 1 1/2 cup diced tomatoes with juices
- 1 cup tomato sauce
- 2 tablespoon chili powder
- 2 teaspoon ground cumin
- salt to taste
- 1/2 cup red bell pepper chopped
- 1 jalapeño diced
- 2 1/2 cups of cooked lentils
- for garnish: sour cream, scallions, shredded cheese, crackers, slices of bread, avocado, corn, whatever you want...
- place the dutch oven over a burner and set the heat to low.
- add the coconut oil, onion and garlic and saute for a few minutes.
- throw in the meat and let it brown on all sides while you break it up into smaller pieces.
- add bone broth, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, spices and a little bit of salt. let simmer for 1 hour.
- with a spoon, taste the chili every 20 minutes to check if you need to add more spices or salt.
- when there's 15 minutes left, add the bell pepper, jalapeno and lentils
- you may serve the chili once done because it's delicious, but like all soups, the flavors really come out when you let it sit overnight ---we finished it within an hour so don't worry if you don't let it sit