Saturday, November 10, 2012

Lentil/bulgur chili

I hope you all aren't tired of me posting these vegetarian things....  I just keep finding good ones!  This is really a great chili- I have to thank my loseit friend Steve for the recipe.  He sent it to me via Facebook and with a few adjustments- it is wonderful!
Chili plus an avocado and tomato wrap

This has lentils and bulgur wheat in it.  I happened to have some bulgur (this is such a strange word, bulger, it isn't sexy sounding like lentils.  Idk, that is just my gut reaction) wheat in my cupboard, probably because I saw a recipe with it and then never made or couldn't find the said recipe.  This happens all the time, but Pinterest has helped a lot.  If I pin the recipes at least I can find them again!  Anyway, I would have thought that there would be some sort of actual beans in the recipe, but it doesn't and it is fine!  The combo of the lentils plus the grain is really good and substantial.

Ingredients- except for the red pepper

Saute the vegetables

Add the zucchini with the tomatoes and broth

I used things that would enhance the "meaty" taste of chili and provide the deep flavors.  So I made a few adjustments to the original recipe instructions.  I always wait to put garlic in until just before I add the wet ingredients, and I always lightly cook the spices with the veggies in oil to bring out their flavors.  The olive oil helps release the aromatics and taste in the spices.  The only thing I didn't have that I wished for in this recipe was portabella mushrooms.  That would have added to the heartiness, but it is good anyway.
Chili powder and cumin

Develop the flavor of the garlic and spices before adding the liquids

Lentils and Bulgur

I have been loving the lighter pink or red lentils, but the regular old brown ones did the trick for this particular application.  The bulgur wheat is quick cooking, and I used low sodium vegetable broth.  The recipe calls for diced tomatoes, and I used fire-roasted tomatoes to up the flavor ante.  My secret weapon, though, balsamic vinegar.  You're welcome!

Lentil-Bulgur Chili

You could put most any vegetable in here that you like.  I wish I would have had mushrooms, but didn't.  Zucchini is my addition, mostly because I had some and wanted to use it up, plus I had a red pepper in there, but had chopped it up before I took a picture. If you like green peppers, use that instead of or in addition to the red pepper, plus a hot pepper or two would have been good as well.

1 large diced onion
1 red pepper, diced
1 - 2 tablespoons olive oil

4 cloves of garlic, crushed or pressed through a garlic press
2 Tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons cumin

1 can diced tomatoes (fire roasted)
2 cups sliced zucchini
4 cups of vegetable broth
1 cup of water
1 cup of regular brown lentils
1/2 cup bulgur wheat (quick cooking)
Salt, pepper to taste. I actually didn't use any salt.

And the secret ingredient- 1 or 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar.

Saute the onion and pepper in olive oil for a few minutes, until soft and beginning to brown a bit.  Right  as the veggies are done, add the garlic, saute about 30 seconds until you can smell it.  Sprinkle the chili powder and cumin over veggies, stirring, for about a minute.  Don't let the garlic scorch!

Add tomatoes, zucchini, broth, water, lentils and bulgur. Cook for about 30 minutes on low, just simmering, partly covered.  Stir occasionally. Turn off heat and add balsamic vinegar.  Stir and let set for a few minutes before serving.  I used a little cayenne pepper on mine, and you could use hot sauce if desired.  And I imagine you could put cheese, sour cream and the like on top as well, or any kind of toppings that would amuse you!  This tastes better after sitting in the frig for a while, as the flavors of course develop over time.  Lucky us!

This is one of those recipes that will be made again! I might make some coucous or quinoa to ladle the chili over tomorrow.

Until next time- find your joy in a healthy way!

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