I am always looking for new ways to vary my chili recipes. This simple vegetarian chili recipe (expanded from a Whole Foods recipe) uses lentils instead of beans. I found brown or black lentils work best because they hold their shape after cooking. Lentils are a powerhouse of nutrition. They are particularly rich in dietary fiber, lean protein, folate and iron and also have plenty of potassium, calcium, zinc, niacin and vitamin K. What does that mean for you? Lentils support heart health, lower cholesterol, help stabilize blood sugar, increase energy and support weight loss.
Easy Lentil Chili with Quinoa
- 1 small yellow onion, chopped
- 1 large red, yellow or orange bell pepper, chopped
- 1 cup carrots, chopped
- 3 large collard green leaves, stems removed
- 1/4 cup quinoa
- ~ 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
- 5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- red pepper flakes to taste
- 2 (15-ounce) cans of brown or French/black lentils (about 2 1/4 cups lentils). You can also use dried lentils just add more broth and up the cooking time accordingly. I used a mix of brown and black lentils.
- 1 (15-ounce) can no-salt-added diced tomatoes
- 1/2 avocado
Heat a large pot with a little ghee, grape seed oil or coconut oil over medium-high heat. When hot, add onion, cook for a few minutes then add garlic and spices, cook for a minute more and bell pepper and carrots; cook, stirring frequently about 4 minutes. Add lentils, tomatoes, quinoa and broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, partially covered, 15 – 20 minutes or until lentils are heated through and quinoa is cooked. Stir in collard greens and let cook a few minutes more about 3. Serve with topped with avocado.
Wishing you Vibrant Living