Legume Lunch

19 Apr

In our never-ending quest to plan and pack the perfect lunch, this healthy veggie chili really fits the bill.

Nothing new about veggie chili, but we found Gwyneth Paltrow’s combination and proportion of the beans and lentils very pleasing.

I also sprinkled cornmeal and shook in some soy sauce at the end, because although the cooked veggies tasted great, it was a little flat for my taste.

A big handful of crushed tortilla chips was tossed in at the last minute and I won’t say it was a mistake.

The whole batch of chili filled seven lunch containers of over 1 cup each.

Straight into the freezer, and you won’t worry about making lunch!


VEGETARIAN CHILI

Gwyneth Paltrow
“This meal was one of the first I devised especially for my children. My daughter is completely vegetarian (she came to this entirely on her own), so protein from beans and other veggie sources are a big part of her life (and therefore mine). I love this chili because apart from the fact that it contains three different types of beans, it easily becomes one of those “dress-up” meals as I call them—a slight adjustment and they transition simply from tasting good to a kid’s palate to pleasing an adult’s. My kids like this chili with rice, and we grown-ups top it off with a tablespoon of creme fraiche (or yogurt), some chopped scallions and cilantro, and a dash of hot sauce.”

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1/2 large yellow onion, peeled and finely diced

1 large carrot, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch dice

1/2 large red bell pepper, seeds and ribs removed, cut into 1/4-inch dice (we used a whole one)

2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

3/4 teaspoon mild chili powder

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 teaspoon chipotle in adobo (we added more)

1 – 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes with their juice

1/2 cup de Puy lentils (small, dark French lentils that hold their shape well), rinsed and drained

1 – 14-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained

1 – 14-ounce can kidney beans, rinsed and drained

Big pinch coarse salt

3 tablespoons tomato paste (we used the whole small tin of garlic tomato paste)

Heat the olive oil in a medium soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, bell pepper, garlic, chili powder, cumin, and black pepper. Cook, stirring, for 15 minutes, or until the vegetables are softened. Add the chipotle and stir to combine.

Turn the heat up to high, add the tomatoes and their juice, crushing them a bit with your wooden spoon, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 40 minutes.

Add the lentils and beans. Fill one 14-ounce can with water and add it to the pot, along with the salt. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer for 40 minutes.

Stir in the tomato paste and cook for 20 more minutes, or until the lentils are soft and the flavors are melded.

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