He calls it soup. I call it stew. See, apparently the amount of broth is the defining factor in whether you need to use a spoon or can just use a big hunk of crusty dipping bread. We decided to settle on “chili.” Crisis averted.
My sister Bethany got me these adorable Le Creuset Ramekins for Christmas and I was itching to use them to display my chili! (Don’t worry, we actually ate a lot more than what it looks like in the picture.) But you could totally use these cute little dishes as a container for ingredients, garnishes, or soup as an appetizer. They’re also the perfect size for a scoop of ice cream! Freezer, microwave, and oven safe, they’re completely versatile, and you know the Le Creuset name will not disappoint.
Anyway, back to chili. What better way to come back from Christmas travels than a nice hearty bowl of veggie-packed chili to fill you up without weighing you down? I was inspired by the original recipe by our good friends Sarah and Mike, who made a similar vegetarian chili for us a few weeks ago when they had us over for a pre-holiday dinner. For those of you looking to get a head start on your diet for the New Year, this vegan chili is protein and fiber-packed, and is also filled with vitamins and minerals from fresh and frozen vegetables. I used green lentils and black beans as my legumes, but you could also use kidney beans or chickpeas for a slightly different take. I originally planned to add another grain like farro or barley, but by the time I had all the ingredients in the crock pot, I literally had no room!
The struggle is real.
Serve with crushed tortilla chips, crusty bread, or whole-grain crackers for dipping. Then garnish with feta (or cotija for the fancy ones) and a dollop of plain greek yogurt. I also layered some spinach under mine because I can’t resist having spinach with every single dinner. I am a creature of habit.
Hope you enjoy!
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 Tbsp minced garlic
- 3 large carrots, chopped
- 1 carton mushrooms
- 2 cans diced or stewed tomatoes and juices
- 1 can black beans, drained
- 2-3 cups chopped butternut squash (buying pre-chopped saves so much time!)
- 1 Tbsp dijon mustard
- 1/2 cup frozen peppers and onions (I love the TJ’s bagged mix)
- 1 tsp each garlic powder, coriander, cumin, basil, and chili powder
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp cocoa powder
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 3-4 cups low sodium vegetable stock (depending on how much room you have!)
- 1 cup dry lentils
- salt and pepper, to taste
- In a large skillet, heat oil on medium high, then add onion, garlic, and carrot. Cook until tender, about 3 minutes. Add mushrooms and continue to cook about 1 minute more until tender. Layer in bottom of crock pot sprayed with cooking spray.
- Add all remaining ingredients and stir to combine.
- Set on high for 4 hours, or low for 6 hours until squash and carrots are tender.
- Serve with feta/cotija cheese and grain of your choice!
All opinions of products in this post are my own.