This is a great chili to start off the New Year with a healthy and spicy kick! Beans and lentils are said to bring good luck for the New Year according to my parents and grandparents. This is a hearty vegetarian dish that will be sure to please the meat lovers out there.
This chili has a pleasing smokiness and a punch of heat that mellows out well with the sweet corn. However, if you do not like spicy foods simply cut back on or omit the cayenne pepper.
Dry beans and lentils can be an economical choice for a great dinner, just a little time and preparation is needed. I prefer the taste of dry beans over canned. I find they have more of a creaminess and better texture. Plus I love how many different varieties of dry beans I can find. However, you will always find canned beans as well in my pantry for a quick addition to a meal.
Beans and lentils are a nutrient powerhouse! They are a good source of protein, iron, calcium, fiber and folate. Just one cup of this chili provides a whopping 11 grams of fiber, 21 grams of protein, 77 mg of calcium, 4.2 mg of iron and 244 mcg DFE of folate!
Folate is a water soluble B vitamin. It is important for DNA synthesis and cell division. Having low folate levels can lead to a type of anemia called megaloblastic anemia and birth defects. The recommended daily intake for folate is 400 mcg DFE per day for an adult. For pregnant women it is higher, 600 mcg DFE and for lactating women it is 500 mcg DFE per day. Other good sources of folate include: Brussels sprouts, eggs, peas, nuts, dark green leafy vegetables, asparagus, spinach, and enriched foods such as cereals, pasta, flour and breads.
So if you are looking to start the year off with a healthy kick try out this chili recipe today!
Spicy Vegetarian Chili
Author: Brittany Sparks
Makes 12 (1 Cup) Servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 2 to 3 Hours *Depending on your bean size
Total Time: 2 to 3 Hours
Dry beans can be soaked overnight.
This is a thick chili. If you like a little more liquid in your chili add an extra cup of broth or water.
3 Cups Bean/Lentil Mix, Dried (Can use any mixture of beans and lentils)
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Medium Onion, Diced
3 Carrots, Diced (~1 ½ cups)
3 Stalks Celery, Diced (~1 cup)
6 Cloves Garlic, Minced
1 Tbsp Smoked Paprika
2 Tbsp Chili Powder
2 Tsp Salt
1 Tsp Pepper
1 Tsp Cayenne Pepper *Can use less if you do not like it too spicy
1 Tsp Ground Coriander
2 (14.5oz) Cans No Added Salt Tomatoes, Diced
1 (4.5oz) Can Green Chilies, Chopped
4 Cups Low Sodium Vegetable Broth
2 Cups Corn (Fresh or Canned)
Place dry beans/lentils in a large pot and cover with water till it covers the beans by about 1 inch. Let soak for 2 hours or overnight. Drain and rinse.
In a large pot add the olive oil, onion, carrot and celery. Sauté for 7 to 8 minutes over medium heat or until the onions are translucent.
Add in all the spices, salt, pepper and garlic. Cook for an additional minute.
Add in the dry beans/lentils, canned tomatoes and their juices, and canned green chilies. Stir to combine and then add in the broth. The broth should cover the beans.
Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer for 2 to 3 hours or until the beans are tender. Stir occasionally.