“November is usually such a disagreeable month… as if the year had suddenly found out that she was growing old and could do nothing but weep and fret over it.” – Anne of Green Gables
Welcome the cold weather with warm food! This entire month of November beginning today we will feature one pot meals on Wednesdays. More than just a pot full of chicken broth and noodles, one pot meals have less work than a full out multi-course dinner while still having nutrition and substance to them. The name is fairly self explanatory… its one meal in one pot. The idea is to simplify the food making process by cutting down on dishes and prep work. In turn that cuts down on clean up. Skip right by these recipes if the idea of cleaning a chaotic kitchen appeals to you, but I have a feeling most of you like the idea of less mess. One pot plus a cutting board and some utensils is all these will take.
So what even goes into a one pot meal? For starters it needs to have more than just one food group. Otherwise we’ve lost the point of a nutritious well rounded meal. While, yes, technically you could steam an entire pot of broccoli, eat it for dinner, and say it was your “one pot meal.” you’d be on the wrong track. One pot meals are so awesome because they have more than just broccoli.
After all that talk of one pot meals NOT being only broccoli, this recipe doesn’t actually contain any meat. What it does have are lentils and beans, two excellent sources of protein! They also do a great job at filling you up, so you won’t need a snack two hours after eating.
The flavour in this dish is PHENOMENAL. Tangy tomato, smokey paprika, and a hint of spicy Mexican chili powder blend together with lentils, beans, and corn in a short hour to create this delicious Red Lentil Chili.
After trying this at home I learned a few things to pass along:
- Allow yourself about an hour and fifteen minutes to get this meal finished including veggie prep time. Remember that for half this time the pot will be able to be left by itself simmering on the stove.
- The maple syrup/coconut sugar option at the end is not necessary. It’s added as an option if you’d like to balance out the spice. I left out any sweetener and it still turned out perfectly delicious.
- It makes great leftovers for lunch! I got asked the other day at lunch if I always have salad, and this chili made a great change from my routine.
Everything you’ll need on the shopping list can be found here at Hofstede’s!
- Olivado Extra Virgin Organic Avocado Oil OR Nutiva Organic Coconut Oil
- 1 Red Bell Pepper
- 1 Jalapeno
- 1 head Russian Red Garlic
- 1 white or cooking onion
- Nature’s Choice Mexican Chili Powder OR Greendale Chili Blend
- Nature’s Choice Ground Cumin
- Nature’s Choice Smoked Paprika OR Pride of Szeged Smoked Paprika
- Any of our Sea Salt options in Aisle 4
- Dan-d-Pak Red Split Lentils (400g)
- Cortina Black Beans (540ml)
- Cortina Red Kidney Beans (540 ml) OR Dunya Harvest Organic Red Kidney Beans (398 ml)
- Italissima Organic Tomato Paste (162 ml)
- Italissima Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes (398 ml) OR Cortina Diced Tomatoes (SIZE)
- Harvest Acres Organic Kernel Corn (398 ml)
- Shady Maple Farms maple syrup OR Coconut Secret Raw Coconut Crystals
- 1 bunch cilantro (optional for serving)
One Pot Red Lentil Chili
- 2 Tbsp avocado or coconut oil
- 1 medium white or yellow onion, diced
- 1 medium red pepper, diced
- 1/2 tsp each sea salt and black pepper (divided // plus more to taste)
- 1 small jalapeño, diced with seeds (remove seeds or reduce or omit for less heat)
- 4 cloves garlic (4 cloves yield ~2 Tbsp)
- 3 Tbsp chili powder (divided // NOT chili flakes or cayenne pepper)
- 2 Tbsp ground cumin (divided)
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 2 15-ounce (425 g) cans diced tomatoes (if unsalted, add more sea salt)
- 3 Tbsp tomato paste
- 1 3/4 cup water (plus more as needed)
- 3/4 cup dry red lentils thoroughly rinsed in cold water + drained
- 1 15-ounce (425 g) can kidney beans (slightly drained)
- 1 15-ounce (425 g) can black beans (slightly drained)
- 1-2 Tbsp coconut sugar (or maple syrup)
- 1 15-ounce (425 g) can corn, drained (optional)
- Heat a large pot over medium heat. Once hot, add oil, onion, and red pepper. Season with a healthy pinch each salt and pepper and stir. Sauté for 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Add jalapeño and garlic to a mortar and pestle and crush into a rough paste (alternatively, blend in a small food processor, or finely mince). Add to the pot with onion and red pepper, and season with another pinch salt and pepper.
- Add 2/3 of the chili powder (2 Tbsp as original recipe is written), half of the cumin (1 Tbsp as original recipe is written), paprika, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, and water, and stir to combine. Bring to a low boil over medium high heat.
- Once boiling, add lentils and reduce heat to medium-low or low, so it’s at a gentle simmer. You want to see bubbles, but you don’t want it boiling. Cook for 15 minutes, or until lentils are mostly tender. As it’s cooking you may need to add more water if the mixture is looking too dry and the lentils aren’t submerged (I didn’t find that necessary).
- Next add kidney beans, black beans, 1/4 tsp each salt and pepper, and remaining cumin (1 Tbsp as original recipe is written) and chili powder (1 Tbsp as original recipe is written), and stir to combine.
- Bring to a simmer over medium heat, then reduce heat slightly to low (or medium-low), add corn (optional), cover, and gently simmer for 20 minutes to meld the flavors together. Stir occasionally.
- Taste and adjust seasonings as needed, adding more chili powder or cumin for smokiness, salt for saltiness, or a little coconut sugar to balance the heat and draw out the other flavors.
- Serve as is, or garnished with chili cheese fritos, fresh jalapeño, cilantro, red onion, and/or avocado (optional).
- Store leftovers in the refrigerator up to 4 days, and in the freezer up to 1 month. Reheat on the stovetop, or in the microwave.