30 Minute Oil Free Lentil Chili

 in Kitchen

Potato is the vegan’s favorite vegetable right?
Well maybe cauliflower is up there too.
I don’t have any good jokes but I think potato is just about everyone’s favorite vegetable. Even the meat and potatoes trope is 50% potatoes. So you can say I’ve done my research. 

Growing up November and December always brought with it the baked potatoes. I remember the fun of stabbing the vegetable over and over with the fork. It was the closest to danger I had over felt holding the spud in one hand and hurling the fork at it with another. Luckily my coordinator or my care was properly developed by that time and I didn’t miss the mark and impale myself or others. After the good stabbing was out of my system we would crinkle out the lines of tin foil and put a potato in the middle of each one. Next we dressed them up in dried spices, salt, and pepper. Then we had to be careful as we wrapped the tin foil around each one. That the whole potato was covered, so that none of the good cooking juices would fall out. Another good task in child coordination as we learned to not rip the precious tin foil. 

Then came the purgatory of impatiently waiting 1 hour for the potatoes to cook. The second half and hour was always the worst after we flipped over all the potatoes once at the halfway mark they started to smell more and more delicious but we didn’t have time to waste this 30 minutes is when the rest of the cooking happened, in those mid-western days that would be frying up a meat or vegetable to accompany.

However, on special days we had crock pot chili to put over our much awaited baked potatoes. For the last few years I haven’t had a crock pot but I keep working on my chili recipe. This is a fast but fulfilling 30 minute version you can start and nearly forget about as soon as the potatoes go in the oven.  It’s done with enough time for the flavors to meld a bit while the potatoes finish.

30 Minute Lentil Chili Recipe

(for 2 people, easily doubles)
1 cup lentils
½ small purple onion
1 carrot
1 zucchini
1 cob of corn (or ½ cup frozen)
3 cloves of garlic
1 small finger tip sized nub of fresh ginger
1-2 canned chipotle peppers
1 T tomato paste
1/4 t paprika
¼ t oregano
¼ t thyme
¼ t rosemary
Salt and pepper to taste 

1. Blend 1 cup of water with the chipotle and dried or fresh spices.
2. In a pot heat up and add the onion and chopped garlic, saute moving around with a spatula or wooden spoon adding splashes of your blended water and spices if it is sticking.
3. Meanwhile chop the carrot and potato small and decob (or defrost) the corn.
4. When the onions are soft and fragrant add the rest of the blended water, all the veggies and the 1 cup of lentils.
5. Cover the contents of your pot by approximately 1 ½-2 inches of water and add salt and pepper to taste.
6. Simmer on medium low heat for at least 30 minutes or until the lentils and vegetables are soft.

Eat as is, or serve over baked potato, smashed potato or quinoa. 

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