Lentil Chili

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The cornbread was gone before I could even snap a photo.  So you only get the recipe for the lentil chili that was the perfect accompaniment. It was the main reason I made the cornbread in the first place anyways. Hearty, with abundant flavor, and kid friendly (it won’t burn your ass coming out the other end due to it being too spicy) If you’re not a pansy like me, who sweats just from eating mustard (yep, total white girl), then by all means kick it up a notch and add some damn diced jalepeno to this betsy.

Ingredients:

1 bay leaf

1 16 oz. bag of lentils

2  Tbsp. olive oil

1/3 cup cilantro, chopped

1 jar bruschetta sauce from Trader Joe’s

5 cloves garlic, minced

1 (14.5 oz) can fire roasted tomatoes – Trader Joe’s

1/2 white onion or vidalia onion, chopped

1/2 red bell pepper, diced

3 boullion cubes  added to 32 oz. water or 32 oz. vegetable stock

4 tsp. chili powder

sea salt and pepper to taste

Directions: In a large pot, heat 1 Tbsp. oil along with lentils and stir frequently for 1-2 minutes. Add broth or water w/bouillon cubes and bring to boil, then allow to simmer for 30 minutes or until tender. While you are bringing the lentils/broth to boil, begin sautéing chopped onions, red bell peppers, and garlic for 5 minutes in a skillet along with the remaining 1 Tbsp. olive oil. I like to sauté them and then add to the lentil/broth mix for extra flavor.  After adding the sautéed mix to the lentil/broth combo, add the can of fire roasted tomatoes, jar of bruschetta, and chili powder. When the lentils are tender (approximately 30 minutes), add the chopped cilantro and adjust with sea salt and pepper.

Delicious alongside cornbread smothered with earth balance and a smidgen of honey.

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Ricotta & Lentil Phyllo Triangles

This was a total experiment gone right.  These Ricotta & Lentil Phyllo Triangles are wonderful alongside Garlic Roasted Brussel Sprouts and Grilled Polenta with a light Coconut Curry Sauce.

RICOTTA

(yield: 1/2 cup)

Ingredients:

4 oz. extra firm tofu.

1/2 Tbsp. yellow miso

1/2 Tbsp. tahini paste

1/2 tsp. umeboshi paste

1/8 cup nutritional yeast

Directions:

1. Add all the ingredients into a bowl and mash with a potato masher until lightly chunky and the ingredients are well mixed. Set aside.

LENTILS

(yield: 2 cups)

Ingredients:

1 cup dried lentils

1 vegetable bouillon cube

2 cups water

Directions:

1. Pick through and wash lentils before cooking. Place lentils and bouillon cube into a pot along with water.  Boil for 5 minutes and them simmer until tender; about 25 minutes.

TRIANGLES

(yield: 12 triangles)

Ingredients:

parchment paper

1 1/2 rolls of phyllo dough, room temp.

1/2 cup olive oil + 1/2 cup more for brushing on phyllo

1/4 of a white onion, diced

1 Tbsp. dried basil

2 cloves garlic, diced

2 Tbsp. crushed walnuts

1 Tbsp. sea salt

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

1. Saute onion and garlic in 1 Tbsp of olive oil until tender.  Add basil, crushed walnuts, and sea salt. Saute for 5 more minutes.  Add ricotta to this mix along with cooked lentils.

2. If you have never used phyllo, you want to make sure you keep it covered while working with it, with a piece of parchment or plastic wrap so that it does not dry out.  I like to take the 1 roll and unroll it completely flat.  I then cut it horizontally in half so that I have two halves to work with . I keep the one half covered while working with the first half.

3.  Take 2 layers of phyllo and brush with olive oil. Take 1 1/2 Tbsp of lentil mix and then begin to fold like you might an american flag, constantly forming a triangle as you go. If there are pieces not completely fitting, it is forgiving. Just tuck those in the best you can and then lay the completed triangle on a piece of parchment on a sheet pan with the fold side down. Lightly brush the triangle with olive oil with a pastry brush and a sprinkle of salt. Repeat this 11 more times.

4. Bake on a parchment lined sheet pan for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown in color.

* I mentioned that I served this with curried coconut sauce.  It also goes well with pesto.