Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Lentil Sweet Potato Chili To Warm These Cold Winter Days

It's snowing again! And soooo cold out. I want to share with you one of my favorite recipes ever, though in the winter it somehow soars even higher than usual. Lentil Sweet Potato Chili. I make this recipe at least once a week. 

The original recipe is from Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine's 21 Day Kickstart, which I can't recommend enough. Fantastic whole food plant based meal plans and recipes which come to you for 21 days, starting the first of the month. Sign up for free and you'll get the recipes sent to your email. Or check the website out, the recipes are always there: here is week 1, week 2, and week 3. (Ooh, not to get off track, but today I think I am going to make the Aloo Gobi - Cauliflower and Potato Curry - from week 3! The only reason I'm not making the Lentil Sweet Potato Chili is I am out of lentils from making it so much!)

Yum, look at that sweet potato! Full of beta carotene and vitamin C, plus lots of other minerals and vitamins. In Chinese medicine, its sweet taste and rich orange color let you know it's beneficial to the Spleen/Pancreas and Stomach - Earth element - and excellent for digestion and to boost energy (qi).

Here is how I make this delicious vegan chili:

  • 1 cup brown lentils, rinsed
  • 1 cup red lentils, rinsed
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 3-5 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 large or 2 small sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes
  • 2-3 handfuls of baby spinach (it shrinks!) or lots of chopped kale or other chopped greens to add at end
  • 1/2 -1 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • red pepper flakes, optional
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 6-8 cups water (or you can use broth or veggie broth cubes or whatever, I just use water)
  • 28 oz crushed tomatoes or 14 oz tomato sauce or small jar tomato paste, whatever you have around


* Because I don't use oil in cooking and because I like to make things as easy as possible, I just put everything into a pot without sauteing things first, so...

1. Into 6 cups of water (or broth) as it comes to boiling, add:
  • both kinds of rinsed lentils
  • onion
  • celery
  • garlic
  • sweet potatoes
  • spices
2. Let that come to a boil, then cover and simmer until the lentils are cooked through, about 25 minutes, adding water and stirring as necessary so it doesn't burn.

3. Then add the tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes, let it come back up to boil again.

4. Finally add the greens at the very end, and cook until wilted. 

5. Taste to adjust seasonings and enjoy!

I love to eat this chili with hot sauce.

If you don't have (or don't like) sweet potatoes, it is delicious with regular potatoes as well. 


~ Melissa